I am a firm believer that horses come into our lives for a reason; they teach us valuable life lessons and are our refuge in times of stress. Here at Flying Horse we keep our horses for life. Some people can effortlessly upgrade to the next horse or buy and sell on a regular basis but for me it would be liking selling my family. I guess some people do choose the wrong horse but if the horse chooses you it must be the right decision! It is then up to you to work at being a team leader, a friend and a guardian to that horse.

Earlier this month Ben , our lovely big grey horse, became very sick and it was so very hard to make the decision to let him go. We bought him on the day he turned one. He was rounded up, gelded, had a halter put on for the first time and was waiting in a yard for us to pick him up. He was so frightened that we didn’t have the heart to subject him to another scary thing: his first time on a horse float. So Dave walked him home; by the time they had walked the 14kms home Ben was halter trained and devoted to Dave for the rest of his life. If I was holding Ben and Dave walked off there was no way he would stay with me. He would follow Dave anywhere.

Ben was the gentlest horse especially with children. We had five kids on him all at the same time and you could almost see the smile on his face as he walked slowly round with them. He taught lots of people to ride and also helped those who had lost their confidence on their own horse.

Ben was 19 when he died and our youngest horse Grace kept him company as he slowly passed away. She gave him lovely kisses and touched him very gently; they both sighed at the same time and then he was gone.

Rest in peace Ben.