Small old world the equestrian world, especially now that we have Facebook and google, it has never been simpler to find anything – or any one.
I received a message via Facebook over the weekend from a lady who said she believed I was the breeder of a horse she owned and went on to say the horse’s name and sire. I had indeed bred her mare and had sold her on as a four year old. The mare was the first daughter of Bella who was the first horse I owned and trained. Bella, I had known since she was born. I had known her mother, Jenny when I was a child and had seen her come off the lorry from Ireland when I was a teenager.
I eventually bought her foal as a four year old and broke her in myself. While Bella was very easy to break in, she was a nightmare in her early days under saddle as she was very nappy and would not go anywhere alone. The problem was eventually solved by a girlfriend of mine walking with me, or rather behind us with a lunge whip which she used to encourage Bella to move forwards. Once she had the idea of what she was meant to do she came on in leaps and bounds and went onto become an incredible horse who I rode huge distances on. Bella came with me when I left home and back again when the job didn’t work out and I returned to my parent’s house.
She then came with me when I got married and was actually the key factor in me getting married as I had put her in foal and needed extra grazing. So I asked a neighbour if I could rent one of his fields and well things went on from there.
Her first foal was a super colt who went on to be a terrific eventer. Bella in the meantime went back to work and became a tremendous horse across country, I hunted her for years across huge country where she would jump hedges as high as her ears and give bigger, less brave horses a lead.
When she eventually retired we bred with her, but unfortunately left England before the results of our breeding plan could come to fruition. Her first daughter was named Jenny after her granddam and was sold on to a friend, who eventually, sadly died. By this time I was in Ireland and lost track of Jenny, so I was very pleased to hear from her new owner who had nothing but praise for the little mare who, as she said, hunted for years across huge country where she would jump hedges as high as her ears and give bigger, less brave horses a lead!