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Do you believe in fate?  Or that things happen for a reason? 

I do, and a story to follow this comes from my little five month old foal I obtained over 3 years ago.  In fact he turns four this month.  

It starts with the farm that I kept my horse on , a skewbald Connemara cross, who is twenty this year and through the yard, I was able to meet him.  Every year Lorna , the livery owner looks after a  gypsy herd which is roughly made up of one stallion and around nine mares which are not hers , she just helps to make sure all is well. They foal every year  and have a mixture of fillies and colts , the fillies are kept to re- breed with different stallions but the colts they get let go. 

I had questioned myself about getting another horse because Iffy ( my horse ) was getting older and it was always at the back of my mind.  I never  acted upon those thoughts as I thought I would have no time to spend bringing on a youngster.

It wasn’t till I had a walk round the  field one day that I had spotted this little piebald foal in the field and looked like he had a little bit about him and the cuteness to follow of course.  

   

I had found myself wanting to go back in and check on the gypsy herd more often just to see him and from there he became inquisitive and brave ,trying to investigate who I was .This was unusual because normally the foals will want to  stick by their mother all the time and not break away, but he was different. I think this is why I grew quite fond of the little guy even though he wasn’t mine. There was even a point where he got that close , he touched the tips of my fingers as I sat in the field seeing if he could get closer.

Our first interaction together!

A few weeks went by, I had received a call  from my mum at work advising that the little colt was going to be on the move but if you want him, get him now she said. At that point I said yes!!! Don’t let him go anywhere!  I couldn’t let him go, I just had to keep him and decided there and then that he would be mine and  I haven’t looked back since.  

I couldn’t wait to greet the little guy who soon would be named Apache (patch for short) and his competition name known as Midnight Ranger, from there I knew the hard work would start especially trying to tame him and get a head collar on him.  We had some  fun for sure and help but once the head collar was on, everything else seemed a bit easier.  He has spirit even when he was a little foal and that’s what made me like him even more.  

 

Over time , with a lot of handling, patch has grown so much in every way and a real ‘mummy’s boy’ .  I didn’t think the little things that you do, like bringing him in and brushing him so  young and picking his feet up would build over time to him trusting me to the point now he will follow me around the yard with no head collar on.   

I built so much trust that he practically walked on a box for the 1st time, and wasn’t scared . I even had to take him off and repeat the process a few times just to see if it was a fluke, but he went on no problems. He went down the rode in the box for a ride with me in the back making sure he was ok and safe  , but he just never stopped amazing me . He took it in his stride and with that I was able to take him to his first show when he was just over 12 months old.  He did well and behaved well considering it was his first competition and I still have the rosettes now .  I thought the going home process would be harder  in terms of getting him back on the box to go home, but again he walked on and was ready for the journey home. I spent time walking him up and down the road to get used to traffic with a bridle on and when he was 3 years old I started to long reign him. This kept his brain engaged and it wasn’t long before he picked it up and we were able to stride off down the road.

His First show !
His first time travelling on a horse box!

Hard work really does pay off and now fast forwarding to the present day I am now at the stage where he is long-reining and being backed slowly.  For me when you see him developing and growing into a fine chap , it really does put a big smile on my face knowing he was saved and has been such a rewarding experience for me in every way.  I look forward to the next few years bringing him on and I cant wait to see how he will turn out. 

Take a look at the photos below to see how much he has changed over  3 years . 

 
 

If you have enjoyed this article and want to follow his progress , you can on Instagram (midnight_ranger18 ). More updates will be given on how he is getting on.  

More articles to follow soon. 

I have listed the equipment used for the photos just in case you would like to know ;

If you would like to ask any questions regarding the above article , you can contact me via the ‘contacts’ section.