A passionate equestrian has shared the touching story of how her beloved horse came back into her life and has helped her cope during a challenging time.

Kathryn bought her Dartmoor Hill Pony, Tigger, as an unhandled six-month-old foal. She backed him at seven, but when her health deteriorated due to Fibromyalgia and ME she couldn’t afford full livery, so he went to live with a friend as a companion for eight years.

“It broke me letting him go,” she told Your Horse. “I’d tried sharers and friends helped, but it never worked out and I was worried he’d get laminitis without the right care.”

Tigger briefly came back to Kathryn when his fieldmate passed away, but their reunion was cut short when Kathryn was diagnosed with metastatic cancer and she was forced to put Tigger on retirement livery.

However, Kathryn’s friend then came into a position where she could take the gelding on, and the pair are now able to spend time together again. Tigger is now 18 and Kathryn is rebacking him.

“He’s helping to keep me going and seems to be loving it,” she said. “I see him every Tuesday before chemo and as much as I can at other times. He never ceases to amaze me, what he’s taking in his stride considering he’s done very little for so many years.

“Being back with him is like being home. I’ve ridden and been around many other horses over the years but there’s nothing like being with him.”

Kathryn is also determined to complete as many ‘horsey dreams’ as she can, which she calls her Equine Living List.

“Hannah’s Willberry Wishes helped me tick driving a horse off the list, they sorted a few lessons and some fun carriage rides,” she said. “I’ve cantered on the golden sands on the Isle of Lewis, rode an Exmoor Pony on Exmoor, and went on a Shire Horse carriage ride on Dartmoor. I’ve also found a Suffolk Punch to ride, I just need to arrange the travel to get there some time!

“The big dream is to ride an Icelandic Pony in Iceland so I hope to tick that off this year, I plan to survive that long.

“Now, unexpectedly, Tigger is on that list and all I want is for us to enjoy time together and to hopefully hack out from time to time.”

You can follow Kathryn and Tigger at facebook.com/equispirithealing