I first met Dennis in 2013 when I started working at a livery yard to complete my Level 2 NVQ apprenticeship in Horse Care. Almost from day one I began to ride him and each day I appreciated him more and more. Even though he was getting on in his old age, he never disappointed. He'd been out of work due to his owners other commitments for a while, but from the first day I rode him I could see he loved being ridden, pampered and loved. Then due to a change in his owners circumstances in 2015, Dennis was sold to me! I couldn't believe I finally had a horse of my own!
As I was doing my Level 2 apprenticeship I had a lot I needed to learn and I couldn't think of a better horse to learn with. Dennis patiently helped me to learn to clip, plait, pull and trim manes and tails. As I was still learning, some of his trims were a little rough but he managed to pull off all the new looks that I gave him, no matter how bad they were!
Not only did he help with my college work, but he enabled me to improve my riding in leaps and bounds as we had regular lessons and attended position clinics to help each other improve.
On the yard there is an annual fancy dress fun day and Dennis did not hold back! He loved dressing up and taking part in dressage to music. From dressing up as an Egyptian to Superman he took everything in his stride and loved every second of it. During the annual egg and spoon race, Superman Dennis' super powers shone through as he cantered over the finish line first with his ears pricked as far forward as they would go, with the proudest expression on his face.
In the summer of 2015 Dennis and I were treated to an afternoon with photographer Susie Lang. The photos during this amazing experience are very much treasured, as that December we started to notice Dennis was slightly wonky with his hindquaters. He was monitored closely and over the next 2 dyas he slowly deteriorated. On the third day he had got dramatically worse so the vet was called, as it was heartbreaking to see him suffering. The vet confirmed that Dennis was suffering from nerve damage and he was relieved from his pain.
Even though we hadn't known each other for very long, he had been a massive part of my life and taught me so much. I have hundreds of memories of him, along with the photos taken by Susie in the summer and now I have a beautiful ring made from his tail so that I can always keep a part of Dennis with me.
Bethany, March 2015