My mum used to tell me stories of her riding when she was younger and it made me want to start riding myself and own my own one day!
I was about 10 years old at the time, I asked Mum and Dad to take me for riding lessons but we lived in the city, so there wasn’t a riding school for miles. Mum and Dad made the decision to move to the beautiful Norfolk countryside, and fortunately for me, a riding school was on the same road! So Mum booked my first lesson!
As we drove in, there was a young woman trying to get hold of a grey horse, he was giving her the run about. Every time she tried to get a grip on him, he would run in the opposite direction. I said to Mum, I hope that’s not the horse with a chuckle.
I went into the office and paid for my lesson and waited for the instructor, she said ‘come with me you will be riding Finn’, and out we went! to my dismay I found it was the grey that had been running a mock in the yard earlier!
I thought I’ve got one here!
However it was the best lesson ever! Finn was the naughtiest horse on the yard! Difficult to control, constantly throwing people off during lessons. The yard needed weekend help so I volunteered; payment was a free ride after working the weekend, mucking out 18 stables in winter, and with no turnout until summer, I then did an NVQ in horse management because I knew this was the life I wanted!
During this time, the owner had a board up for horses to loan and Finn came up so I decided to loan him, as I was so desperate to have my own! We stayed on this yard throughout my NVQ; I began to learn what a difficult horse he can be! He couldn’t be lead in a head collar, it had to be a bridle otherwise he would drag you in the opposite direction!
He was a nightmare every time I rode him I would get thrown off he was so naughty! One day I had enough of his antics and said ‘that’s it! He’s not getting away with this any more’ and I marched down the field bridle in hand, put it on him and marched him back, determined to sort him out, saddled him up and we rode in the school. I wouldn’t let him get away with anything any more!
Once I had shown him who was boss, we bonded and became inseparable.
At the end of my NVQ, the owner put the stables up for sale and asked if I wanted to buy Finn! I did, of course! We moved to a new yard to start new adventures! We did a few shows together hacked and galloped through the stubble, he is the best little pony and always tries his best for me. 11 years and two children later we are both semi-retired, hacking out and enjoying life…
Just me and him until the end.
Thank you so much in taking an interest in my little story of me and my boy.
Follow Sam’s journey here: https://www.instagram.com/saamm_1/ and https://www.instagram.com/blacksmiths_gardens/