The student's horse: Halted at X for the summer

Meet Georgie, our newest blogger and her furry friend, Sheamus. When Georgie's not using Sheamus as a revision tool for uni, you can find the pair galavanting around the countryside. In her first blog, Georgie explains why both her and Sheamus are currently having an impromptu break... 

Hi everyone! I’m Georgie, I’m 21 years old and currently in the midst of completing a degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy.

I share my university experience with my best friend and partner in crime, Sheamus.

He’s a 16hh Irish Sport Horse/Chief attention seeker. He has four (very rarely) white socks and an obsession with mud, acquiring it in all the hard-to-reach areas (even on his eyelashes).

He comes to university with me each year, often spending his afternoons covered in post-it notes and pastel paint as I struggle to learn everything anatomy wise. He’s a pretty good-looking revision tool, if I do say so myself! 

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     A very round Sheamus, enjoying what I like to think is a spot of Yoga? 

A very round Sheamus, enjoying what I like to think is a spot of Yoga? 

To kick things off, I thought I’d do a quick round trip of the (nearly) two years I’ve owned Sheamus, just so you can get to know us a little better. 

Before buying Sheamus, I’d had a couple of horse-free years, but I decided to embark upon a degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy.

I wasn’t sure whether it was for me, but gradually the tea-time conversation began to seem more natural again and visiting friends’ horses was fun and little by little the bug was coming back.

I rode a couple of times in my first semester but by god I ached and was a little rusty.

Overtime, I enjoyed lectures more and more and the passion I’d chosen to forget about was coming back.

I think we can all guess what comes next, right?

Finding the one

I began the horse search and much to my surprise, with the complete backing of my parents who said ‘I knew it, I knew you wouldn’t be able to go there without falling back in love with it’.

So, armed with a budget and an army of dedicated friends who enjoyed horse shopping as much as me, we embarked on a search that eventually found me Sheamus midway through my first year at university.

I’m a nutter I know.

When I tried him out, he intimidated me, a lot, I didn't even need to ask his owner if he 'over-horsed' me because I knew he did.

I hadn't jumped a horse in over a year but over a fairly wide, 1m oxer he looked after me, he (as I was told) did a good job of covering up my not-so-polished technique.

 At that moment, he sold himself to me, we had him vetted and we picked him up the next day.

He arrived at our yard and settled in instantly, immediately stuffing his face with hay. Although very timid, he was affectionate and eventually I gained his trust – our first three weeks were spent doing plenty of groundwork and riding without a saddle as I was yet to find a well-fitting one. 

From there we came on leaps and bounds, we enjoyed long hacks in the sunshine and began with clinics and lessons and then some unaffiliated dressage and show jumping.

Fast forward almost two years, we’ve completed the odd few unaffiliated ODE and our first BE (at Horseheath last year).

When I snuck Sheamus on to university campus for a selfie…

When I snuck Sheamus on to university campus for a selfie…

Becoming a Your Horse blogger 

So…why blogging? I enjoy writing, but sometimes my brain gets a little pained from academic writing, so I decided to share the highs and lows of my adventure at university, with you lovely bunch.

However, that adventure is briefly (the briefer, the better) on hold as at our first run of the season, a preparatory hunter trial, I’ve acquired a fractured pelvis.

To give you a brief overview, my darling horse Sheamus loves to be in control out cross country.

While he expertly takes me on a terrific stride 96% of the time, he also likes to choose the gear in which we take those strides – a gear that happens to be at 100mph.

Unfortunately, on this occasion I was unable to steady him up, so, one steep hill down and an un-characteristic refusal at a log pile later, I was seeing stars (metaphoric stars because it was actually a lovely blue sky).

Approximately 1 minute before disaster struck!

Approximately 1 minute before disaster struck!

Anyway, fast forward two weeks and here I’m just about allowed off total box rest (I’ll go with a language we’re all familiar with) with some gentle hand walking, aided by a crutch.

Now, I’d like to take this time to sympathise with horses who may have had to spend a period of time on box rest, it’s tough and I think I may be going slightly insane.

Aided by my wonderful family (including my brilliantly, un-horsey mother) who wouldn’t know their five point martingales from their grackle nosebands; along with George, my brilliant boyfriend/self-taught equine photographer/now turned nurse, I’m starting to feel, dare I say it, a little more stable and not so broken.

No love lost between us…after snorting at/ pretending to be scared of my crutch we had a few remorseful kisses & of course he got some Stud Muffins.

No love lost between us…after snorting at/ pretending to be scared of my crutch we had a few remorseful kisses & of course he got some Stud Muffins.

While I have a good few months before I’m back eventing, I hope to keep you all entertained with the trials and tribulations of a less that compliant patient and a horse that revels in attention (except if it’s removing mud from his eyelashes).

Love and good health,

Georgie x