Dot com was my first ever horse! It all started when my mum asked me if I wanted to go to her friend's livery. Of course I said yes, so the next day I went there, the woman who owned the livery had a daughter who went with me to the farm. She said I'm going to ride a horse called Dotty (Dot com). She was 15.3HH and was an Irish draft x Irish hunter, and she was skelbald colour, 7 years old and was born in June 1997. When we got to the farm, there were 2 polo ponies, Harry who was an Irish hunter, 17.3HH grey horse, Chester was an Irish hunter, 17.1 chestnut and Liverpool, who was an Irish hunter as well and Dotty. When I saw all the horses, Dotty was there just staring at me. Hannah taught me to pick out the dirt from her hoofs, to groom her and to tack her up, also to muck out. When I started to ride her, she was so relaxed she never pulled. When it was time to go, I just wanted to come back, so I did. It happened again and again because I loved her.

The woman who owned her said that she was going to sell her. I didn't want her to go, so I asked my mum and dad, they said they'll have a look at her on Saturday at 4 pm. The day came and my mum and dad got to the farm and fell in love with her and bought her! I was so happy, my mum wanted to ride, so we went to the big field at the bottom of the farm and I went on her first.  I pushed her into a trot, then into a canter and then a gallop. It felt like we were flying, I swore she was meant to be a race horse! My mum went on and she had a gallop on her.

I went on holiday with my nan and grampy for a week. When I got back, my mum had broken her hip because she was riding Dotty and a deer spooked her. My mum wanted to get off, so my mum got off, but Dotty kicked my mum. The next week I was riding Dotty she was going so fast I fell off her and got knocked out, which was funny.

On the 12th November, we went to see her, to muck her out and all that. I tacked her up, and got on her and took her to the field like always. Five minutes later, something wasn't right. She kept on spooking. I told my mum something wasn't right. Mum didn't believe me. Twenty minutes later I untacked her and took her to the paddock and let her go. I went home for a couple of hours and then came back up to the farm. I put her head collar on and she started to drink mud. I tried to stop her, then she stopped drinking it. I took her up to her stable. She was really thirsty, I have never seen her so thirsty in the 3 months that we had her. We put her in her stable and said good bye like every weekend and see you tomorrow.

I got home and my friend came round, then there was a phone call at 11 pm. It was Dotty, there was something wrong with her. We got to her, she looked dead, she was really hot. We called the vets and the vet came in half an hour. He started to see what was wrong, then he put his hand in her bum and his face dropped. It was something really bad! He took his hand out and said she had colic and multiple twisted gut. By this time it was midnight, he said its an operation to keep her alive, but once we open her up we would have to open her up again and again, or we could put her down. My mum and dad went away and came back and said we have to put her down cause the other way she would be in pain all the rest of her life. My dad and the vet took her to the barn, the vet let her lie down, he put her hand over her eye and put the injection into her and the most amazing thing ever happened, she started to canter off for 10 seconds and then she was dead. No more Dotty.

I wished it was a dream, but it wasn't. They put her rug over her and we went home. The next day we went to collect all her things, which was hard for me cause I wanted to cry forever! The people came to collect her, to burn her and wait for wind and then let her ashes go to be free. I started to think she wanted to be free, she never liked the bridle. She was never meant to be in this world! She was put down on the 13th November 2005 at 12:30.

In 2006 we wanted a border collie puppy, so we went and got one. It was a boy and I tell you what, I was so happy because I found out that he was born on the 13 November 2005!  Dotty ran off to him, she knew we needed a border collie. And today I feel her round me and I see her watching me in the clouds. Be free Dotty, cant wait to see you again!!

UK, Gloucester

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