Thank you to all who expressed concern from my last blog post when you imagined me in bruised agony from the dreaded Percy. But please note the date of these rambles. I was in bruised agony – but back in 2012.
In 2012 I was still looking for a horse to replace Bandit and Desley, but your concern, Dear Mob, got me thinking about the other ponies in my life.
My earliest equine memories are of sitting – clad in a very fetching brown number – shoeless astride one of Aunty Kerry’s animals;
with Uncle Terry standing nearby and grumbling under his breath something about “bloody horses”.
My next memory is not so wonderful: riding bareback with a friend from primary school on a horse called Velvet. Velvet took exception to carting two little girls around and dumped us on a bitumen road. No damages that I can recall.
When my sister and I were old enough to ride two horses appeared at home. Their origins I can’t remember but one was a white pony called Tiny Tim
and the other a speckled grey creature called Shane. Deena, being the more horse savvy of us, rode Shane and I pottered on Tiny Tim. Then Deena moved into pony club and onto a big piebald called Johnny Cash. I upgraded to Shane.
I never upgraded to Johnny Cash.
It wasn’t until Brian and I finished roaming around northern Australia and returned to a farm on the south coast of New South Wales that I had a horse again; there were two that were fixtures with the purchase of the property. The first of these was Cisco: an old black rogue of a stockhorse, wide as an armchair, a tendency to founder, crafty to catch and another tendency to bite me on the bum as I was getting on.
Cisco’s paddock buddy was a beautiful chestnut racehorse called Lochiel Bandit.
The first time I climbed onto Bandit he pranced and danced and I thought “Whoa, this is too much horse for me”, but we took our time and he became my all-time favourite. He may have been playful at times but as Brian says “he couldn’t buck for shit”. Bandit made the trek to Braeside and then to Rocky Springs and was 21 years old when he died in 2009.
Back to the south coast farm and when I took to riding Bandit, Cisco became the kid’s horse. Jack, all of 9 years old at the time, learnt to ride on the rogue
and was devastated when the old boy got sick and was put down. Brian and I then bought a horse, supposedly for us but maybe also for Jack. Her name was Desley, a varnish arab/appaloosa mare, and she became a legend with a legion of kids. For Jack it was love at first sight – “sick” he said.
Desley also moved to Braeside but when I realised that Bandit was only going to race cows and not chase cows I put him into semi-retirement and pinched Desley off Brian. She then taught the big kid how to muster.
Brian attempted to make a mustering horse of Bandit but theirs was always a fragile relationship and the project was doomed for failure.
So with two of my favourite equine animals gone to horse heaven in 2012, I was searching for a replacement. I didn’t realise he would be so close to home …..