Facing my fear of horses – an introduction to Horse tails from Wales

Jan and Lili.png

Well hello! A very warm welcome to one and all. Now as this is a first for Your Horse magazine, I know you may be wondering who on earth I am and what I am doing here, so let me tell you all about it and what you can expect from ‘Horse Tails From Wales’ and the blogs to follow.

Firstly, a very brief introduction of myself and my horse for you, and then I can blog on and talk to my hearts content about my riding lessons, my fears and anxieties, my overthinking, my zero confidence levels and of course as I learn, develop, grow and gain confidence, how the lessons quickly developed into enjoyment.

The learning of this new skill of riding a horse began for me just three years ago, and it quickly became my passion.

Jan the human and Lili the horse

I am Jan Bavister, I am 59 years of age and live in a small village in Anglesey, North Wales, UK. I work for the NHS part time, and when I am not at work I spend most, if not all, of my spare time around my horse.

Her name is Aberpennar Lili Ddu – she gets the full title in this opening blog you know – born and raised in Ireland, she lived with her breeder, owner and trainer Susan Drum for nine years and this lady has made Lili the horse she is today.

Lili is simply amazing to me and the love of my life. However, her name is not Irish, it actually has Welsh roots:  ‘Aberpennar’ means Mountain Ash (this is the area her first owner used to live), then we have ‘Lili’ which means ‘flower’ in Welsh, and finally we have ‘ Ddu’ which means black in Welsh, and then it all makes sense when I tell you Lili, as she is known to us, is a beautiful black cob 15hh, a mare, Welsh section D aged 12 years old. 

There you go – you get a lesson in Welsh too!

That’s us in the picture by the way, but there will be more about Lili in the blogs to follow – she comes along much later. First we need to go back to the very beginning of my new and very scary (to start with) horsey adventure!

My blogging

Horse Tails From Wales became the title of a little weekly write up I starting doing on social media, and it was generally just to let my family and friends know how I was getting on with my horse riding lessons which started just a few weeks before my 56th birthday.

I was a late starter in life but with good reason – I was terrified of horses, and I mean terrified!  

My family and friends loved reading my little ‘Horse Tails’ and so many readers used to comment saying I should do something with it, so here I am!

I’ll share all about me hanging upside down on a 16.2hh horse called Gus while the instructor Rachel Billington just stood watching in amazement and laughing (far too hard for my liking) as I was dearly clinging with one leg to the saddle and horse. She tells me it is a vision she will never forget. Fear not, this was not on lesson one.

So, that’s the introductions made – I hope you’ll join me as I go back in time and relive where it all began for me. The next instalment will be up tomorrow! 

Happy reading, happy riding, happy Horse Tails From Wales!

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