Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Never Forgotten

Wombat was my first pony. I got him when I was 12 years old. I have no idea how old he was then, but he still had some dappling on his bum that first summer, so I think below 15 yo. He was a little 14.1hh, flea bitten grey arab welsh cross. He taught me everything. He taught me about love, about trust. He taught me how to sit a buck, a rear, how to pull up a bolting horse. He taught me how to jump (he would pop over anything I had the guts to point him at). He taught me how to fall off, and how to get straight back on again. He gave me the confidence I have today. He gave me my sanity when the kids at school were being particularly cruel to me. He was my 'Pom', my boy, and it broke my heart when he died.

Six months or so after Pom died (put down due to colic), I went to look at a free OTTB. He was a friend of a friend of a friend's horse. His name was Gus. He was fat, had a chewed-out tail, and looked HUGE to me. He was 14 years old, and 16hh. I thought Pom was athletic, but Beckham (I re-named him of course), once he was fit, he was something else! Loved a good gallop, could pop over jumps (although I needed to hold him together and it wasn't something he enjoyed too much). He taught me what it meant to get a lazy, downhill TB to go in a frame, to step under, to give to the bit. He taught me that it is not always love at first sight with a horse, that it can take a while to form a bond with your horse. But once that bond was formed, it was very strong. I loved loved loved that horse. He had plenty of problems, from cancer on the third eye lid (which he went in to the clinic to have surgically removed), to repeated bouts of anemia, and too many colic episodes to count. He taught me what to look for in a colic, what a light gassy colic was, what a heavy-bubbly-guts colic was, when to call the vet and when to wait it out. Becks is the reason I listen to gut sounds almost every night after they have eaten their dinner. Just in case.
One of the best moments we had together was not long before he died, on our last ride out. We were cantering along the trail (we were by ourselves), and Becks as per usual, was being a bit herd-bound on our way back, being very strong. I was half halting, and then.... click. We connected, he became so light in the forehand and his ears flipped back to listen to me. It was that fairy-tale rocking horse canter you always hear people boasting about. It was perfect. I will always remember that moment when all the schooling, all the hours of coaxing him into a frame just came together, finally.
He was a horse that loved a quiet moment. I would be busy tacking up or brushing or something, and he would turn his head to me and put his nose right where I would cuddle it. And he would stay there, for minutes sometimes, seeming to stall me, prolong the moment. God I miss him. I lost him (put down due to colic, anyone see a pattern here?) in March this year.

Roughly six months after Becks died, I got Allie. Which was only about a month ago. She is quickly shaping up to be a very lovely horse. She is very loving, like Becks, always ready for a snuggle. :)

I will never forget my boys.

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