When I was a little girl, I wanted a pony. Many little girls do, I guess. Growing up in the country, many of my friends had ponies and – although we lived in the town and not on a farm – I didn’t understand why I couldn’t have one too. After all, some of my friends had found agistment (a paddock rent) for their horses, so couldn’t I too? But financially it was out of the question, so I never had a pony of my own.
That is, until we bought Spring Creek. Because then – almost 20 years later – I was finally able to have my own horse. Of course by this stage I was too big for a pony, so my first horse – Jim – was a fine thoroughbred gelding. At only 4 years old he was a lot younger than I was expecting or looking for, but he’s such a gentle soul that he’s been a dream to manage. His fine breeding should make him perfect for dressage, or for racing which is how he began his working life, but he’s simply too sedate to be much good at either of these. However he’s a great companion for me, a bit nervous (he’ll shy at the most bizarre things – like the pile of timber near the neighbour’s gate, or the calves in the paddock across the lane, or the kangaroos if they hop too close!)
And now I love nothing more than arriving at the farm after a string of stressy meetings and deadlines to take Jim for a gallop along the laneways and tracks around the farm. Adrenalin bliss!
Of course, it took me a while to get used to being back in the saddle. It’s fair to say that – like most aspects of the farm – after 20 years’ absence from country living I remembered precious little about it. But over time we’ve worked out together what we needed to do and know.