With bringing Bo back into work and spending my time with only him now that it is just the two of us since I sold my youngster on, I have realised just how much of a bond we still have, despite our lack of quality time spent together over the past year.
I have been reminded just how important horses are to me, or rather, just how important Bo is to me. I honestly don’t know how I’d manage without him. Non-horsey people quite understandingly don’t get the whole ‘horse thing’ and why it is so important to us equestrians. Horses are often viewed as a huge expense, both in money and in time. I completely get what they see, and they are right, but it is so much more than that. For me, my horse is important to me for a number of reasons.
1. Bo is ‘my thing’
I believe everyone has to have ‘their thing’. Something they have just for themselves that they enjoy and that they are passionate about. I think its healthy to have hobbies (or a huge responsibility like a horse!) and to make time to do things for yourself. Everyone needs their outlet which leads me to my next reason…
2. My escape
Life can be tough at times. Everyone deals with stress, deadlines and commitments- sometimes it can become overwhelming. I find that after a hard day, or even if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, Bo always finds a way to make me smile. He puts me in a better mood and I leave the yard feeling refreshed. It is almost like a form of mindfulness because when you are working with horses, or even just doing chores, you are focussed on the present so you forget about everything else for a while. I find it helps me to become more centred again.
3. The magical bond
The bond you have with a horse really is quite magical. The fact that this animal, who doesn’t speak our language co-operates with us and accepts us into their lives with such trust is amazing. Although there is a large workload that comes with horses, it is always worth it when you have an amazing bond completely based on trust and mutual respect. I just find it incredible how in-sync Bo and I can be because of our strong relationship.
4. Learning lessons
Having horses for me, especially from a young age, has taught me many skills and lessons. It has taught me patience, resilience, responsibility and dedication as well as respect. Bo has also taught me many lessons, such as to live in the present, to not over-think and to appreciate the little things. For example, he loves a treat we have here in Scotland called ‘Stud Muffins’ and his excitement is the cutest thing. He greatly appreciates this small gesture and I think, as humans, we get so caught up with the big things, we often overlook the small.
The friends who I would class as my best friends are those who have horses and share my passion. They are the most loyal and trustworthy friends I have. Horses, unless you are lucky enough to have your own place, are a very social endeavour as usually, from my experience on yards, people work together to make the routines work. I co-ordinate my times with my friend at the yard as we work together to bring in and turn out our horses. It means when we have other things on we have a bit more flexibility and its nice to have someone to rely on.
I feel blessed to have such an amazing passion which brings so much to my everyday life. It can be hard at times and we all have our moans about going out in the freezing cold or hurricane-like weather to see to our horses but in the end, on top of it all, we love them.
I have a hard year approaching with starting my probation year as a primary school teacher beginning in August and I just know that because of the stress of the work, I will appreciate Bo more than ever, my little heart horse.