About Mary

When dreams really do come true.

I cannot recall a time when I did not love horses and ponies, they are my passion, my reason for leaving a warm bed at dawn on cold winter mornings to break ice in water butts.  In short …. my everything.

I started to learn my skills with horse care from the ground before I was 10 years old. I pestered and pestered an old boy called Harold to show me what to do in order to love and cuddle his retired dray horse, a mighty shire, with huge hairy feathered legs, complete with sores in the matted coarse hair and mane hair almost to his knees, tangled and bedraggled and huge open sores cause by harness chaffing on both his shoulders. Standing tall I measured myself as being the height up to his lower chest, the rest of him towered above me. He looked so sad, so unwanted, so ignored, so dejected and so alone, in many ways I felt the same, as the perceived lesser loved of the two children of my parents. I felt this was meant to be for Blackie and me. Blackie in late summer at this time was 34 years old and I was to have my 10th birthday that December.

Learning to handle Blackie with Harold as a reluctant teacher was to be harsh. Harold had plenty of other work to do. Lessons proved to be of the mantra “ I’ll tell you once and you better ‘ad listen- I’ll not tell you twice young lady” A failure to listen and do as told resulted in a clip to the back of my head ( which I had too many to count ) and the words ringing in my ear of “ best git yoursel off ‘ome, iffen thi cant do as towld’ I would of course plead to stay. One such instance was in picking Blackie’s leg up to bend so I had his foot to pick and clean. Holding his leg up was a monumental task for a little girl and he took his foot back. Harold barked “pick that bloody foot up – I’ll tell you when to put it durn” I was terrified that Harold would tell me to go home again, so I picked the foot up and weed with the effort but I hung on, dragged around the floor still hanging on, then Harold told me to put the foot down and I heard a begrudging “ harumph”. No smiles from Harold but the words” next time tha will know what to expect, best tell thi mother an’ father where thil be from now on, when thi not at school”. Music to my ears, Harold would teach me, I would do exactly as I was told, being more frightened of Harold than Blackie, then I ran all the way home to tell mum and dad – then my life long love affair with horses and ponies began.

My mother was worried, I didn’t understand as I was never shown any affection but my father gave his blessing with a truly wonderful big smile and an even bigger hug  “ As long as we know where you are – I’ll know where to find you “ and this he did on many occasions for the next 6 years.

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