To all horses, happy birthday – August 1st being the birthday for all horses in Australia. (Officially for the Thoroughbred breed, but unofficially for all.)
Especially to my own through all my years of riding.
Nicholas, my beautiful ex-racehorse who became a super dressage horse and show hack and a wonderful friend. An elegant, beautifully built copper bay from Victoria who came to live in Tasmania and then on my marriage, returned to Victoria to live out his days on my husband’s family farm.
And to Fred, my quarter horse. Never was I required to be on my toes quite so much. Riding him was like riding a bottle of ginger beer, shaking it up with the lid on and then letting the top explode! Fred realised very early on that I was boring and that he needed someone who would let him compete in anything fast with hairpin turns.
And finally to my beloved Spot – my mate of many, many years, and who was registered with the ridiculous name of Reckless Barefoot Boy.
We trekked with friends along beaches and bushtracks.
We rode in shows and judges hated his Appaloosa colouring.
We competed in breed classes and he won mega ribbons for his fine Appaloosa bearing. This selection is just one day at a show!
We competed in Endurance events and despite his long back and delicate legs he passed all the vet checks at every gate.
We got injured together.
We played pick up sticks together.
We chatted away for hours and he listened when I needed to talk (or sing), as long as I had a brush in my hand.
He called to me every day from his paddock, until I turned up with an apple, carrot or bread and then knickered as I walked toward him.
So to all equine friends everywhere, may your days be filled with large cup cake versions of green pasture, lovely mashes, fragrant hay and love and caring all round!