What They Taught Me: Ned

So into it.
When I moved to Philly in 2011 I was doing a serious runner. NYC is hell on wheels for a horse lover and I had endured two years of hard labor in the most horseless place on earth.

Upon setting foot in the City of Brotherly Love, I immediately went about looking for a barn. I ended up at my current farm because I wanted to change tracks and get into eventing for the first time. There were a couple options available for leasing and the idea of being able to ride more consistently after spending years only riding once a week was too tantalizing to ignore.

A show on my 25th birthday, where we got 7th OF COURSE.
That's when I started my first lease in my adult life, the true reemergence of Megan as an Adult Amateur rider. His name was Ned.

The day we met.
This horse got me back in touch with who I was. I only rode him a couple days a week but as time passed I remembered I wasn't purely a business woman or a student, I was a rider. I slipped back into myself going through the motions of bathing, pulling mane, trail riding and braiding. I brushed Ned until his coat gleamed and my favorite weekend activities were prepping him and the trailer for horse shows.

My first time cross country schooling EVAR.
Ned was a special individual in his own right. He was Sally Cousin's first homebred, a gorgeous purpose bred Thoroughbred. She competed him up to Advanced before he went blind in one eye. He could still jump and navigate courses but you had to give him a nice straight wide turn to the right which meant he'd never make the time.

The purple transformation becomes complete.
I was so lucky to have him. Ned taught me that running cross country was the most fun you could have on this earth. But more importantly, he also brought me back to myself. He reminded me why I love riding and horses so much, and that it was such a vital part of my life I had to keep up with it at the risk of my own sanity.



After eight beautiful months of competing and galloping through hill and dale all over the East Coast we started to hit some walls. He struggled with some symptoms of aging that culminated in a very bad fall and a trip to the ER. After sorting that out he felt better under saddle but then struggled navigating through the barn, the indoor, and eventually the outdoor. It was never clear why he went blind in one eye to begin with but he appeared to be losing his sight in the other eye as well, finally resulting in him going completely blind. We made the decision to let him go a few days before Christmas.



I was devastated to lose this horse. He helped me remember who I was and took a green eventer and allowed me to feel what a true cross country horse felt like. I finally felt inspired to write this post because I still have pictures of him littered around my apartment. I look so genuinely happy in all of them. He was a beautiful, giving animal who had nothing but try in his heart and he made me fall deeply in love with this sport. I'm more than proud to be able to say I could be a part of his story.



Thank you so much, Ned. You turned this rider into an eventer for life.

Comments

  1. Wow what a sweet horse with a really cool story. :)

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  2. <3 such a special horse - and an amazing opportunity for you!

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  3. He sounds amazing! We all need a Ned.

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  4. He sounds like a lovely horse. I need a Ned.

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  5. What a wonderful horse that you found right when you needed it.

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  6. Horses like that are worth their weight in gold. It's a privilege to know them.

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  7. Ned sounds like a wonderful soul. I'm glad you have so many beautiful memories with him <3

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  8. What an awesome guy! So glad you had each other if only for a little while.

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  9. He sounds awesome and like he gave you quite a bit!

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