I dropped Buddy off at Rockley Farm. It seems like a lifetime ago but I remember the feeling of trepidation and hope that I felt that day. I managed to hold it together driving the empty lorry up the drive but only just! I felt miserable and counted down the sleeps until he came home, I missed him terribly, But every single second of that was worth the fabulous feeling I have had since and I cannot thank Nic enough for everything she has done to help us on the road we have been on.
I know I am one of the lucky ones, that there are people out there who haven't had the success I have been blessed with but I appreciate every single second I have with Buddy and will never, ever take that for granted. Things could have turned out very differently for us. But it hasn't been easy, nor has it been handed to us on a plate. I work really hard, I have thrown myself into learning as much as I can about barefoot and have perfected Buddy's diet and exercise regime so it is as good as it can be when we are faced with the limitations of being on a livery yard. I have made sacrifices, lost people in my life who I considered to be my friends and questioned my judgement on several occasions.
Being barefoot is hard, you go against the 'traditionalists' and have to justify your choices but I can honestly say that my equine life is much more satisfying. I have met some fantastic people who have supported me and given me brand new ideas, my fabulous yard owner has been incredibly accommodating and understands why I need to have a high maintenance pony, has made an effort to understand and I know she has my back and has also become a good friend. I have found two brilliant trainers who don't care that Buddy has no shoes on but who also take an interest in the fact that he is barefoot.
I also have my horse of a lifetime. We have achieved things in the last two years that people thought were impossible. I will never find another like him. We are a team and he will never, ever, ever leave my side.
Vive le donks!