I was looking at horses with a friend of mine who wanted to buy his first horse. He had been taking me to my riding therapy and after his third trip, decided to try it himself. It worked out well, and he felt so much better that he started therapy on a regular basis, together with me... In fact, he liked it so much, he said he wanted to buy his own horse. He had only ridden as a child and was now in his late sixties and recovering from cancer treatment. We had so much fun going to all of the nearby stud farms and ranches, viewing and trying out different horses and seeing all types of training methods. We didn't care about whether it was pure bred on anything like that, we wanted a horse that was calm and easy for a novice. While we were at one ranch he saw a horse, standing by herself away from the pack on the paddock, and just like that said 'I want that one'. I told him we should look around some more but his mind was made up. We did look more but his heart was set on this one horse, who now lives with us in the stables. Another day, while we were at one particular ranch spread out over several kilometres and that had about 150 Pure Bred Spanish horses, I spotted a black horse on the hill, up with the youngsters and horses that weren't in foal. From a distance I could feel the excitement build and when I got up to her and our eyes met, I knew she was going to be mine. I didn't know how because I wasn't looking for a horse and didn't have the money for one but I knew in my heart she was meant to be with me. My friend had decided that without a doubt he wanted that first horse so he had bought her and brought her home to my stables and called her Cariño, which means 'affection' or 'Darling' in Spanish. A week or so before she arrived we were donated a wide-bodied Hispanó Bretón called Cookie for therapy for the children at Animo. Cookie was not too tall but she was built in a way that made her fantastic for bareback riding and her temperament was perfect and she didn't mind standing still for long periods of time, which is important when you are trying to load and unload wheelchair student on to the horse. So we now had two horses at home and I kept dreaming up plans to get the black horse I saw on the hill. We went to visit her four times but they wanted a lot of money for her and I just didn't have it. At Christmas I saw her for what I thought would be the last time, she had become thin and dry and the spark had gone from her eyes. I felt so bad that I made the owners a deal. I said that I would take her for a year and feed her and care for her and ride her and at the end of the year we could discuss it again. - They said no and I left very sad, knowing it would be the last time I saw her. One rainy evening in February I got a call and they told me to go to the stables. There she was, skinny and scared, but she responded to my voice right away. It was almost dark and starting to rain so I had to just put her in with the other horses and hope for the best and I would see her in the morning. She was mine, my dream horse was mine. They decided to donate her to me so that I could continue my therapy here at home. She is a Friesian, they are very large and have long hair on their feet and usually long thick manes and tails. In Spanish I knew that a Friesian was called un Frisón but they called her Frisona so I thought it was just a name they gave her. Stupidly I didn't know that it was a female Friesian and that she didn't have a name. She has pretty much stayed Frison but in the last few months she has made it clear that she prefers it when I call her Pony, so that is what I call her now. She has been with me for just over a year and she is 7 years old. In the beginning she was very docile because she was underfed and had never worked. Now she is a black muscled up power-house and a bit much for me to handle, but I am getting there and will never give up because everyday I love her more and everyday I know she helps to keep me healthy and happy. I have been learning about discipline and it really works. In the beginning I was so sweet and didn't want to upset her now the tables have changed and I am finally the boss and we are getting along even better. Before she loved me but didn't respect me now she loves and respects me. I am so grateful to everyone that helped in me getting Pony. I know she is my magic charm. It is in her eyes.
Picture: Frisona and Cookie