After the sad death of our lovely old Caretta, we were back down to two horses again and felt the need to replace her as soon as possible, so that the children were back to having a horse each. Polly had become John’s horse, Elizabeth had Blackberry, so poor Harry was left without his own horse to ride. As luck would have it a local horse dealer just happened to have a beautiful mare, tethered in the field next to his barn. Andalucia, as we named her (soon to become Lucy for short) quickly became our replacement horse, and we were able to walk her the 5km home. We were told that she was 6 years old, and possibly pregnant, but the dealer had no idea of due date, or of Lucy’s history, whether she had been ridden etc, but she was so beautiful and kind, we decided to take the chance with her. She was the first and only horse that we ever purposely chose, and what a choice she turned out to be!
Lucy soon settled into her new home and quickly made friends with Polly and Blackberry. She was fine to ride which was lucky for us, but it wasn’t long before we stopped riding her to wait for her foal to be born. As we didn’t have a clue when the due date would be , we just had to look for signs, and when we thought she was ready, we brought her up to the stable near the house to keep an eye on her. One morning Harry came running in to the house at 7am shouting ‘it’s here, it’s here’, and there he was, a beautiful little colt, already standing up and suckling. Lucy was an amazing mum; she was devoted to her baby but did not mind the constant flow of visitors all desperate to see the new arrival. Leo, as we named the new arrival was, and still is, devoted to his mum. We wanted to let everything happen naturally, and were happy to let Lucy continue to feed Leo for as long as she wanted to, but when this turned into 4 years, we eventually took the decision to wean him, along with his own foals, by simply putting him an adjoining paddock, so that he could still touch his beloved mum over the fence.
We have now owned Lucy for 12 years and she has been the best horse you could wish for – kind natured, beautiful and always popular with guests, I have lost count of the amount of people that have asked to buy her. We get a lot of husbands/boyfriends, persuaded to have their first ride by their horse mad partners , and of course, the men all think they are cowboys and want to go fast from the word go. Lucy is so reliable that she will give them the opportunity for a safe , controlled canter , just long enough for them to enjoy, but short enough that they stop before they lose balance, and of course the men think it is because they are complete naturals, much to the annoyance of their other halves! She is a great horse to ride whatever your ability, the only problem is that she is so popular that I rarely get to ride her myself.