So something I have failed to mention, purely because I know as soon as anyone reads it, they will be able to identify me (if they know me) as the writer of this blog, but i’m getting to the point now that a) I don’t care and b) I want to talk about more things that are important to me.
From the age of three, I rode horses. I think at the very beginning my mother decided to get me horse riding to improve my posture (not sure how that works because most horse riders walk like John Wayne!!) and I got bitten by the bug. Fast forward eight years and I got my first pony, not my own, only a shared – loan (so I had three/four days per week) but at least it was something and to me, it was the best thing in the world. Admittedly, thinking back now, I wonder if it was a place for my parents to ‘dump’ me; at 11 years old I was left at the stables all weekend, 8am to 6pm, left to my own devices. In this day and age, that would never happen, especially as if I so wished to, I would go out riding round the roads on my own.
I remember one day I took the pony out, and got lost. I started to cry, and some lovely man stopped his car, got out and came up to me on the side of the road. He asked me if I was ok and offered his mobile phone so I could call my parents. I was so upset that I was lost I didn’t see the significance of his kindness or what he would have thought about the situation. Of course, if I saw an 11 year old child, on horseback, in floods of tears at the side of the road, I would stop too, of course I would. But surely the question should be asked, should I have been allowed to get into that situation in the first place?
Over the following years I had a string of shared-loan or loan ponies and horses until I finally got my own horse at the age of 16, Buddy. He was beautiful, and especially wonderful as he was all mine. Unfortunately, within a few months of having him, he started to show signs of lameness, which eventually we found out was a symptom of navicular syndrome (a problem horses get with their feet).
I want to talk about a situation which arose while I had buddy, because now I have a deeper understanding of my own mind, I understand why it was allowed to happen.
In the UK, unless we are lucky enough to have our own land and stables, most people keep their horses at places called ”livery yards”. This is basically a farm with stables and land, which you pay for rental each week for a stable, some grassland and use of the facilities. When I bought buddy I moved him to a yard closed to my house, which from the outset, appeared perfect. I will call the owners Tom and Sally (this is not their names but they are EVIL people and I don’t want to risk my talking about them being exposed and the possible repercussions).
In the beginning, all was well. Tom and Sally lived in a house at the yard and seemed lovely, I became friendly with them and used to go into their house for cups of tea and ‘chats’. Tom had emphaseama (not sure how to spell that, the condition in the lungs?) and smoked like a train, as did Sally. We was an old man, disgusting, foul mouthed, farting, coughing, spluttering, all the things I can’t stand in a person, but something drew me to them and made me continue the friendship, perhaps I felt I was special as they were the owners and I was being invited into their home.
Within a short time, things started to turn a little sour. I can’t remember complete specifics as I may have blocked a few things out, but I remember a few incidents; one day my horse had a cough, and sometimes when horses have things like that it can be caused by being in the stable too much as the dust from the shavings bed can affect their lungs. I got down there in the evening to find Tom had installed a metal grate across the door of the stable, not even allowing Buddy to put his head out over the door. He said he couldn’t put up with him spluttering all over the aisle, but I believe he was just trying to victimise me.
At the time, I was a frequent visitor on an internet forum dedicated to horses. I decided (being very immature at 16) I would post on there about the problems I had been having with Tom and Sally, not being very complimentary about them AT ALL. Unfortunately for me, Tom had a lot of time on his hands and I didn’t realise, but was following my every move. He printed off the ‘accusations’ I had made and told me he would be reporting me to the police for slander.
My relationship with Tom and Sally is another example of the intensity a relationship can reach, before suddenly hitting a threshold and then going into self destruct mode. Of course, I had no diagnosis at the time, I just thought I was a bad person.
Following further incidents, I moved Buddy to another local livery yard and tried to get on with my life. Despite a few small incidents, like Tom trying to run me and my horse over, or run me off the road when I was on my bike and I met him coming towards me with his lorry, all went quiet.
To be continued!
Take care. x