For those of you who know, and those who don’t, I’m finally hanging up my riding boots. Although come to think of it I haven’t sat on a horse in nearly 3 weeks.
I’ve been wanting out of racing for some time, I love my horses, I always will, but the job is dead to me. Too many times I’ve been shot down because showing any form of intelligence when your face doesn’t fit means they couldn’t care less. Even when you’re right.
At this point I should thank Mark Lashly and Joe Herbert for listening to me every now and then. And Matt Stanley and Jack Pilkington. Lads you will never read this, but you’ve listened to me vent my frustrations several times, and been kind.
Kindness I find sadly lacking in racing. And understanding.
So. I’m nearly out. Just a few days left. Having to shut my mind down everytime I think of leaving my horses I look after. Little ‘mini me’ – Tea With Eleanor. Atab (Biddy or Atabin) – who caused me so much sweat and tears over the winter and desperately needs to learn to trust. Everything with Atab I feel has been hard won and easily lost. One little mistake from ignorance can lose so much. Pandora – my skinny little chestnut filly who I always said would do anything for anyone. Well proved when she won at Doncaster. I’ve never met another horse that tries so hard. And (not so little) Henry. Real name Swilly Sunset. A big, quiet kind colt, always looking happy. Another one of my ‘dudes’
And Boots. The 8 year old yard cat I knew as a kitten. The one that used to be up the gallops and would trot back next to me. The one that is now fat and slightly deaf, and follows me around meowing soundlessly.
How do I tell them that I’m going. To think about it now is destroying me. All those idiots who think they forget about you. No they don’t. Even the bloody cat doesn’t!
So. Pastures new.
Sigma Sport in Esher.
Weekends finally mine.
It comes at a cost. The desperation to find accommodation after mine fell through. The endless searching of spareroom. com. The frantic messages/texts/WhatsApps to my friend, hoping for some reassurance. The getting up at 4.45 every morning to spend 15 mins rechecking emails. The ear infection that knocked me out of action at work. Thanks labrynthitis.
The days everyday this week spent tearing up the M4 to see those places that have replied to me. The texts with no names, just addresses and numbers. Guessing which advert it’s come from.
The utter loneliness that I can’t describe what it feels like.
The midnight drives home, realising I haven’t eaten a proper meal in weeks, let alone been on my bike. The cost of petrol ruining the tiny amount of savings I had.
The constant belief of a friend. The willingness to go out of their way to be positive when my world is crashing down.
The tears that rise constantly and threaten to spill.
It’s not easy to leave behind everything you know and start again. I’m still looking for accommodation.
So. Off to Kingston. And Walton. And wherever else. Hoping that I can afford to drive up again on Monday if these places aren’t suitable.
Hoping I can find someway of saying goodbye.
Thank you. To those who I am able to trust myself. I’ve come a long way from the 18yo girl being used as a punching bag, both physical and verbal.
To those that reply to my frantic messages not realising my confidence is in tatters. To those who have been there.
To Verity and Jen. Paul. Daz. Stuart. Holly (& Matt). Sara. Rhys. Andy. Andy.
#keepsmiling (yes Daz. That’s my line!)