Nicola Rhodes shares her story of Major, her horse of a lifetime. You wouldn't know to look at him that he's getting on in his years (and we won't tell him if you don't!).
Major is a 16.2hh, very traditional Irish draught cross - according to his passport - breeding unknown!
He recently turned 25 but has no idea that he is now considered a real veteran. In fact, he continues to behave like a ten-year-old.
Major came to me 12 years ago on loan. A fellow NRC member, Rosie Allen knew his previous owners through Pony Club. She made the introductions, I went to try him and the rest they say is history.
Major had no brakes and only two settings: stop and flat out. We relearnt everything together, and I was lucky enough to be able to buy him.
He is my horse of a lifetime. We have done so much together and he really tries his best to look after me and gives everything a go. Even when I’m not sure, he gives me the confidence to go on.
He can be very strong and gets very keen, but he's never really naughty. Plus, he can always be bribed with an extra-strong mint!
Major loves his flatwork lessons, especially polework. He is equally happy to hack in the heaviest of traffic. We have been to camp together, done cross country training and a bit of dressage and he has even had a go in the show ring!
I am so fortunate that he is still in such good condition. Mentally, he needs to be out and doing things. He is almost self-loading when he sees the trailer ready to go!
Keeping him fit and happy seems to be working... and long may it continue.