This all began with a a horse. Magnum to be precise. Long story short, sapphire was out on what I thought was perminant loan, I had left work and gone back to college, and Hal really wasn’t very welll at all. Reluctantly I came round to the fact that my horse owning days were probably over. I was miserable. I started to have a weekly ride at a local riding school, and the horse they put me on was Magnum. So there I was, 5ft 3in of frustrated ex-equestrian , unfit, very overweight, virtually totally blind, and so stiff with arthritis that getting on the mounting block was a challenge, never mind getting on the horse! The lady who ran the riding school introduced herself and then said “Sorry, but I’m going to have to put you on Magnum. My other horse is Ill”. Odd really as they had about 20 horses. So you can imagine how uncertain I felt when they led out an enormous, skinny and scruffy battle charger and invited me to climb aboard.

Then I landed in the saddle and fell hopelessly and irretrievably in love.

To cut a long story short,and it is a long and complicated story, just over a year later Magnum became mine. Later that year Sapphire suddenly and unexpectedly came back from her loan home. After buying Magnum I’d kept him on land rented by the family who had Sapphire. However there were no stables there., so I wanted to move him to a yard where he could come in overnight during winter. This was wen I discovered that , since putting Sapphire out on loan, all the decent, affordable livery yards in our area had closed! Those that there were, were either hideously expensive, or the kind of place you wouldn’t keep a clothes horse. Luckily, we found Magmum a billet on a local farm. Then the woman who had Sapphire suddenly announced that if we were taking Magnum we better take Sapphire too! This caused a few problems as Farmer Jim had only allowed for one horse, but he kindly agreed for us to keep Sapphire with Magnum so long as we only needed one stable.

So there we were, with 2 horses that we couldn’t really afford. Keeping them on rented land on a Dartmoor hill farm, and with the dream of owning our own land just setting seed in our minds.