As a photographer I am always talking to people about the importance of photographs, capturing memories and having beautiful images that you can treasure forever. I’m not talking about those iPhone snaps, or the selfies you take with your own horse. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of those on my phone and cameras nowadays are absolutely amazing! Although we live our lives online, on Social Media and hold most things digitally, I am particularly partial to printed products – framed prints, prints on metal or wood, albums, mounted prints to display on mini easels. I feel that its less effort to look at prints on your wall, rather than frantically scrolling through your phone to find that one image.
The reason for me rambling on about pictures and prints is something that at the moment is very raw and heart-breaking for me, and it fills me with regret.
Some may not know this but I am currently approaching the 30th anniversary of my first riding lesson, aged 3! Horses and ponies have been at the centre of my life and existence ever since that point. My husband, Ollie, is a polo player, he played before we met 10 years ago, and it is one of the things that brought us together, our love of horses! He decided last year that he wanted to learn how to ride “English”, probably learn to jump, and for us to have one horse that we could enjoy together.
Back in June 2019, Clydagh Mist (Daisy to her friends) came into our lives. She was 6 years old, came from Ireland and was backed and turned away. She came home and we started the process to continue her education. It soon became clear that something wasn’t right with her, so off she went to Rainbow Equine Hospital where it became clear that she had osteoarthritis in her offside hind fetlock. What a blow – she was only 6! She had her injections, had 3 months off in the field that she certainly didn’t complain about and was then given the all clear to start work!
After a couple of other health issues, some tantrums, bad weather and the dark nights she was ready to go to the wonderful Sam Drury to be re-backed. Just before Christmas we packed her up and sent her off, besides a small holiday back home over Christmas Day she finally came back home at the end of February.
I was so excited to have her home! I had dreams of taking her cantering down the beach, going out and about over Summer and having fun! One thing I really wanted to do is have my own photoshoot with her. There was always a reason why it wasn’t right to have a photoshoot just yet – Daisy needed to “fill out a bit”, she was clipped out, the weather is miserable, I want to lose weight first, the yard looks horrible with the mud and bare trees, I want to wait until it dries up so I can wear my Fairfax and Favor boots…..most of all we kept saying “she is only 6, we have loads of time with her. I’ll get one done in summer”.
I went to get the horses in on Tuesday and immediately knew there was something wrong with Daisy. The emergency vet was called and she had Colic, dreaded colic! Everyone was optimistic and with pain relief she perked up. Fast forward to Thursday, where she wasn’t worse, but she wasn’t better either, so the decision was made to take her to Rainbow to the hospital where she could receive the best care with more resources. Unfortunately, later Thursday evening Daisy took a turn for the worst and at 7.45pm we made the painful decision to put her to sleep.
Daisy was such a personality, when you shouted her in the field she would whinny at the top of her voice and come cantering up swinging her head, she would always ‘help’ me with the fencing, if I was on the phone, talking to someone, or god forbid stroking another horse she would demand my attention, kicking the door, pulling on a tie ring, shaking her head. She had a thing for zips, would route through your pockets, pretend she wasn’t going to cooperate, and follow me around like a dog (she had better recall than my actual dog!). She has left a massive hole in both our lives, the yard is ridiculously quiet without her, and I don’t think I have gone a day without crying yet, but we have to try and remember the fun times.
The reason for this blog is to remind everyone not to wait! As I’ve mentioned earlier, I had every reason under the sun as to why I wasn’t going to have our own photoshoot just yet, but now I will never have the chance. We had always intended to have a large picture of her on the wall in the lounge, to add to her fine art collection that is dotted around the hallway, unfortunately we have missed our chance to capture an image that shows her personality, beauty and our love for her.
This weekend we have learnt a very tough lesson not to wait, things will never be around forever. Don’t worry if you don’t think your yard is pretty enough or you haven’t lost the weight you wanted to, just do it!
Clydagh Mist aka Daisy – 22nd May 2013 to 27th February 2020.