Everyone always asks me, which I find so bizarre, which horse is your favourite. I can’t choose, I don’t think I would ever be able to. All the horses I’ve ridden or even looked after mean so much to me, they have all taught me something different and helped me develop. I love their individual personalities and weird character traits, I like to encourage them.
Last weekend we said goodbye to one of my lovely old horses, he retired young because he had dodgy stifles. We put him on grass retirement with friends who have an enormous field of other retired horses. It was always in the back of our minds that one day his stifles would deteriorate but who knew how long he would have. He had a lovely 6 years getting fat and happy playing with his friends. That sits well with me that even though he no longer could work we gave him a life and good one at that.
Quibble was enormous, a ridiculously kind soul but an absolute terror. Some of my most scary moments with a horse came when I had him at Hartpury, he flipped over on me, bolted away when I was lunging him (post being squashed) jumped a 5 bar gate and galloped through Hartpury stable block.
But I actually love these memories, apart from the unbelievable pain, bruising and swelling it was a ‘learning moment’, that was big horses do not like lots of little ponies with small children.
Funnily enough after that experience we decided Hartpury yard was not the right place for him.
We did have fun times though, he was a beautiful horse and he was mine, bought for me, my first show jumping project. He moved beautifully and I loved learning how to work such a powerful horse, he could jump but he was never going to be ‘a superstar’ but that’s ok because he never needed to be.
I feel crappy that I didn’t see him more often but as always that useless saying of ‘I’m just so busy’.
It felt like he recognised me when went to say goodbye, or maybe that’s just his lovely nature….or the endless supply of carrots. I’m so glad I said goodbye, I cried ugly tears, it will never ever be easy to say goodbye to such a beautiful, precious soul. I feel endless amount of sadness about losing such a beautiful horse but I feel proud that we could give him a home for life with love and care until the horrible decision had to be made.
Rest in Peace and Happiness Quibble you were a gentleman with an incredibly cheeky side to you. I feel proud to of owned and loved and had the pleasure being your human.