I owned Sherry the longest of any horse I've had. She stayed with me till the day she died unexpectedly at 22. I thought she'd live much longer than that. She was a registered Part Arabian, Buckskin and Australian Stud Saddle Pony, and had been very successful in the show ring, but I never really showed her after one attempt at halter where it was obvious she was bored to tears. By the time she came to me at 11, Sherry was over showing and preferred to do fun stuff. We did all sorts of weird and wonderful things.
This was some sort of medieval jousting demo in a huge dome thingy in town. I was the jester. The demo itself was a bit of a disaster, since the jousting horses wouldn't actually come together to joust but Sherry was a marvel, coping with the noises and sights of the crowd and indoor space like an old hand, galloping around the arena, tail and mane and ribbons flowing. Look at my bare feet! Imagine the insurance nightmare that would be nowadays!
Actually I seem to be barefoot in most of these pics. I was such a feral!
We did other medieval stuff too. I love this pic of a group of us coming home after a quest we did at an SCA event we ran at our share house. Such a mix of costumes and we all look happy, so it was obviously time well spent. I think I was 21 then. I had high hands, I know. I did that a lot on her. Something to do with the way she'd get her head down and pigroot if I didn't, maybe. :)
Here she is, maybe pigrooting, or maybe just cantering, on the same day. Her back end was always overtaking her front end. Sis used to say that from behind it was like watching a Staffy run, the way she'd just get those back legs working together at the same time. Argh! My hands, my hands!
I also trained Sherry to harness and drove her about the streets. Never used blinkers. I'd been too influenced by reading Black Beauty. It never caused an issue, as she was pretty much bombproof in harness, as long as you didn't canter, but then she was always a handful at canter, saddle or harness. She was a whizz in a cart, could really skim along with that floating Arab trot. Funny how much faster you seem to be going when behind them than when on top of them.
By the way, that skinny horse behind us there was a rescued Tb broodmare who came from a stud that was closing down, for obvious reasons. She was fattening up by then, believe it or not! The two dogs are my Keech and Sam.
Sherry hadn't done any jumping before she came to me and I can't say she was ever wild about it, but we did do low level stuff and even a few small one day events. This was at Adult Riding Club.
We did a heap of trail riding out into the bush and she was a fantastic trail horse. That's my sister Jen riding a part Arabian, part Standardbred mare called Duchess, who she leased for a while. She and Sherry made a great pair on the trail, being both ripsnorting hotties who liked to hurry it along. No dawdling for those two! Heh, we've both got bare feet in this pic. We were such bushgrubs.
Sherry was a 'hoon' whether saddled or unsaddled.
But she was also very clever and sensible when it counted.
She didn't mind giving pony rides, but was never a beginner's horse.
She was complicated, funny, beautiful, opinionated and fun. I always think of a particular Icelandic quote when I see this pic of us.
"Between a man and a horse and a dog lies a secret bond."
Between Sherry, Keech, Sam and I, there was a bond, no doubt about it.