I am 41 years old and have been passionate about horses all my life. As a teenager I worked at my local riding stables but didn't do much actual riding. I only ever got to plod round on very tired ponies. Then at the age of 39 I decided I would learn to ride before 40 hit!! I started at a local school and quickly realised my passion was still very much there. I then was extremely fortunate and was offered a horse for my 40th birthday present.
After researching on line and finding MySafeCobs site I read every thing I could. I contacted Avril and then went down to meet her, Michael and Annie. We had spoken about a horse called Sula who Avril thought might be suitable for myself and my close friend Jo who would be sharing her with me. We spent a fantastic few hours chatting with Avril and meeting all the horses, especially Sula. We had a ride out and by the time we got back to the yard we had decided that even if Avril decided that Sula wasn't right for us we would wait until she found the right horse for us. We didn't want to go anywhere else, we just trusted her to do the right thing for us and the horse.
To cut the story slightly shorter, we bought Sula home to Worthing on the 29th may 2010. What a very exciting day that was. Well both myself and Jo were rather nervous as although we knew what Avril had told us about Sula, we didn't know her for ourselves. We had spent a day with April and the team on the Foundation course before we bought Sula home which helped enormously.
Avril just knew how to pitch the information she gave us so as not to overwhelm us. Our early rides were spent with one on top and one on the ground, walking miles round the woods, always with a head collar to hand in case one of us got a bit nervous. I'm sure there were plenty of people who passed us and had a giggle about how novice/nervous we were but we both felt it was better to slowly gain confidence than to rush things.
Slowly over the weeks as we got to know Sula we realised that she was exactly what Avril said she was, a very calm safe trustworthy mare who would really look after us. As we progressed I started to ride out with other people and horses and it was just the most amazing feeling. I began to do things I never thought I would have been able to, not only that but I felt completely calm and really didn't feel even the slightest bit nervous, I just felt sure of what Sula would do ( or rather not do ). By the end of our first winter I can honestly say the relationship that I had built with Sula was just amazing
I love her so very much for many reasons, not least the way she has made me feel. She's like my therapy. I work as a paediatric nurse and have 3 children and a home to run but when I'm with Sula my head clears and I feel soooo calm and happy. We now have rides out just me and her up onto the south downs, sometimes just walking sometimes having a gallop and sometimes even popping her over some logs on the way.
I have to say one of my favourite rides was down to the beach. A four hour ride that took in a busy dual carriageway a train crossing ( we queued with the rush hour traffic, a double decker bus right behind us!! ) and so much traffic I felt as though I was riding a police horse round London. Sula didn't put a hoof out of place, she was amazing. I can't believe how relaxed and calm I felt.
Also during the summer we enjoyed many rides to our local pub where Sula happily grazed whilst I enjoyed a coke and Sunday lunch with friends. On one of these trips there was a marquee in the garden for a christening along with a huge bouncy castle and Sula just glanced at it then settled down to grazing. What a girl.
Well I hope this has given you an insite into the sort of horse that Avril produces. There is hardly a day goes past that I don't silently thank her for Sula. It sounds a bit dramatic but my life really wouldn't be the same without her. There is no where I won't go on her, in company or on our own and she is the horse that everyone wants to ride out with. I've lost count of the number of people who have told me how lucky I am to have got a horse like her and whilst I do agree, it isn't all luck. Its also the fact that I would only buy my horse from MSC . Now both Jo and I can't imagine her being with anyone else, she is with us for good.
Thanks once again Avril,