Whether it was a riding school pony you saw once a week, or your horse of a lifetime you nursed through their veteran years, our horses have done a lot for us. To mark national #saythankyou day on 4 July 2021, we asked our readers what they have to thank their horses for, and this is what they said…
‘I was going to give up’
“After I lost my beloved mare, I was going to give up horses for good as I couldn’t bond with any after that. Then I was offered an unbroken three year old called Jenson,” says Ellen Patrick.
“He’s a star with my children — we backed and trained him. He’s now seven years old and made me proud in jumping, dressage and showing.
“We’ve had challenges along the way with his health — and no doubt there’s still many more vet bills to come! — but he saved me. I owe him a big thank you.”
‘He looked after me’
Gloria Turner would like to thank her horse Toby.
“He looked after me in the best and worst times of my life, through tears and fears.”
‘She’s taught us so much’
“Trix was the pony I always dreamed of as a kid,” says Karen Tilney. “I don’t ride now, but she’s taught my daughter so much over the last 12-and-a-half years. She’s 26 now, but still keeps on giving every day.
“Trix was the horse no one wanted to ride, as she was very unpredictable and fast to jump, and now she is the horse that everyone wants.
“She’s been through a lot — tendon injuries and having a tumour removed from an ovary, as well as Cushing’s — but she’s worth all the worry.
“She owes us nothing for all she’s given us over the years; she really is one in a million.”
‘She changed my life’
“I’m so incredibly thankful to my horse Bo. Not only for everything she has given me and how she has changed my life, but for her amazing bravery,” Kirsty Clarke says.
“She is fighting chronic grass sickness. It’s a daily struggle, but she keeps showing amazing strength. I’ll never be able to explain how grateful I am for her.”
‘She made me re-evaluate’
“Marnie came into my life when I was a 17-year-old ‘know it all’ and she was a 10-year-old opinionated genius,” smiles Athene Turner.
“She made me completely re-evaluate my way of working with horses. She taught me how to truly understand horses, and know what it means to have a real partnership.
“At the grand old age of 29 Marnie is now retired, however she still enjoys reminding me of who’s the boss.”
‘Still going strong’
“I’d like to thank all the riding school ponies and horses I have ever ridden, from Justin who I fell off more times than I can remember, to Mr Pastry on whom I won my first red rosette,” remembers Cathy Burrows.
“Each and every one taught me something and gave me a passion that is still going strong 45 years later.”
‘She helped me rediscover my love for riding’
Sarah Chambers would like to thank her horse Whizz for helping her to fall in love with horses again.
“Whizz came to me when I had just given up an equestrian career of over 15 years, and I was questioning if I would be able to enjoy it all again.
“She helped me rediscover my love for riding” says Sarah of her mare, who is affectionately known as ‘Turbo Cob’.
“We have been on countless adventures together, and are perfectly matched.”
‘She helped when I was bullied’
Jenny Tuck has just shared her 15th anniversary with her mare Stella.
“She’s always been there for me, through being bullied at school and to college, and then getting married. She’s my rock, my best friend, my everything,” says Jenny.
“Now Stella’s 31 and I get to see her through retirement. She’s living her best life as a princess.”
‘Thank you for the hacking’
“I’ve often thought I should thank Dillon for the insight I now have into the way equine vets work,” jokes Anita Booth.
“I do seriously thank him for the last few healthy years, and the fabulous hacks we have done together, which I thought would not be possible. He is an absolute star.”
‘He taught me not to give up’
“Indy is my first horse,” says Kate Duffield. “I’ve had him for almost 10 years and bought him as a four-year-old.
“We’ve been through so much together — injuries to myself and his arthritis diagnosis.
“Indy has taught me so much, from bringing on a green youngster to not giving up on myself, trusting my instincts and how important it is to listen to your animal.”
‘He puts a smile on my face’
“My boy always puts a smile on my face,” says Caroline Martin Jaggard.
“He can get my through the darkest of days. I’d be lost without him.”
‘She changed me for the better’
“I’ve owned my beautiful girl since I was 13 and she was four — we’re now 30 and 21 years old,” says Charlotte Tranter.
“We’ve been through a lot together. She’s my best friend and has changed me for the better. I’m so incredibly grateful for her.”
‘Love of my life’
Helen Diana Wake spent many years with her horse Snoopy.
“We had him from when he was three years old until he was 30, ” she says. Snoopy was part Cleveland, who was born to hunt and Helen describes him as “the love of my life”.