I didn't start learning to ride until May 2010 and for the entire summer of that year was injured. My first year of riding was not that solid but since April last year, I've not missed a ride. I can walk, sit and rise trot, canter, and have started learning transitions and diagonals on a variety of horses. Come and join me on my adventures with my horsey friends all done with no sight on my part. don't feel afraid to ask me any questions. being blind and a horse rider is new, interesting and very exciting. So I hope you can gain something from reading this.

Monday, 30 January 2012

A Horsey Tail for You

I thought I'd share some of my fictional writing with you today. it's a work in progress and this is just the first chapter but enjoy! Hello, there! Welcome to Hummingbird Farm. And more importantly, welcome to my stables. My name’s Kihanna and I own the farm. It’s a beautiful place set in the middle of the English countryside near one of our most treasured natural landscapes of the Lake District. I live here with my two children, Jasmine who is fifteen and Danny who is eleven along with our two crazy labradors, Amber and Topaz, a bunch of nutty chickens and a cockerel who can’t tell the time, but I’m guessing you’re not interested in any of that, are you? You’ve come to visit my nine horses and one fat pony, haven’t you? Well, yes, I don’t blame you. Although you may run into the other animals and some of the human occupants along your journey here. But I’m sure you all don’t mind that. I’ve wanted the world to know my precious horses tales for such a long time. But I can only give you half that tale. For as you know, horses hold many secrets from us, not intentionally . In fact, it’s more like they tell us their secrets, but most people never hear them. So now is your chance to open your ears and listen to the story from the horse’s mouth. Enter Diamond, my treasured mare. Isn’t she sweet? Kihanna, I mean. I have to say, she knows a lot about us horses as she does indeed listen. as does Jasmine, her foal? No, that’s not right is it? Humans have children, not foals, silly me! Well, as Kihanna kindly said, I am one of her favourites. a horse does tend to hold her head high when she hears her mistress say such lovely things to strangers and, Miss Jasmine and Miss Kihanna do say many lovely things about me. Always of how my coat is gleaming and shiny, while my gait is smooth and forward, and my temperament is kind and gentle but let me tell you something, good horses exist because of good owners. The kinder your master or mistress is to you, the happier your life will be. We at Hummingbird Farm are always taken care of, treated well, given a gentle guiding hand, and never beaten or hurt. The worst thing to happen to a horse around these parts are only things that will in the long run, be the better for we horses. Now I’ve praised my owners, let me tell you something about good old Hummingbird. As Kihanna rightly said, the farm is in the Lake District, and I know this as we have been to see these beautiful lakes and Ebony and I once swam in them much to Mistress Jasmine’s delight. There are many trees and hills surrounding us and the air is oh so very clean. To reach our farm you enter through a bumpy road, up a small hillside. Once you reach the gate, you continue straight on, past the farm house and the chicken coup to another set of gates, one to your right and the other to your left. The right gate leads into the stable yard and the left into a training arena or a school. You can guess which we like best for different reasons. The yard is always clean and has a paddock to the south with a stream running to the west of the stables. The grass is so green and fresh, as though an artist just painted it that morning. The summer days show off its true beauty with a pearlescent, deep, blue sky with cotton wool balls of clouds. The apple trees in the orchard to the east give off their sweet, crisp perfume and the stacks of hay always make us feel joyful! My stall in the stable yard is in the first block, second door along, next door to Phoenix to my left and Ebony to my right. I love this place and all my friends here in it. And I did know two other places before Hummingbird, one was a good place like this, but my second place was somewhere I can never call home. Kihanna brought me here when I was six years old, as the humans would say, and I’ve been here ever since, thankfully. So I’m guessing you want to meet everyone, right? Come along, lets go and meet my friends and family. The sun is bright in a sapphire blue summer sky as a gleaming white mare grazes by the fence in a green field surrounded by trees. She lifts her head and a knowing look in her eye lets you know she’s waiting. Tossing her elegant neck and allowing her flaxen mane to fly about in the warm summer morning air, she lets out a long, meaningful whinney. At once a huge stallion gallops from the other side of the field to stand beside her. His chestnut coat glittering in the sunshine and his tail swishing with delight and affection. “Diamond,” He nuzzles her, “What is it?” “Nothing, my dear Phoenix, except, look!” She tilts her bright eyes down the track leading to their paddock and the gelding turns his handsome head to look to where her gaze falls. a pretty young girl opens the gate leading into the stable yard. Her long, strawberry blond hair, tied up in a messy pony tail while her soft blue eyes display the sheer devotion she feels toward the animals she’s come to care for. “Jasmine’s here!” exclaims ebony, a playful mare as rich in colour as her name. The three friends watch the young girl as she pulls off her jacket, no doubt only put on when her mother had insisted on the cool air outdoors. She walked to the water pump and began to run it into one of the huge buckets that were lined up along the fence. It had rained the previous night, and the multicoloured rugs that the horses wore had kept them all warm. Diamond stretched her neck as Ebony began to greet Jasmine with zeal. “Morning, ebby,” Jasmine’s quick and quiet hands ran over the Ebony coloured horse. Her eyes bright with happiness and enjoyment. “Diamond, Phoenix, come here. Let me have a look at you.” Diamond trotted elegantly across the field toward the young mistress. Her mane and tail flying out as she sped up. “Whoa, girl!” Jasmine nuzzled the brilliantly white coloured horse. “You silly mare. Did you miss me?” Phoenix strolled up dignity evident in his pretty brown eyes. He and Diamond had been together for years. It was here where he’d began to love his fellow creatures and the humans that took care of him. Diamond nickered her response and Jasmine stroked the white nose and returned to her bucket. Onyx cantered over to stand near Ebony as Gypsy stayed in the far corner. Pippa wobbled over to the gate, waiting to be brought in for her breakfast as Sandy and Molly played a frequent game of roll in the grass. As Jasmine started to fill another bucket, she opened the tack room and came out with a small head collar. “It’s me! It’s me!” Pippa danced on her legs and whinnied her approval of being brought in first. “Now, now, Pippa,” Phoenix nudged her. “Wait patiently. You know Jasmine won’t open the gate while you’re behaving like that”. at the older horse’s words, Pippa calmed and stood back from the gate so Jasmine could open it safely and waited. “Hey Jazz!” another girl’s voice called. “It’s Jess!” diamond tossed her head happily. Ebony poked her way to the fence to watch Jess walk up the lane and open the stable yard gate. “Wanna help me get some of these crazies in?” Jasmine called, knowing her friend’s voice without turning around. They seem eager this morning, which will be good if we’re hacking today. You remembered your hat, didn’t you?” “ooooh,” Ebony nudged Onyx. “I bet I go. Wish you’d let Jess ride you. You know Jasmine would take Phoenix!” He didn’t respond and just pawed the ground with his hooves. Onyx and Ebony were as black as they come. Ebony had a star white blaze on her head and Onyx was black from nose to tail. They’d been with each other from foals, although not blood related but they were as close as Sandy and Molly were. Ebony nuzzled his sleek, dark neck in understanding. It had been hard for him to trust new people after losing their good owner. and so much guilt weighed on his heart as she’d been leading him in out of the field when it happened. He just stood there, over her body, hoping for human help but no one came. Ebony knew he was so faithful and loved their owner so much that he would never have done anything else but the guilt of it still remained heavy on his shoulders. “Ebony!” Jess called, her sweet, kind voice ringing out and Ebony immediately trotted toward her. “Good morning, my beautiful friend. How are you?” She spoke quietly and her hands were quick and efficient on the head collar’s buckles and yet her hand confident as she led Ebony out of the field and into her stable. Pippa and Onyx were next. Followed by Phoenix and Sandy with Molly. Jasmine opened the gate and smiled sadly as she saw gypsy grazing in the far off corner of the paddock. “She’ll never learn to trust, will she?” Jess’s voice was beside Jazmine then and she shrugged, uncertainly. “Is she the last?” “Ebby, Onyx, Diamond, Phoenix, Sandy, Molly, Pippa, and Gypsy is over there, but where is Luna?” Jasmine looked worried as she scanned the paddock. “If that pony is hiding again, I’ll make her work all day in the school!” “No, you won’t,” Jess laughed as they closed the gate and walked into the paddock together. Each held a head collar, one that fit a sad horse who would do anything to avoid trusting and one that fit a cheeky little bay horse. “Luna!” Jasmine called. “Luna,loo?” At that very moment, a rustling from the far end, where some trees grew high above the paddock, giving natural shelter when it was too hot or wet, a pony, as tall as Jasmine, came cantering along the field. Jess and Jasmine ran aside allowing the light bay pony with the cheekiest face gallop to the gate and turn to look at them as though she’d been waiting her lifetime for them to open the gate and feed her her breakfast. “You’re such a diva,” Jess laughed, walking to fetch Luna into her stable to begin the munch. As she opened the gate to lead the pony, who was behaving relatively well, for such an early morning walk with a human, a crunch of tyres was heard and all the horses, hay in mouths, poked their heads around the opened doors to see who was here. But they already knew who it was. “Kihanna!” Diamond whinnied her greeting as Kihanna, warm faced and with kind eyes opened the yard gate and came in as luna’s door was shut behind her. “Everyone in, then?” Kihanna asked Jess as she unlocked the office that was next to the gate. “Jasmine’s trying to get Gypsy in, now,” Jess replied, filling Luna’s bucket with clear water. “I’m going to have to work with her today while you girls are out hacking and before the lessons start this afternoon. can you make sure she’s got fresh water before Jazz gets her in?” Jess nodded as Kihanna walked into her office and looked in her bookings book for the day’s clients. “Think she’ll ever trust them?” Diamond asked Phoenix as she munched her hay over the stable door. He was looking out sadly over the field to where Jasmine, patiently tried to put the head collar on the dark bay horse who’d been so badly treated by humans, she couldn’t believe these ones were any different. “If she can’t learn to trust Kihanna and Jasmine, she’ll never trust anyone,” Phoenix commented sadly. “They’re the best humans possible!” Diamond nodded her elegant head and they both went back to their hay bars.

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