I only started riding lessons when I was 45 and rapidly learned 1 hr /week did not not teach you to ride. I don't know if this belongs here but to me it seems it does as we all have lives outside our diseases and I want to share this.
I then took out a part loan aggrement with a local riding school where I was having lessons so I and my 2 daughtrers who also had riding lessons as children could have use of a horse if not being used for lessons. My oldest daughter challenged me to have lessons after I took them riding on holiday and could only stand upright but balanced at a trot.
I still think the horse picked me rather than the reverse as she was so quirky and the most intelligent horse I have ever rode. She had so many tricks and even a sense of humour. She would pick up each hoof to be cleaned if you tapped her leg but if she had an audience would always pick up the opposite hoof. She broke my leg when I came off her racing up a field but I got back on and rode her home ,put her away then drove home before I knew what had happened. The looks she gave me the day after when I went down with a big splint on my leg where comedic, like how did you do that nothing to do with me.
I gave her up when I was diagnosed with CML as paying off the mortgage etc was more important.
I had her for 5-6 years and hacked her out to places the stable owners never knew about, plus she taught me how to ride a gallop and then I taught my daughters how to do the same.
Tues I got a call from the stable owner that she was going to be put to sleep today. To their credit both of my daughters went to say goodbye to her and she was a stable favourite so lots of other people did the same.
I went Wednesday and groomed her till she was spotless but she then went in the field and rolled in the mud so she was filthy again.
Today I went down and spent a lot of time removing all the mud then gave her a bath using very good shampoo with warm water so she was virtually spotless. There have been a lot of tears between that call Tues and today. You have to say goodbye eventually so I left her drying under heat lamps rooting for all the apples and carrots I had hidden in the hay on the stable floor. She was happy though I know her feet which were basically rotting were giving her pain.
She taught me to ride which led to so many adventures involving horses in my life but she will always be special and the most intelligent and playful/quirky horse I have ever rode. She was docile when used for riding for the disabled andtesting if she knew you could ride, never putting her passenger at risk. At a gallop it was for her fun and she accepted you as a passenger.
I have made arrangements to have her ashes as having her cremated with other horses was to much like just disposing of rubbish. I think I will did distribute her ashes along our hacking routes next Spring to be taken up by plants and grasses as that is the best I can come to resurrection. Maybe I will keep them and have them put in my coffin though I doubt the cemetary will let my kids put on the back of my gravestone 'Buried with his Mistress, a big black lady who was into leather'.
This site can be all about us but sometimes its OK to think about who or what our disease affects and what our disease makes us give up. My teacher told me as much as you are looking at the horse it is looking at you. Lacey remaind my friend after I stopped riding and it was a priviledge to be involved over the last 2 days even though it has been emotionally harrowing.
I don't know if this belongs here but I wanted to share one of the best/worst aspects my disease has caused me which is familiar to anyone who has ever had a pet, the size doesn't matter.