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Jim Lad

Towards the end of the first lock down in 2020 I had decided to quit riding for a while because I didn't have my own horse and riding schools weren't open where I live. 

Through a colleague of my Dad we found a woman looking to loan out her senior pony since she was going to uni soon and I managed to get out and see him. I massively underestimated his age, I was thinking he was 17/18 when really he was 24.

I saw him a few times and decided start a loan with him. 
For a first pony on my own I couldn't ask for anything better than what he was like. A gentle personality whilst still incredibly athletic jumping every other week with me. 

At first I didn't want to get too close to him since I was aware that he was only a loan and he was really quite old. We had a few accidents but everytime I was even close to losing confidence he would make it clear he was ready to do anything again. 
He took me on hacks around a place I didn't know, even took me up towards a nice gallops where his owner would take him. We spent months like his and after a while I didn't think it would be a normal day without seeing him. 
I'd come to the field and no matter what Jim would happily come up to me for whatever we were doing.

He took me to my first competition late August where we wanted to jump but there we're no senior jump offs and with him being 25 we didn't want to over do it, through not fault of his own we didn't do the best I can't lie but he loved it. I could tell he wanted to do more but at the time we couldn't so we put it off until next 2022 to jump at a show again with him at 27 then I would consider letting him retire since age was starting to wear on him.

Even thought we could tell something was slightly off as for the first year he was properly greying and was getting more tired with his work. He was not wanting to be lunged or caught. I put him on a break where me and him just spent time together keeping good company.

When he was doing better I brought him back over a few weeks into work when we finally went on hack fairly far away. He wasn't stiff and even had a good look at all the new horses in fields he'd never seen before. He had not been so light on his feet for a good while, for a last ride it really was a wonderful one. 

On the Thursday I got the message that he had colic but didn't seem too bad. Went down, and finally saw how comfortable he was with me. 
I sat in his stall and for the first time in over a year he was lay with me and went fully to sleep in my lap for a bit, it truly was wonderful.

I saw him a second time on the Saturday or Sunday since his owner was with him. I spent my entire morning till early evening there and I think when you watch such a large beautiful animal like that it helps you accept the situation. We went on one last walk that I think he really enjoyed. 
Eventually I left the farm to leave him with his closest family when he passed.

I like to think I truly made him happy in the end, brining him out of semi retirement, taking him to his first competition in years and going to places he hadn't been for a a good while.

He is in the field he spent nearly half of his life in covered in beautiful seasonal flowers which we hope will bloom every year to show his beauty. Jim will never be forgotten. Phoebe, February, 2022


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