Although technically this is Mally's Blog, I think Henry's introduction is long overdue, as without him, there would be no Mally!!
Henry was my first horse, he was bought for a nervous teenager that was adament all she wanted to do was hack ;) He didn't make the best first impression, threw me off and then tried a few more times once I got back on, but something made me go back (despite my Mum saying she would never trust 'that horse' if I had him!) and he was a perfect gent to hack, so I decided I wanted him and he became mine on the 10th November 2001.
Henry is Part Shire and not really designed for much more than pulling carts, in fact whilst he was for sale the Army tried him out as a Drum Horse, but rejected him as too small at 17hh! I think it had more to do with the fact he threw everyone off that tried him, something I wasn't told until after he was loaded ready to come home!!
He was actually pretty well schooled in walk and trot, but his canter was nonexistent and a very green jumping. We progressed together and eventually he became a pretty consistent horse to compete, very rarely was he out of the ribbons, although obviously he had his limitations!
Despite my insistance that he was only for hacking, Henry and I did everything together - Dressage, Show Jumping, Hunting and Eventing - not bad for a carthorse and a nervous nelly!!
My proudest moment came when he won Eland Lodge's Unaff ODE, the soppy wuss I am, I had a tear in my eye as I collected our prizes!
Henry also came with me to Uni and we both came on a huge amount in that time, and it was at Uni that Hen became the infamous Flying Cow, a name that stuck and caused a fair few Dressage Judges to smile!
Unfortunately, Henry's willingness to do absolutely anything asked of him took it's toll and despite my care to avoid hard ground, he developed Ringbone behind. Once medicated he continued happily with a bit extra TLC, until an extra slippy day out hunting and a distinct lack of brakes resulted in a torn Check Ligament. With his age against him he took extra long to heal and as a result over compensated on all his other legs causing Arthiritis all round.
Despite him still being pretty active and happy, I decided Henry should retire as he owed me absolutely nothing and it seemed selfish to push him for my own enjoyment. And that's when Mally appeared!
So he is now a Feral Retired Pony, living in a HUGE field with the other oldies and a few youngsters to beat up! He thinks life is absolutely wonderful!!