(This blog was originally written and posted on the 29th October 2013 but has
As announced on my Facebook and Twitter pages, it is with the deepest regret and most profound sadness that I write this blog post informing my followers and clients that my beloved 'old boys' and popular schoolmasters Tyke and Teddy were put down together last week at Rycroft School of Equitation in Hampshire. Both have experienced long-term health problems that were not improving so the decision was made with their best interests in mind whilst they are still happy and relatively well.
As some may know, we lost our yard a few months ago which put an end to Team Derbz as we knew it. No longer able to provide livery services (schooling/backing/competition etc) or schoolmaster lessons, it also threw me into the terrible position of having to find homes for my horses and quickly. Whilst I was fortunate enough to be able to find somewhere that would allow me to keep both Troy and Jimmy, I could not also take Tyke and Teddy. Luckily my wonderful friends Laura and Mel stepped up to look after them whilst I tried to find them long-term homes, ensuring that they stayed together and at home. Thanks to Laura and Mel, Tyke and Teddy spent a glorious summer at grass in the sunshine - fat, happy and well. Loved and in good company.
Separately and together, these horses changed my life and taught me so much as well as providing me with companionship and endless joy. They are responsible for rebuilding and strengthening not only my confidence and skill, but the confidence and skills of the countless students and friends who rode and handled them in their time here.
Without a doubt my two most popular horses with children and adults of all ages and abilities - a testament to their talent, attitude to their jobs and wonderfully kind, gentle natures.
Having never been much of a fan of chestnuts, quite how I ended up with 3 and all with names starting with T I'm not quite sure! But 'The T-Nuts' quickly became the most important things in my life and an integral part of my team in a business where horses come and go quickly. Now with just Troy remaining - 'Mid T' - I can't help feeling like there will always be something missing.
These irreplaceable horses gave me everything and owe me absolutely nothing. I am forever changed and forever a better horse-person having had the privilege to have had them in my life. They will be forever missed.