Brave and brilliant Mr Bennett

On my birthday in January I enjoyed a ride on a dressage horse for the first time in a year. For Mother’s Day, I took the children to a local point to point to get another dose of horses. We were all having a good time until the horse we backed, Mr Bennett, hit the last fence as he approached the racing post gunning for 1st position. We didn’t notice any problem until we saw the jockey try to stay on board a racehorse who was suddenly moving very strangely. The jockey jumped off just before or after the post, I can’t remember exactly where as we all noticed the horse’s back leg hanging like a sock – completely broken. Within seconds the vet was there to give him a painkiller and the green screen was erected. My children looked on hoping he would be alright but I explained that a broken back leg usually means the horse has to be put down. One minute we were cheering his name, the next we were watching him as the vet had to do what he could for the horses’ likely last moments. 

I reassured my daughter that he died doing what he loved most. But nethertheless it was a sad introduction to horse racing – one moment the thrill of cheering your horse on then the sympathy for the groom, trainer and owner as a beautiful and graceful horse is sadly put to sleep. 

Another analogy for life and it’s peaks, troughs, twists and turns.

I too have lost horses, they are unique beings – once they touch your life, the need to be part of the horse world – in whatever shape or form – is perpetual.

They are brave too – Mr Bennett crossed the line on 3 legs and still came 3rd – an amazing horse. 

This blog is for UNICEF.

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Fallen from Grace

I feel for depressives. The sun was shining, it was a day to spend with family but could I help feeling blue? No. It was beyond my capability even to try. The reason is two-fold, time of the month plus no sleep = depressive cocktail. Its no good thinking of all the reasons why you should be thankful for the led you have got. If you feel shit, you feel shit. My husband tried to bring me round but I couldn’t even make eye contact with him. Being in he house trying o entertain children while hubby busied himself in the garden seemed to compound feelings of blues and frustration.

So we took a walk with the dogs. We literally had to drag my daughter out of the house kicking and screaming as she hates walking (has done ever since she was 2). Walking along the country lanes holding my daughter’s hand, I tried to enjoy the birds singing the pretty sunlit village and the general surroundings but my brain was determined to feel glum. My eyes pricked with tears for no apparent reason but I tried to fight them. After a couple of attempts I just cried as I walked along and let the breeze gently dry the tears on my cheeks. I started to feel better as we came off the country lanes and wound our way along a path running between fields of two racehorse studs. A dark bay gelding with a wonky white stripe down his face ambled over and pushed his nose over the fence to say hello. He was wearing a leather headcollar with his name on a brass plate ‘Fallen From Grace’. He was inquisitive and kept trying o sniff my husband’s jacket and trousers and my ears. Little boy giggled as he nuzzles at his feet hanging from the backpack carrier behind my husband. Ask I patted the neck of the horse I felt the last bits of angst and general feeling down emotions ebb away. We then carried on into a woodland and stopped for a break on a circle of wood stumps and enjoyed the surroundings. It was then that I felt back to my normal self.

So much so that when I returned to the path we had followed earlier, couldn’t believe I was the same person  treading that path, who, only an hour earlier had felt so low trying to feel positive and failing.

I would have liked to say watching the children enjoy their play and eat their ice creams from the ice-cream van complete with a chocolate flake cheered my soul, but this was only very temporary.

It was a woodland walk and a chance meeting with ‘Fallen From Grace’ that finally lifted my spirits.

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Thanks for reading.