A horse is a horse, of course

Please forgive what is a bit of a self indulgent blog but today is an important day. On this day 15 years ago my life changed dramatically. I hadn’t expected it but I made a choice in my life that had a huge impact.

A decade and a half ago I became responsible for my beautiful equine companion Edward. Many people who know me will know how important Edward is in my life. I can see the moment I took control so clearly. I arrived at the stables to see that he had been moved into the stable I was paying for. It was early afternoon on a sunny September day so he was sin on his own as the rest of the yard inhabitants were still in the field. His sizeable head was hanging over the stable door and snoozing as I arrived.

I could not have foreseen what lay ahead of us on that sunny autumn day and it didn’t matter because I was so in the moment. Since that day in 2003 I have a huge amount of fun, have competed in serious dressage competitions, met and had lessons with some of the top dressage riders, watched dressage at the 2012 Olympics in London and trained as a dressage judge. All this was only possible because of the confidence that Edward gave me and still gives me.

More than all those things I have learnt some incredibly valuable life lessons in the last 15 years.

In a world where things are disposable and people have a short attention span I have had the dedication and commitment to looking after Edward. I make decisions to ensure he has the best of everything and I organise my life around his needs. I didn’t do this for a day, a week or a few years but for 15 of his 22 years and counting.

There are things I cannot afford to do so that I can balance the budget and ensure he has what he needs. It often makes me laugh that when people hear you have a horse they think you have money. I say I have a horse that is why I don’t have any money.

As he had got older those costs have increased just like with older people he has a few health issues now that I have to work with vets to manage. All that is fine I just had to change a few things in my life to ensure we could keep funding the necessary treatments.

Above all this 15 years has given me more than I could have ever imagined. The strong bond we have comes from weathering the rollercoaster of life together. (If it sounds like a marriage then it is a little bit and has lasted longer than many marriages.) I have felt such love from this connection. I have become responsible. I know commitment and dedication to getting up early every day to go and look after him.

Today became Edward’s official birthday so there will be some cake, cards and presents later. It is a time to celebrate and say thank you for everything we have enjoyed together.

Happy birthday Edward.

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