Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Talking horse...

No, not like Mister Ed (cue blank looks from anyone under Baby Boomer age...) - I just mean having the opportunity to talk about horses without seeing the listeners' eyes glaze over!  I did just that last night - at length - after being invited to do a talk to an open meeting of the Ellen Valley Riding Club.  It was a smashing evening - full of laughter and shared tales about horses.  My subject was The Great Clydesdale Migration - my brilliant adventure when I rode Clydesdale horses from the Isle of Skye to south Cumbria. I will forever be a huge fan of the magnificent Clydie after that trip - and Shires are pretty special too.
Understandably some of the members wondered why I now have ex-racers instead of a Clydesdale - and it's a good question.  In a perfect world I'd have both - and probably a Quarter horse and maybe an Arab, possibly even an Icelandic as well.
I actually think Clydesdales and Racehorses have something very important in common.  I know that might sound ridiculous - but here's my point.  Both breeds tend to be considered as brilliant at doing just one thing - for the Clydesdale that would be working the land - for the racehorse it would be winning races.  Obviously.  But both breeds actually have much more going for them - and I like to think I'm doing my very small bit to get that message out.  The days of Clydesdales earning their keep on farms may be over, but they can be fantastic riding horses - and racers can go on to do all manner of things once their time on the track is over.  What's more, both breeds really deserve to be given that second chance.
Here endeth today's sermon...with pix of a touching moment shared with my all-time favourite Clydesdale - Max.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you all the way on that... I too have always had a passion for the 'Heavies', especially Clydesdales after watching a programme on the goglebox many years ago about how they race them up in Scotland.
    I worked in racing for 10 years, had plenty of thrills & spills, it was good to me and I got to go places and meet people I never would have dreamed about if it was not through my association with the sport.

    I have now, later on in life rediscoverd my love of the Heavy horse, had a fantastic half day beach ride up at Cumbrian Heavy Horse centre & I'm also lucky enough to share in the love of Ettie the Shire horse who is privately owned here at the Equestrian centre where I now live and work.