They say you have one horse in a lifetime, and this is so true when it comes to my Belgium Warmblood - Zeb. Having ridden throughout my childhood and into my teens, I took a break from horse riding but came back to it when I was in my early thirties. Zeb literally fell in my lap. He was certainly not a horse I would search to buy. He was coming up nine and a huge 17.2 hands with the longest back you have ever seen! With me being 5ft 5 and not blessed with long legs, it was certainly not a perfect match in stature.
He really gave me the run around in the early years and I certainly had naive stamped on my forehead when I parted with my money to buy him. Owning horses is a huge commitment affecting all aspects of your life. However, as the years went by my relationship with this horse became a solid and trusted one. Very cliche to say, but this horse looked after me and I lovingly looked after him and he taught me so much! There are many stories to tell about my times with him and he is the reason my working career took a turn in a different direction. By starting a blog writing about the ups and downs living with Zeb would bring, this turned into an equestrian network which has grown vastly over the years. My work then developed into writing and working within social media marketing, particularly in the equestrian and countryside industry. This is all down to Zeb, this incredible horse.
Fourteen years seemed to flash by and I noticed in the last year that he was with me that he was slowing down considerably. He always liked to have an ailment or two but he would always bounce back. This last winter was incredibly hard on his arthritic bones and he was starting to give me the signs he had had enough. Blood tests indicated something very sinister was going on and further symptoms worsened despite treatment. After a very difficult and pragmatic chat with my vet, it was sadly time to say goodbye to my beloved horse. The day that I last held his head in my arms, was utterly heartbreaking and devastating. It brings tears to my eyes just talking about him now, many months on. You never get over losing a horse you love; you just learn in time to live without them.
I felt very strongly and early on after losing him, that I wanted a part of him to be with me always. Having a ring made with his tail hair was the perfect and cherished keepsake to remember my fantastic horse by. This ring I will treasure forever, never forgetting my lovely big and handsome Zeb.
Sam, August 2018