28 Everything happens for a reason

Blog 28 – “Everything happens for a reason”

Originally Mac was to be my main horse and Filly my reserve horse for training with P.K. but Mac was slightly off-colour before the first course so I decided to take Filly instead. 

In spite of the interesting atmosphere (Many of the 70 or so auditors were those unsuccessful in applying to train and there was a lot of stress from the organisers hosting.) and thanks to the support of some clients also auditing and due to the fact that my dear friend Verity Tidmarsh had also been accepted to train too and most especially because Filly was such a star it was a great success.  P.K. and Filly became mutual fans and although she was not very settled at the venue she did her best, seemed to enjoy the experience and we learned a lot.

At the end of each section students are invited to tell P.K. and the auditors what they have understood to be their “homework” and having stated that I went on to say that I was looking forward to bringing “my” horse, rather than my daughter’s “pony”, to the next section.  P.K. said that I would be welcome to bring Mac but his preference was, where possible to continue the course with the same horse that we had started with, which turned out to be what happened as the next section was to take place in September and I lost Mac in August.  (I will leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions regarding Filly being the only horse who started and subsequently made it to every section before I left The School of Légèreté.) 

The September section was tough, so soon after the loss of Mac and only a week or so after I had been able to speak and go out of the house again.  But those who knew what had happened helped me through and once again Filly was fabulous.

Wackie eventing with Emma
However, I was aware that fulfil the criteria I still needed to have a reserve horse and although I had lots of offers of horses I wasn’t ready to have another horse in my life yet.  Then a client who owned an event horse Blackwack “Wackie” contacted me to say that having done 6 straight season advanced eventing she had decided to retire Wackie at 18.  They have the perfect set-up for horses, lots of turn-out with natural shelter but Wackie’s health and emotional well-being seemed to be suffering through not being in work.  They were a bit stuck, the client had other horses to compete and didn’t have time, alongside her other commitments to ride Wackie regularly and they didn’t want to place him with anyone who might take advantage of his generosity and start competing him again and having heard of my circumstances she offered me Wackie on loan.

Wackie was just what the doctor ordered, Filly, who was “the boss of” Mac and our super-star miniature Shetland “Toby” seemed relieved when Wackie arrived and took charge of the field and the shelter, relieving Filly of the responsibility of being in charge all of the time.   

He also somehow seemed secure in the knowledge that although I was not ready to love another horse yet I soon would love him – everybody did – and he was right, I love him dearly. 

Mark delivers a lecture at a demo with me, Debbie, Katie and Martin
Having known Wackie as a fit event horse I was a little surprised, in spite of the warnings from the owner at how much he had deteriorated in retirement.  Historically he had had every joint from his knees and hocks down medicated, needed to be surgically shod every 5 weeks and have one or two “bute(s)” a day.  I did not have a farrier any more so took him to his owners for shoeing for 6 months or so as per our loan agreement.  In the meantime I had hosted a demo with Mark Johnson at Ashen E.C. and invited Wackie’s owner, she came, gave it some thought and did her research at home and subsequently allowed us to transition Wackie to barefoot.  Within a year Wackie was sound and bute-free and now his owner’s other horses are barefoot too.

I know that she is grateful to me for introducing her to Mark and the benefits of barefoot but she more than reciprocated, not only by letting us have Wackie in our lives but by introducing me to Dr Debbie Carley of Thunderbrook Equestrian who was instrumental in helping resolve some of Filly’s digestive disorders (more on that in future blogs).

I believe that Filly and Mac had it all sorted between them, he was rarely off colour but I think they knew he wasn’t going to make it through the course so Filly stepped in and stepped up.  

He died on the only weekend I had “off” that summer, it was just us at the yard that day.  

Julia and Wackie
And Wackie, now in his mid 20’s is on loan to another of my clients, they fell in love while he lived with me and they are the perfect partnership, Julia and Wackie, this one’s for you.

Next time, "The Purple Princess and the Pea" 14th May.

For those searching online for more “instructional” resources than offered in these blogs please make use of my video downloads www.ashenec.co.uk

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