Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Post!

Well this is it....the first post!

I've been meaning to blog for ages and reading some friends blogs got me motivated enough to start this one!

So introduction time......

I'm Helen, I'm 28yrs old and Mum to 3 beautiful kids. Joshua (6), Harrison (4) and Liliana (1). I started horse riding when I was about 11 years old. My parents were (and still are!) VERY unhorsey. I started out with 1 lesson a month, then one per fortnight and then moved on to weekly treks at the local park.

When I was around 13 I started helping out at a local trekking facility at weekends and in the school holidays. About 18 months later the owner decided to sell up and she managed to persuade my parents to let me get a horse on loan.

My first horse was Nipper, a Appaloosa x Arab gelding. He was soooo much fun! Sadly the lady who owned Nipper decided to sell him after a year and although we did try and buy him (loooooong story that maybe I will go into another time) he ended up being sold to somebody else.

I then got a grey Connemara gelding called Sam on lease. Sam had previously had his penis amputated due to cancer. After a week of having him his sheath started to bleed and the owner refused us permission to get the vet out. Eventually my parents were so annoyed they send Sam back home and decided to actually buy a horse so they had full control of its care.

So then Barney came into my life. He was a 4yr old cob gelding and he REALLY tested me. I was so used to schoolmasters so suddenly riding a green youngster really knocked my confidence. Barney would nap with me and at first I just didn't know how to deal with him. Eventually, however I learned how to cope with his rearing and bolting home. He taught me so much that horse!!!!

Barney was sold when I started college when I was 17 because my parents wanted me to focus on my studies. I was devastated!

I bought my first horse out of MY money when I was 19. Tasha was a gypsy cob yearling who had been purchased from the sales. She was completely and utterly wild. It would take me at least an hour to catch her and then another hour to drag her out of the paddock!! Slowly though, we build up our trust in each other and I actually managed to back her myself when she was 3 years old. That horse was awesome. It was like she was born bombproof.

I sold Tasha when I decided to move to New Zealand in 2005. Again, I was devastated but I just couldn't justify the cost of having her flown over. I made sure she went to the best home available.

Upon arrival to New Zealand I bought Neo from Awatea Farms. I had been admiring Neo on their website for months and honestly thought he would be sold before I could get here. But he wasn't and as soon as we arrived we went to visit him. He was a scatty brained boy that one! Would run away from the slightest thing but I there was something about him.


In 2006 when I was pregnant with Harrison we decided to move back to the UK and Neo went back to Awatea Farms with the intention of selling him.

We moved back to New Zealand in 2007 and Neo was still for sale so I took over his care again but,having decided I wanted to be a stay-at-home Mum I put him back on the market again. He was snapped up about half an hour later and I have remained very good friends with his new owner ever since. He really did go to the best home, I couldn't have wanted anymore for him!

But a lack of horsey involvement really got to me and a few months later I bought Pepsi from  Seacrest Sport horses. Pepsi was a Clydie x TB yearling filly. She was so gentle and had a temperament to die for.


 At this time we moved to a house with paddocks in Kaukapakapa and I was gifted a TB called Star and a SB called Wally. Life was perfect, I had my horses on 'my' property and my kids.



In August 2008 I broke up with my husband and took my horses with me. But my contract came to an end and I couldn't find more work so with my finances in a dire state I reluctantly sold Pepsi to my grazing owner and left Wally to keep her company as he had decided not to offer grazing anymore.

So I was just left with Star.

A few months later I was offered a SB mare called Fennec who I took on with the intention of breaking to saddle and being my riding horse.

As I was pregnant at the time I turned Fennec out with Star. I later decided that I didn't want to return to work after giving birth to Liliana and as a result I couldn't keep 2 horses anymore. I re homed Fennec via NZHorses.

In October 2010 I sent Star to Abderry to be brought into work. Star had really struggled with his weight over the winter and it had taken some time to bring his weight back up. I was very excited with the prospect of finally being in a position to ride my beloved Star Wars!

Star in the roundpen at Abderry

Star being ridden by Cheski at Abderry for the first time

However after exactly 1 week of being at Abderry Star was found to be lame. A week off didn't work and the vet was called in. After nerve blocks, flexion tests and xrays Star was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his offside fetlock joint. We tried a cortisone joint injection which helped for about 5 days but ultimately it was decided to retire him as I didn't want to cause him pain through my own selfish desire to ride him.

After I had re homed Fennec I had made a vow to not have more than one horse again. I don't like having to re home any horse because I get quite emotionally attached to them. But with the revelation that Star could not be ridden and my increasing desire to be back in the saddle again I was given permission by my wonderful partner Chad to start looking for something else. My heart wasn't really in it but I started to trawl through Trade Me adverts. Nothing took my fancy......

But then a friend pointed out an advert I had missed. It was for a 6yr old TB gelding. He looked nice enough, the price was cheap and he was local, so I though I should at least go and see him. I wasn't expecting much. I was waiting for the catch.

As soon as I saw Bracos I fell in love with him. He was GORGEOUS! I bought him on the spot, subject to passing a vet check. On the 22nd December 2010 Bracos sailed through his vet check and on the 23rd he made the journey to Abderry where he is currently being schooled. He will join Star on or around 22nd January 2011 and I have plans to compete him in hand this summer at some local A&P shows, the first being Franklin on 20th February.

Bracos being lunged by Cheski at Abderry

Bracos being ridden by Cheski at Abderry

Bracos - My latest addition

So this is where I'm at. That was quite a trip down memory lane for me! I'll have to try and dig out some older photos of the horses that have been in my life.


  1. Hi Helen, been meaning to update you re Fennec. She is now named Fern and in foal to a Morgan stallion. Her new person had 2 motorbike accidents (farm ones) in a short time and wasn't feeling up to starting her so chose to breed her as she is such a lovely mare. She will be started under saddle after she has foaled next season. Sharon

  2. That's awesome Sharon! I would love a picture of the foal when it is born?