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Three Years Put Into Words - Year One
 By Padfoot   •   10th Aug 2010   •   2,470 views   •   3 comments
Here is my view on Toffee, I have never given up on him. That is what ruins a lot of horses, people giving up. They do one thing wrong and it's over, their not wanted. I could never pronounce my boy useless, after everything we've gone through, the hate, the wounds, the pain. It was all worth it.

This is year one. 2007. My first and one of the more grueling years.

Mothering Sunday, March, 2007.
I received a call from my father at 7AM informing me and my mother he had a surprise planned for me later that day. So, he picked me up at 5:30pm, I noticed my hat, whip and body protector in the back of the car, though ignored the fact and presumed I was just having an extra lesson. But when he started heading 20 miles in the wrong direction I then questioned him.

"Where are we going, Bee's is in the other direction..." I said.

"We're going see a potential new horse" He informed me without moving his gaze from the road.

"But I don't want another horse! I don't want it! I've only been riding a year!" I shouted at him, getting angered by the very thought.

"We are going Charlotte, end of discussion" My Father gave the words in a firm tone.

"I hate you! You should respect what I want! I hate you! I don't want a new horse! After Fizz and Jerry!" I screamed at him, tears filling my eyes.

We didn't share anymore words after my final defense. He soon pulled up at Ashley Farm and I reluctantly got out. Meeting a very cheery Jane, his owner, I smiled weakly, greeting her before meeting Toffee. I mounted him up before riding him and suddenly something was there, instantly. There was some connection between me and the cherry bay New Forest cross Thoroughbred. We formed some form of bond. I had the confidence to work him to the best of my ability. By the time I had dismounted I was in love.

Two weeks on
Two weeks later he was mine, we moved him to a yard that was suitable and licensed for children to ride. I didn't move him, Jane and Jess, her daughter, moved him for us. Jane told us he would be fine here since he was together with the horse we moved him with for eight years.

The next day, we tried to load him. It started just me and my father, I knew how to load from Fizz and Jerry. I was told he would load easily. I casually started to walk in, giving a gentle tug as he stopped glancing back. Though as I gave him a more forceful tug he reared up. I tensed myself, not letting go, exhaling deeply before walking him in a circle as dad got two friends to help us. Holding lunge lines either side of the trailer, bringing them in as I tried to load him again. Though as he reared up fully I did the worse thing, I screamed, causing him to come down harshly catching my elbow. He fractured it though I ignored it, taking a deep breath and continuing. Three hours later we managed to load him, taking him to my lesson, he worked well.

He loaded perfectly going home. It was only when my father took me to the hospital we realized it was a fracture. Putting me out of the saddle for six weeks. I hated him for it, I was in a mood with Toffee but I knew I had to get back on once healed. Otherwise I would be in total fear of him.

During the six weeks
I still went up, grooming him, building trust. I needed to get the confidence to get back on and build the basic bond between me and Toffee. I didn't want to. but I had to, I was terrified of what he would do to me. My father and Vanessa, his girlfriend at the time made me do it, but now I'm thankful for it. It's because I didn't give up, well rather, my father didn't give up.

I was preparing for my first showJune 20th 2007
I was preparing for my first show. It was a 1'9 show jump, though we came third in the class. It was Warminster Saddle Club Summer show. I had done it the year before on Chico, a riding school pony. With Toffee I did the 1'9 before attempting the 2'3 though we had the first three fences down-elimination. I didn't punish him or anything, it was just too much too soon. We settled just for the third before taking him home.

We thought he'd sorted his loading issue as he wasn't playing up as much. He would hesitate but between me and my dad we could to get him in by loading him in his bridle. We'd load him by clipping the lead rope onto the bit so if he pulled he would only hurt himself more.

Other competitions
We did small competitions through out out the years, including Abbotswood one day event. We didn't place in any of them. I still haven't till this day. But it was the thrill of doing it all. Dressage, showjumping and cross country, fifteen move dressage test, a nine jump show jump course and a twenty one jump cross country course over five fields, endurance, balance, concentration, preservation. It was all included in one day, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

In one year I learned so much, but not once did I give up on Toff. He was my little star, my hope. He still is and he is fifteen now. I will also do an article on just him.

Stay tuned for the next few years.

Love,
Girleh x
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  Padfoot
Dreamer100  
I looking forward to hearing more about you and the other years and Toffee also. I think you guys are doing pretty.
I had a jumping accident 2 years ago, in 2007 and it took me until 2010 to do any jumping over 18 inches again. I think you are pretty bold and you can keep on improving, of course.
I loved this article, and I would love to hear more. You can message me if you want to, or just read this.
  Aug 11, 2010  •  1,534 views
 
bambam roxs  
great story!!YOU CANT TRAILER A HORSE IN A BIT!!!!!!you could rip him mouth open!!!!!!
  Aug 11, 2010  •  1,524 views
 
Padfoot  
Thanks dreamer. I have left bits and pieces out of this article as I have included it in others :) x These are the main highlights of the year. Years 2+3 are the best In my opinion :P
  Aug 12, 2010  •  1,884 views
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