My mother has always loved horses and learnt pretty much everything she could from every horse book that existed, but was never given the chance to ride or look after a horse, she was thrilled when, about 16 years ago a collegue of hers who did eventing at an amateur level asked her if she would like to help with looking after one of her horses in exchange for being allowed to learn to ride on him, and so she met Ben.
Ben was a strong-willed 14.3hh Welsh Cob x Thoroughbred that spooked whenever he saw a tree/leaf/bird/bag/cloud...etc, not the easiest horse for a beginner to learn on, but they managed.
It became a point where his owner could not keep him due to family reasons eventually, he was going to be retired to sort of rescue centre where the horses where left in a field for the rest of their days, but my mother had another idea.
She had become very attached to Ben and so asked "Well instead of the rescue having him, I could give him a good home you know..."
His owner happily agreed and my mother got her first horse.
We all loved Ben, he taught me to respect horses and how to care for them and gave my mother the 400kg dog she had always wanted. When we moved to France, there never was a question about whether Ben would come with us or not, also when we planned to emigrate to Canada there was no question, if Ben was still with us, he would come.
But life is not so easy, at 42 years of age, the years started to show, he became arthritic and would quite often struggle to stand up after rolling in his field or stable.
One day he just couldn't get up...
I will never forget Ben, a spirited, ever young at heart creature.