It’s been a rough year for Arwen with many health setbacks but here’s a post saying that she’s still rocking and she’s still the most valuable horse in my life. Due to a lot of health issues, including piroplamosis and lameness both on one front leg and one back leg, I have not been able to ride her much at all, but I treasure her never the less. She is – and will always be – my first equine love. The most sensitive horse I know. The most precious equine personality. The most hardworking four-legged creature I have ever worked with. There is nothing she won’t do for me. There is no job she’ll ever refuse, and the hardest thing for her these past 24 months have had to settle for NOT being able / allowed to do all the things we used to. But whenever I can, I bring her out and let her run lose. Here in West Africa, I can’t scan her body to find out what is wrong but I can take her out and let her have as natural a life as possible. When I ride her, we trot a lot and try not to gallop, which is a challenge for a former race horse. Arwen loves to run. If we stay on good sandy tracks, all is normally well. But if she has too much energy and won’t listen when I tell her to take it easy, she’ll stomp so hard in the ground and soon there after, something will be hurting inside of her again.

But it’s ok. We are doing slow progress but progress nevertheless. I have noticed that if I let her run lose in the wild for a couple of rides, she can start carrying a rider much sooner again, which is what she loves.

Although I know after the past year that my racing queen will most likely never race again, I do believe that a lot of trotting and ambling in the bush without a rider can build up the strenght she needs to have an enjoyable life. She loves to carry a rider, and every time I take out another horse that is not her, she tries to sneak out in between us… My little sweetheart!

Although she’s my favourite ride, watching her go free is also such a joy. Her lines are so beautiful and smooth, and she is the only Nigerien barb I know that will lift her tail almost as high as an Arab. But she only does it in the bush, when she is all free, and prancing about in pure joy. I love watching that joy. I love watching her enjoy complete life quality. And I enjoy being able to take care of her after she has given me six years of perfect partnership.