Niandu and I found each other 14 years ago.
A beautiful chestnut polo
pony brought to the livery yard I was at in England from
New Zealand. He was far too sensitive for the job he had been
given. He had a reputation for being unsettled and bore psychological
scars from his life in polo, and I didn't believe at first I would
be able to ride him.
When I sold the youngster
I had at the time (who had not been a good match for me) and Niandu
was retired from polo, with the encouragement of a friend, I agreed
to try him. I knew before I rode him I had found my soulmate on the
ground as I had by this time known him for a couple
of years, and to my surprise and delight, I found riding him came
He gave me 100%, was kind,
genuine and exciting. This was the start of so many perfect and happy years
together. People say I rescued you, but you gave it back in bucket loads.
Each time we went out, it
was like the first time, everything was so much fun. He was gentle in every
way, and once you had earned his trust, he was happy and relaxed. We did
so much together and made so much progress, both on an emotional level and
in terms of what we were physically able to do. I had lost my nerve jumping
with my previous horse, but even though he was over the age of twelve
and had not been asked to jump before, Niandu did it perfectly. He gave his
heart to anything that was asked of him. I was even able to catch him fairly
easily, which was a big thing for him as he had always been so suspicious
When my son was born 9 years
ago, he started to come to the yard with me almost straight away, he grew
up with Niandu. From the time he started to walk, he was able to lead Niandu
on the lead rein and even progressed to riding him a couple of times. Niandu
would tiptoe around my son, being so careful not to hurt him accidentally.
It was hard juggling family, work etc., but Niandu made it all worth
it. With the exception of the odd holiday, I had to see him twice a
day or I would start to miss him. He was my other baby and I was very
protective of him.
On the 30th March this year,
I rode Niandu after work. It was a great ride, the evening was starting to
get cool and there was a mist in the air. We went around the farm, just me
and him. I remember talking to him and telling him how happy I was and how
fortunate we were to be able to experience this. Those are my
last memories of him being well. The following day something was
very wrong and I lost him later on that day as a result of a ruptured stomach
that had happened in the night.
That was three weeks ago.
I miss him more than I can say, and now that the shock of loosing him is
wearing off, the pain seems to get worse. He was my friend. I miss his
trusting eye, his soft wicker when I went into the
barn, his calmness, his smell, the knowledge that we
were perfectly matched, the freedom as we cantered around the farm tracks,
everything about him. He was a part of me and our lives have been woven together
for 13 years. I wasn't ready for him to go.
Niandu - my special
beautiful boy, my star - I miss you - we all miss you. Murphey
and Locky called for you for days when you went. People can't believe you
have gone, you touched so many lives. I hope you were not in pain
at the end. It is a comfort that you died at home where you belonged,
it was just way too soon.
It is now three years since I lost my beloved Niandu. Although I still miss him greatly and think of him daily, time does heal. I am still at the same yard and am surrounded by wonderful memories.
I have a new horse, a young mare, also chestnut, fiesty and pretty, Niandu would love her. She is very different to him in many ways which is perhaps a good thing.
He was a horse in a million and I will never forget him.
For anyone who has just lost a horse, have comfort in the fact that it does get better in time.
God bless you Niandu,