I first met Romany when I went to a new yard for the first time. The owner of the yard saw me riding a dun gelding called Storm before saying I could ride her. I was told by some of the girls that she reared so the thought of riding her was daunting. I had just came from a riding school so had no experience with rearing horses. It took ages to catch her, she just didn't want to come in. Once she was in I spent ages grooming her. She had an unusually long coat for the middle of summer and a long, thick mane. I was trying my hardest to spend as much time grooming her possible with the idea there wouldn't be enough time to ride. My plan failed and I tacked her up and brought her outside to get on. I was told that once I was on to let her walk so she didn't rear. Much to my amusement she did not rear. She didn't even move. We set off for our nerve racking first ride which went well.
Eventually she had a set of shoes put on so I could hack her out more often and do more with her. I was told she was in her 20's, so she was no spring chicken but that didn't matter. She went well and she had grown upon me. I started giving her a hard feed to keep the weight on her as I was riding her often.
Within a few weeks she went from a nightmare to catch to whinnying and walking up to me. It made me feel on top of the world. Could I have built my first ever bond with a horse? As the weeks went by, we grew stronger and stronger until the time came and I had her on loan. I eventually took her home, got her teeth done, had her vaccinations done and had her wormed. Whilst the vet was doing vaccinations, I asked the vet if it was possible she could have cushings disease due to her long, thick coat in the middle of summer. He looked at her and noted muscle wastage which could of been another sign of cushings disease. He did a blood test for it and after a long wait it came back positive, and she was put on medication to control it. She didn't particularly like the bit so we changed into a bitless bridle. We had many awesome rides we both especially loved going to the beach and galloping through the open fields.
One day we set out to ride with a friend but unusually any faster then a walk and she'd start coughing, like she was choking her guts up. This was completely odd for her. I'd never heard her cough. I took her back home and got the vet out. He said she had a respiratory infection so put her on antibiotics. Whilst she was on antibiotics, I took her out bareback on gentle walks just too keep her exercised. She finished the antibiotics but she was no better, in fact she had got worse. Not only was she still coughing, she had started wheezing. She got that bad she struggled to walk to and from the field. The vet couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. I thought to myself she had COPD but this was unclear. She eventually got that bad that I thought it was time she was put down. She could barely breathe but no one agreed with me. Everyone else just put her suffering aside and just thought she was fine because she was still eating and drinking. Shortly after that the owners took her back. They started riding her again despite her condition. I heard she had reared and fell backwards with her owner (I couldn't help but chuckle at the thought) A short while after that, I had a phone call saying she was found dead in the field. I was devastated.
Now I'm left with a small handful of photos and memories of such a true, honest and trusting mare. When I think of Romany, I see a mare who became my best friend. A mare I could lead her in from the field with no headcollar. The whinny whenever I called her name. She was my first horse and certainly will always be my best horse.