Originally I didn’t intend to include much about Bayside, but as I remember back to our times together I’ve decided to write more about her.
I have my friend Pete to thank for finding Bayside. He’s a tree surgeon in Horsham now, but back then he was a student. He always loved nature and horses and I remember him always climbing trees and making camps up in the branches.
Anyhow one day he was out helping to lay a hedge when a woman came running down the street, asking if they’d seen a runaway horse! They hadn’t but because he was such a horse love, Pete joined in the search. To cut a long story short, it took them over 2 hours to find the horse, then another hour to catch her.
Pete helped the lady to walk the horse back home and they got talking. Turned out she had several horses and was a bit fed up with all the work. Her daughter had gone off to university leaving her with 3 horses and a donkey to care for, as well as her own horse. So she was thinking of selling a couple.
Pete knew I was looking for a nice safe riding horse, so he put us in touch and I trotted off to see Bayside.
It was love at first sight – for me at least – I’m not sure Bayside was quite so impressed. I’m not the world’s best rider, just a happy hacker who wants a safe horse to love and have some fun with.
As I said before, I don’t have any photos because they were lost in a fire, but I’ve found this picture of a couple of percheron x tb horses and the one on the right looks quite similar to Bayside. She was probably a little lighter in build, but it’s difficult to tell from just head and neck.
Over the years Bayside and I had some great times. The hacking around here is pretty good with lots of bridleways and woods just around the corner. We used to find the odd tiger trap or small pile of logs to hop over and we often went out with friends on their horses.
Occasionally we went to a local show or to a lesson through the riding club or a local riding school. I had a trailer so we’d pop off when we felt like it (or when I felt like it). Nowadays everyone seems to have boxes, but Bayside and I loved our trailer and the old landrover that pulled it around the Sussex countryside.
It all ended sadly when Bayside was 18. She was in her stable as the weather was awful when she started looking strange. If you’re a horsey person, you know when your horse is off-colour. I’m not going into details because it’s too painful, but Bayside had bad colic.
We rushed her to the vet but she had a twisted gut and unfortunately the operation was unsuccessful.
I have to remember that we had 8 year together and I am so grateful to have such lovely memories with Bayside. I just wish I had some photos.
In the unlikely event that someone reading this has a photo of a Percheron/TB/Arab, would you please be so kind as to send me a copy? You can reach me here