I’ve found that people tend to either like horses or be terrified of them. I started horse riding when I was about 6 years old and have been riding ever since. I’ve always been an animal person. I’d much rather be around animals than humans (No offence). I fell in love with horses. Everything about them. I connected with them. They understood me and didn’t judge.
My whole life has been focused around horses. I used to have weekly riding lessons and if I wasn’t riding I was reading all these books about horses to gain more knowledge. I just could not get enough of them. When I finished high school I moved to Cheshire for college where I studied Horse Management and Care. I spent 2 years here and went on to work with horses.
A couple of years ago, life got shit and I hit a real low. I was in a toxic relationship that I couldn’t seem to escape from and my work life wasn’t 100%. At the time I was living and working at a yard in Cheshire, I was happy there for about the first year, then things changed and one day I hit a brick wall and I couldn’t handle anything any more. I left the relationship, I left the job and moved back home to Manchester to live with my mum and brother again. I needed some time off. Working with horses is a very physically demanding job and it can drain you physically, emotionally and mentally and at the time I had a lot of issues going on both in my personal life and work life so I just cracked.
I took a few months off and in those months I decided I didn’t want to work with horses again. The money was shit and some of the people were even shittier. The equine world can be a very cruel and dark place, and when you are mentally not in a good place, the combination can clash. So I went and got a ‘normal’ job in an office. The money was crazy, I had never earned that much, but the job didn’t work out. It was a sales job so I had to ring out to people and when you have severe anxiety its terrifying beyond belief. But back then I didn’t even realise I had anxiety, I thought I was just wired that way. So if I didn’t realise I couldn’t expect other people to? I ended up getting fired from the job after a month or so there. I think it was the mixture of my own actions and I just didn’t fit in with that office environment and the people there.
Two weeks later I had a new job at another office working as a customer service advisor for a online equine retail company. So I kinda went back into the horse industry but stuck to the office side. Not gonna lie, I was missing horses a lot.
The first 6 months or so I loved the job. The office was small with only about 7 others but we felt like family. It felt good there. My main job was to answer the phone when customers called in. One day, a lady rang up and I answered. She wanted to place an order, so I took her details and I noticed she lived in the same town as me! So we got chatting about her two horses who were on a yard 5 minutes away from where I lived. She was pregnant at the time and was looking for another loaner for one of her horses. I thought to myself, this could be what I need, this could fill in the missing gap. So the following Thursday we met up at the yard. We went to see her pony Cracker first. He’s your typical pony. Cheeky but has an adorable face so he can get away with it. Then we went to see her horse Bubbles and he took my breath away. As soon as I saw him I fell in love. I knew then that I needed him in my life. After discussing with his owner we decided I would start loaning Bubbles.
A few months into the loan and I was so happy with him. I was looking after him 3 days a week. I looked forward to spending time with him and just being around him. Eventually I went on to loan him full-time and I felt complete. I was content with my life. However my work life then took a hit and I was knocked down. The company I was working for had been taken over by another company and everything changed. Emotionally and mentally I couldn’t take it. The atmosphere in the office changed. When you’re in one place for 8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week it takes it toll on you. I got signed off work by my doctor and I was destroyed. I struggled. I struggled a lot. The people I used to work with, the people I classed as good friends were nowhere to be seen. I heard through the grapevine they thought I had it all planned out. I felt so alone but I just had to keep putting a smile on my face. Every time I went to the yard I would break down. Whether it was in the stable, field or out riding. When I was around Bubbles I felt safe, secure and I knew I could be me. I knew I didn’t have to keep that fake smile on my face. I knew I could just release everything on to him and he wouldn’t judge! He wouldn’t tell anyone or think I was crazy he would just be there for me. It got a lot harder before it got easier. Life was really testing me and pushing my boundaries but Bubbles remained my rock all the way through. He helped me stay focused. He gave me a purpose to get out of bed and get dressed. He relied on me to feed him and look after him. He needed me just as much as I needed him. If he hadn’t come into my life, I dread to think about where I would be and what mind-set I would be in.
I haven’t loaned Bubbles for half as long as other people have had their horse, but looking back I believe I was supposed to answer that phone call. It was the universes way of saying “You will need him and he will need you”. He has been there for me through a lot and I haven’t even loaned him for 12 months yet, but when you connect with a horse, time doesn’t matter.
I still loan him full time at the moment, but I am moving to Australia on the 3rd August to work on a stud/racing yard (Yes I’m going back to working with horses!), which means he will have to go back to his owner as I sadly can’t take him on the plane with me. I am not looking forward to saying bye to him. I cry just thinking about it, but I know I would not have been able to get this far without him. I know I would not have been able to take this next step if it wasn’t for him and its heart breaking knowing he doesn’t really understand what he has done for me.
I believe I was supposed to answer that phone call, and I believe Bubbles is a very special horse who is here to help others. Once I’ve left for Oz I know there will be another person out there who will need a bit of help, and I’m sure they will find their way to Bubbles, and that makes all this a lot easier for me.
If you have a horse like Bubbles in your life, enjoy them. They truly are a gift from the universe. They have been put here for a reason and you were meant to cross paths with them. Treasure them. They deserve it.
Love you lots,