Tayah had been with us a long time, about 17 of her 23 years. She really belonged to my daughter who learnt to ride on her when she was a youngster. I was merely a babysitter/feeder who paid the vet, farrier and feed bills.
She was a great pony club horse that was really good at barrel racing, jumping and even dressage. You could tell she really enjoyed herself at those events. She rarely baulked at going into the horse float or misbehaved and caused problems with other horses and their riders
We even thought she could be good on the agricultural show circuit when, at her first outing, she won a 2nd place in the Maiden Galloway Hack competiton at the Milton show. She also won a ribbon for a clear round in the C Class Jump.
It was with full expectation of victories that we entered her next year. What a disaster! In the Hacking event she went sideways, backwards, around in circles; everyway but forward. In the jumping she refused at the first hurdle and continued to do so until disqualified.
So that was the end of a budding show career.
She was retired to the farm and spent her time doing trail rides into our backcountry. She was not safe from incident here either. Once she was frightened into the armourguard railing alongside the highway and badly cut her leg. She also suffered at one stage from stifle lock. In the paddock one day while running around madly she tripped and fell head over heels and couldn’t walk for three days. But she came back well from all these setbacks.
So it was with confidence that I expected her to recover from the slight lameness I had noticed on my return from Queensland. But it got progressively worse. The vet said she was 99% sure the problem was neurological rather than physical but just to make sure she was put on a course of anti inflammatories. Unfortunately there was no improvement.
So on Tuesday we made the difficult and sad decision to put her down before she deteriorated any further to a stage where she could really hurt herself.
Tayah was part of the family and a constant source of enjoyment for all who came to stay here. Her loud greeting of visitors at the front gate as well as louder demands for food at breakfast and dinnertime were well known. Her dislike of men in general and her stubbornness at being caught by or accepting any treatment from them could be as amusing as it was frustrating. Her breaks for “freedom” through the front gate when in season so she could parade up and down the road in front of the local stallions and geldings, in typical Arab fashion, confirmed she was a bit of a tart. She was, however, easily induced back into her yard with the rattle of the feed bucket and the promise of her favourite food, Economix horse pellets.
She now has a prime position in her favourite paddock looking down the hill where she can still check out all her horse friends in the neighbourhood as well as those pesky cows who have periodically encroached upon her patch.
Life here will be a lot quieter without her.