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R.I.P our beautiful old Irene

Our beautiful, sweet and stubborn old lady Irene had to be put to sleep yesterday. When I went down to do the evening feed, she was laying down and I couldn’t get her up.  It was obviously her time to go and the vet came quickly to put her calmly to sleep.  She will leave a huge hole in our lives, I will miss her funny little ways, her demands for food, the daily routine of looking after her, with her extra needs, specially ground up food and comfy bed.  She really was a special little character.

Date of birth 1994 (approx)

We are not 100% sure of  Irene’s age as her paperwork  was renewed when she was rescued, but when she came to live with us in the autumn of 2014 we were told she was about 20. She was our guests favourite while she could still be ridden, as she got  older, we are limited her to just being ridden by small children and she had been totally retired for about a year.

This is Irene’s story :-  

How Irene looked when she was first rescued

She is not the most glamorous looking horse but she really is a delight to ride, totally trustworthy but full of energy, often having little trots to keep up with the others (much to the delight of the children riding her) as she likes to be at the back of the ride. Irene is now lives with Capri and whenever possible enjoys a grassy paddock out by the road, coming in at night to the sand arena where she has access to a comfy stable if she wants it.  She also has extra hard feed 4 times a day and  knows that she gets an extra bowl of food after a ride too – if we don’t bring it quickly enough she will start to beg with her front foot, she does look very cute. She also loves a roll in the sand every day. She is quite an opinionated old lady, we really love her quirky character.

Irene has not always been so well loved and happy

She came to us after an English woman living nearer the coast rescued her from a Spanish riding school. The woman had booked a ride and when she turned up was given Irene . Poor Irene was skin and bone and wearing a heavy Spanish saddle and a harsh , rusty bit plus serratta nose band ( there is a bit of serrated metal under the nose band, cutting into the nose when the reins are pulled). The woman refused to ride her, saying it was cruel and she was too thin ,but after she left she couldn’t stop thinking about her, so went back to the riding school and bought her. Irene then lived in a small paddock in her garden for a year and had her shoes and bit removed to try to make her life as kind and stress free as possible. Her previous owner then started to realise that keeping her on her own was not ideal and asked me if I would have her, having found us on Facebook and wanting a bitless and barefoot home for Irene. I am so glad that I said yes, I really can’t imagine life without her.

She has scars on her nose from the Serrata, she has lost parts of her tongue from harsh bits and still has a stress habit from being shut in a stable most of her life and can be seen biting the wooden fence posts and sucking in air. I don’t worry about this as I think it is something she needs to do, it has become a habit and trying to stop her would only stress her.

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