|My little boy & I|
When meeting a new person, the first thing they want to know about you is what sort of things you like. As I have grown up, I have always been asked the same question when it came to hobbies and interests. Why do you like horses? What made you get into horses? A lot of my horsey friends have got into horses as they have grown up, but not me. As far as I can remember, I have always been into horses. My parents use to say that I used to get excited when a horse came on the television too.
I never chose to like horses, it was clearly something that I was meant to like. Nobody in my family ever liked horses, thats why a lot of my extended were confused, as it was not a passion that was passed on or influenced by somebody in the family. My parents weren’t horsey people and I honestly doubt that they ever will be – but they continue to support my passion because it makes me happy. Our old neighbours daughter started working with horses when I was young, so it was an opportunity for my parents to get me exposed to horses. At the age I was (must have been around 3 or 4) I was not old enough to do anything except look at the and touch them, which was not a great deal.
Horse videos, books, toy models and teddies were the only things I would ever want, whether it would be for my birthday, Christmas, Eid (Muslim Christmas) or whatever else I would get a gift for. I was not interested in racing cars or anything like that – I just wanted my horse related gifts. Even today I have my entire stash of all my stuff in the loft/attic at home, I won’t let my mum throw it out purely because it has such a great sentimental value to me – it is basically my childhood!
I remember crying in the kitchen most nights, asking my parents to get a builder to build me a stable in the garden so that I could keep my own horse there. My parents went on and on telling me that horses can not be kept in gardens and need space to gallop around. Little did I know though… Eventually my parents actually got a builder in, purely to explain to me that it is not viable to keep a horse in the garden or build a ‘little’ stable. I think that’s the thing that sunk in the most and eventually stopped me from insisting I get a horse in the back garden.
As I grew into my teens, I wanted to start horse riding. As most of you all know, when kids start a new sport, the interest lasts the best of a few weeks and the novelty eventually wears off. Horse riding has never been and will never be a cheap hobby. To my parents, there was no ‘need’ for me to take up horse riding, as they said that it would never be beneficial to me – as they would never be able to support me with my own horse due to lack of knowledge on their part and various other aspects too. Even then, my mum would allow me to have the odd lesson every so often, just to fulfil my passion and to keep me happy.
When I was old enough to start taking matters in to my own hands and proactively learning more about horses for myself, I started working at Stocks Farm Equestrian Centre. I made so many friends when I first started, some of them sadly I don’t have any contact with anymore for various personal reasons – but we won’t go into details. It took me a good couple of years to grasp the main aspects of having your own horse and everything that goes with it. Sometimes it is good to be thrown into the deep end, it ensures that you learn things faster and correctly to be able to stand on your own two feet and get the job done.
I was content with not having a horse, as working with them was more than enough to keep me happy. Time went on, an opportunity came up to help out a friend with her horse, due to a lack of time. It was definitely something different, handling something as big as she was – standing at 16.3hh, nearing 17hh. Boy oh boy, little did I know that I would have the best year ahead with her. Hands down, Niamh taught me so much, she is definitely my very first horsey love and she will always hold a place in my heart (don’t worry, she has not deceased, she is very much alive still – bless her!). Hopefully one day she will be back in my care again, but only time will tell in that case. Niamh’s owner’s parents had bought a house with its own yard, when meant that she in fact had to leave Stocks Farm – which is why our time together had ended. Since then I had visited her and she is doing extremely well, she still has her huge belly.
After Niamh left, a cute little soul came to the yard to be sold. He didn’t have the best start to life, where he was bought as a foal from his breeders in Wales and had been abused and had covered various mares too. Once they did not need him anymore, he was left on a bridle path where a kind hearted lady who goes by the name Reese rescued him. She nursed him back to health and started to gain his trust, but due to a lack of time Blue had to move on which is why he came to our yard. There was something special about him that definitely caught my eye, he was not anything special to look at so it was not based on his looks. Blue had many vices, he was very nervous around people, scared of various things and it was very hard to get close to him. Jumping in the deep end again, Blue became my little boy, I knew things would not be easy getting him right but I was ready for a challenge in hope that he would come back round again. It has taken a year to get him to where he is and it has been the best thing I have ever done. I have gained his trust, he trusts me with his life and he knows whatever I do is with his best interest in mind. After that, I saw his true potential, he started to move correctly and boy does he have amazing scope clearing big jumps with ease – especially considering he is only 11hh. Last season we went out showing and we came home with various 1st and second places, a special and even a reserve champion rosette. I am SO proud of my little boy – he is going to stay with me until his very last days.
Until next time…