After a few weeks of uncertainty on the horse front some very good news arrived!
A friend of Kate’s Fiona, who is moving away has two horses that were going to be put on livery at a nearby stables. Fiona needs to find herself and the horses a new place to live in the Dordogne. So it was arranged that Kate & I would look after them until that happened. Kate had looked after the horses before when Fiona had been on holiday. Kate was already very taken with Lissy, a 10 year old piebald mare. She had ridden her before and seen that she had lots of potential. Kate had previously mentioned to me that she had wanted me to help her teach Lissy how to jump for Fiona. So I had heard a lot about Lissy.
Fiona was really pleased that Kate wanted to ride Lissy and look after her at our yard. Although she said Smartie would need to come too. Smartie is 22 years old, she has a bit of arthritis, her breathing can be bad and she has awful sweet itch. To put it bluntly Smartie is high maintenance! Of course Kate said that Smartie could come to the yard too. Hoping that perhaps I would be interested in riding her.
Neither of us knew anything else about Smartie. We had assumed she needed a bit of TLC . She was older. She would be an excellent happy hacker but that would be all she would be able to manage. I was fine with that. I had obviously just stopped riding Mya and I was wanting to find a horse of my own. My husband had just been partially furloughed so now was not the time to purchasing a horse. Smartie sounded lovely as someone I could hack out with my friends and I would then continue to do my lessons at Noelie’s if I wanted to jump or do a bit more.
So, last weekend I went to meet Fiona, Smartie and Lissy at their home. The horses seemed lovely but I must admit all the care Smartie needed seemed daunting at first. Fiona explained that she was happy to give me Smartie to me to treat as my own until she moved her to her new house which wouldn’t be before December at an estimate.
I immediately worried about Smartie’s sweet itch as it was quite bad. However I rode her and she was so safe and calm. She actually could do way more than I had expected! Fiona showed me that she could canter and even jump small fences! I had been under the impression I would just be walking and trotting her if she was up to it! So that was a very pleasant surprise. I went from worrying about her to being very excited that I had a new horse!
Smartie arrived at our yard on Tuesday and she has settled in wonderfully. She is just a joy to be around she is a total school mistress. On Wednesday I spent 4 hours pampering her. I clipped her (my first time ever!), hogged her and bathed her and covered her itchy skin with lotion twice. Kate and I actually were quite worried about how we were doing to manage her sweet itch. It was the worst case we had both seen. However I am delighted to report that after only a few days her skin has drastically improved! She seems far less itchy and she looks so smart like a hunter all clipped and hogged!
I rode her Friday and Sunday and she seemed very happy indeed. She is more forward than when I tried her at Fiona’s. Fiona came to see them on Friday and she was delighted with how she looked all clipped and remarked that Smartie looked very happy. We even had a little jump today! She isn’t stiff at all and her breathing seems to be fine too. So even though I have never been a cob person (sssh don’t tell Smartie) She may be the one that changes my mind! Because this cob can!! She is more than I hoped she would be and I am so glad that she has settled in so well.
Check out some of my other blogs whilst you are here!