Six years ago on a cold blustery
and rainy night, a little 3 year old Exmoor gelding arrived in Edinburgh.
He was the very first pony I had owned at the grand old age of 25, although
I had ridden and been involved with Exmoors all my life.
Unbroken and inexperienced, we soon began to develop a strong bond, and his
personality began to shine through. We attended many shows as he loved nothing
better than showing off in the ring, and he was quite successful. The peak
of our triumphs was being placed as reserve Mountain and Moorland champion
at Dalkeith Show in 2003. The judge said that if she didn't suspect he was
over height (which he was!!) she would have happily given him the Championship,
which we were very pleased about. We holidayed together down in the borders,
where we had a wonderful week exploring the tracks and countryside of the
Buccleuch Estate along with a group of friends, and I finally realized my
dream, if only for a week, of having my pony visible from my bedroom window,
where he quickly cottoned on that polos would be thrown for him if he put
on a cute enough expression!
Unfortunately at the beginning of 2004, Kieran went suddenly and extremely
lame, and was quickly diagnosed with a fractured pedal bone. Having never
really been in a stable before then, we were facing at least 6 months box
rest and only a 50:50 chance of him becoming sound again, as it was a severe
fracture. Kieran coped admirably with the enforced rest, and since he wasn't
even allowed out of the stable to be mucked out, he soon got on with the
task of `helping' me every day when I came to do it, such as trying to steal
the fork and tip over the wheelbarrow! Unfortunately, despite the box rest
being extended to 9 months, and having a plaster cast fitted over the affected
hoof, Kieran did not show any signs of healing, and I was left with a stark
choice. Sadly, he didn't cope with retirement well, and was bored and miserable.
He would have always needed an increasing dose of painkillers to help him
stay as pain free as possible, and a remedial shoe fitted every 4 weeks,
so I made the difficult decision to end his suffering on Friday 3rd
My little ray of sunshine has now gone, although he'll never be forgotten,
either by me or anyone who knew him. He was funny, charismatic and endlessly
full of cheek and mischief, and I will miss having him in my life so much.
During difficult times he never failed to make me feel better when we went
on lovely long hacks through the countryside, or fast frenetic gallops across
the grass or just spending time with him during his box rest in the stable.
These times chased all other thoughts out of my mind. Being with him seem
to melt all my other troubles away, he was the best therapy in the
He is now at peace, and I would like to extend a huge thank you to
everyone who supported me through this difficult past year. He was worth
every moment. He was my lovely boy and my best friend, and losing him has
left a gaping hole in my life, but I feel so privileged to have known him
and cared for him, if only for a relatively short time.