Lydia Duce Blog | LD Equestrian

The Exit Interview

By ld-equestrian.co.uk

Posted in

It has taken me a long time to both come to the following decision and to indeed actually post this blog. Must not cry. *Deep breath*. Here goes…

It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to retire my beloved horse Pig.  ‘Pig’. Yes, she is called Pig. Another story! Pig is one of the great loves of my life. I wanted to dedicate a blog post to her to give the explanation that she deserves as to why I have decided to retire her.

Pig is just 11 years old. She is a TB mare and an ex-racehorse. This amazing little mare has flown me around XC courses, hunter trials, hedges, corners and 1m10 jumps (that is a lot for myself as a rider). She has never let me down. She has carried me through it all, even if I was shaking from nerves in the process.

Unfortunately, within the past two years. Pig has experienced various injuries that have forced her to have time off. She has had a lot of treatment and a lot of examinations.  She has been poked and prodded and injected almost everywhere. Even after the OK from the vets to bring her back into work. She has demonstrated that she has reached her capacity. 

Yes, she is healthy. However, she is no longer healthy to work. I could take her back to the vets and have her further examined and prodded. But she is now miserable. I have felt it for quite a few months with her, but selfishly I never wanted to admit it. I guess I still hoped my fluffy daughter as I call her, (yes cringe) would be back to normal eventually and I envisioned we would be going around XC fences until she was a good old age.

I have owned Pig for the past 6 years and in that time this horse has changed me as a rider and as a person.  She has made me more understanding, patient and confident. She has taken me to my first hound exercise, over heights of show jumping fences I thought I would even dare tackle and around my first BE one day event. She has given me some of the best memories of my life so far and she will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason.

A lot may look stereotype her behaviour as what can only be expected from a ex-racehorse who is also a full thoroughbred mare. I will not have one bad word said about this mare and I will not subscribe to speculation about her.   I haven’t ‘given in’ because I have a hot headed ex-racehorse that I cannot handle. I can handle Pig, I have proved that. But now, Pig can no longer handle being worked, and she has demonstrated that to me in the only way she can. 

Most at this point would perhaps contemplate getting her PTS. (Even tears fill my eyes saying those three words). However, Pig is healthy and happy in the field, just not under saddle. Most would give her away but to give her away to me feels like giving a piece of myself away. So, in my eyes Pig has earned her time off and she is going to be retired in a lovely field close to my house. 

I take on any animal to give them the best forever home I can. With Pig, the case is no different. I will still give her the best home that I can under the circumstances. I will look after her and cherish her always.

Much Love

Lydia & Pig x


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