In the September of our first year in Spain we went to a horse fair in a town about an hour away. A stupid thing to do really – it was obvious we were going to want to ‘save’ all the poor horses. One little black horse really caught our eye though. She was so sweet and pretty and being dragged around by an old man who was trying to convince everyone to buy her. He told us that her name was Mora, which means Blackberry or ‘dark woman’ in Spanish. Before we knew what we were doing, we had agreed to buy her. (Thanks to my Dad who was there at the time. He felt it only fair that our daughter Elizabeth should have her own pony, seeing as we already had 2 horses for the boys).
Poor Blackberry arrived at our farm in the back of a van , smaller than a transit van. Squashed in and just about able to stand up next to a mule that was also being delivered to our village. We were horrified, and couldn’t wait to give her some love and attention. We soon realised that she was absolutely running alive with bot flies. As we hosed her down she stood so nicely and allowed us to do our best to remove them. What a well behaved horse, we thought.
Not all was as it seemed
The next day it became obvious that she had only been such a quiet placid horse the day before as she had been drugged. Today was a whole different story!
Blackberry proved to be a very nervous and angry little horse. We had no idea what had happened to her in her previous life but it can’t have been good. With lots of love and attention our daughter, only 10 at the time, was able to eventually ride her. She also became a nice companion for Polly and Caretta.
Blacky has never been an easy horse though, and it always feels like we go two steps forward and one back. She is very intelligent and sensitive and can also be quite moody. She really did not like men at all to begin with and if she took a dislike to someone she would lunge towards the fence with her ears back in a very threatening way. Her mood was quite dependent on the weather on a warm sunny day, she could be so lovely and gentle and laid back. It was almost as if she suffered from seasonal adjustment disorder.
Back to square one
We had got her to the point where she was usable for clients and a trustworthy horse to ride. That lasted until we had horse sitters staying to take care of the place whilst we went to England.
When we came back , Blacky behaved quite aggressive, especially if we approached her with tack. Deeming her quite unridable. We never found out what happened while we were away, but we were back to square one.
Back on track again
Since then, with a lot of love, care and a good lot of patience, Blacky has become a dear horse who wouldn’t hurt a fly. She became ridable again until getting diagnosed with breathing difficulties. This has caused us to retire her. Now we only take her out to accompany other horses on walks or lead reign.