Friday, 24 January 2014

The best holiday souvenir ever!

The boys together!
Dear Moosie: "I'm going to buy the chestnut horse  - Sligo Bells" explained Ian as we walked towards the barn where he was stabled. This was announced about 5 days into our holiday in Lochrea, County Galway. It was our first trip crosscountry riding in Ireland. I didn't expect us to be coming home with such a large, living and breathing souvenir. One month later, you arrived tired and exhausted after a long journey over the Irish Sea. You were placed in the isolation barn in a stall  next to the door so each time we opened it your pink velvety nose would appear around it first! 

I think it's fair to say you hated dressage - your ears visibly flopped whenever you entered those white boards. Ian's shoulders used to droop too! Then, Ian would shorten his stirrups, and your ears pricked up. Both of you would have grins on your faces as you galloped across country together. You and Ian were a fantastic team. Your finest hour came at Gatcombe 2006. Both our families were there to cheer you and Ian on. You were rewarded with a top 10 placing at Novice level and Princess Anne presented the rosettes. I'll never forget the chap sat on his shooting stick next to me on the cross country course as the pair of you hooned through the water complex. "That's the way you ride through water" was his remark. Ian was very proud of that rosette - he took it with him to the hospice and showed all the nurses, saying "this hand has touched royalty you know". He never did lose his sense of humour throughout his illness. Out hunting, you and Ian were always in the last group home, both shattered but very happy.
The Hambleden water posed no problems for the Irish Moose

Since Ian's death in 2008 you have looked after me, dear Moosie. You have enjoyed your retirement as the 'wild pony of Tring', finally living out your days with your friends in the field. You never did like being stabled. Now, my lovely pony, you are reunited with your bestfriend, where you belong. Thank you for making sure I was ok and back on my feet before we parted. I will always love you for the joy you brought me and Ian over the 12 years we had you and I will never forget you. I feel reassured knowing that you are back with Ian, galloping across the country together once more. Rest in peace my dearest friend, Moose xxxx
The big orange and gorgeous Moosie