Sheila was full of it when I got home, Bella had been really good and she had been out for a ride around Ashridge with Sally and Jilly and they had a wonderful time.
On the Monday morning I rang the housing office about getting my Dad moved to Hemel and they were very helpful but said it could take some time as we would have to find someone in Hemel who wanted to move to Rotherham. Another snag was the fact that it was a warden controlled bungalow therefore we would hopefully find someone of retirement age or do what they call a three way swop. It all sounded time consuming. I took away all the forms and decided I was going to telephone them at least once a week. after the forms had been returned so they would get fed up of me and give my Dad somewhere in Hemel. Fanciful I know.
In the meantime Bella had been back to her original owner to be schooled over jumps as promised. When she came back she was a changed horse she wouldn’t do anything she was asked, she was rearing up on her hind legs , trying and sometimes managing to throw Sheila off. She went for a ride with Jilly one day and all went well until Jilly turned off to go to her stables which meant Sheila and Bella had to go about 100yds on their own. Well Bella wasn’t having this she was rearing up in the middle of the road , which was extremely dangerous on narrow country lanes. Luckily Sally and her Mum were driving home past where Sheila was and they stopped to help her. Bella was zig zagging all over the road ,traffic was stopped as they couldn’t get round her.
Eventually Sally managed to get Bella and yanked her down on all fours god knows how Sheila had hung on. I got there just as Sally was trying to hold Bella I was terrified I thought Sheila was going to be trampled on but Sally was a tough girl very experienced with horses and got Sheila off then she got on Bella herself and being much bigger and stronger than Sheila would not let Bella rear.
Betty, Sally`s Mum said the horse was much to headstrong for Sheila and she suggested we speak to a local lady who owned the riding school that sheila went to at Gaddesdon Row to see if she could help out at all.
Sally got Bella back to the field and it took all her strength to do it. Mike arrived and we told him what had happened and he went straight to Trina`s the riding school and told her what had occurred and could she help in any way. She said the best thing was to bring Bella to the school and leave her there on a temporary basis and she would see what she could do. She said Sheila could groom and generally take care of the horse and if she helped out with the riding school horses we would just pay for Bella`s food and any other expences . She said she fancied the challenge. She had thought that a part bred Arab would be too difficult for Sheila to manage as she weighed next to nothing.
A couple of weeks went by but Trina said she was making no headway at all with Bella. She had come to the conclusion that she was just too much for Sheila and over time if we kept her Sheila would be hurt or at the least put off riding altogether and Trina said that would be shame as she had the makings of a really good rider. Her suggestion was to sell her to someone much more experienced and buy Sheila a steady pony to give her her confidence back.
We thought long and hard as Sheila was dead against selling her. We eventually got her to see the sense of it and said she would let Trina find her a horse that she thought was right for her. She also said she would like to stay at Trina`s with the new horse if it was ok with her.
A couple of weeks passed and we got a phone call from Trina saying she had heard about a pony for sale that she thought would be just right for Sheila. We arranged to go and see it on the following Saturday.
It was a lovely pony a dark bay gelding about 13hh it had really nice kind eyes. I could tell Sheila had fallen in love with him. She got on him and cantered around the menage, they looked really good together, they even did some small jumps. Trina gave him a good going over and said she thought he was perfect for Sheila.
Sheila agreed and said she really wanted him his name was Kim. We loaded him on the trailer and off we went to Trina`s, now all we had to do was sell Bella which wasn’t going to be an easy task. When we got back to the stables there was a lady waiting for Trina and she said she had heard about Bella being for sale and that she knew she was a handful but she was really interested in her. Trina suggested she ride her and see how she got on. The first test was to ride away from the yard away from the other horses and see how Bella reacted.
The lady had been told about her rearing and generally being difficult so she was prepared. Sure enough she gave a perfect demonstration of her faults but this lady knew her business and controlled her perfectly and even got her doing exactly what was asked of her. She brought her back to the yard and said she would be very interested in Bella, she looked on it as a challenge. Providing the price was right she wanted her.
We paid £350 for her and she had since been schooled over the jumps. Trina suggested we ask for £450 and be prepared to lower it if necessary as we would be hard pushed to find someone else willing to take her on. We did this and she said she would give us £425 we couldn’t believe our luck as Kim had only cost us £250 so we had made a profit. We also gave her the saddle as it wouldn’t fit Kim so we would have to buy him another one.
Sheila was thrilled with her new horse he was so well behaved and he loved jumping as did Sheila. In no time at all they became really buddies. She continued to keep him at Trinas same arrangement as before. She was also helping Trina with the riding for the disabled this was such a worthy cause the children loved it. I also went and helped, as in some cases it needed three people for one horse and rider depending on the severity of their disability.
All our free time was taken up with the horse now as Sheila loved going to gymkhanas with Kim he was such a quick little horse they won loads of rosettes.
I received a call from a lady in Hemel who wanted to move to Rotherham would you believe, she was in her sixties, so qualified for the bungalow. She had a first floor flat in Grovehill and wanted to be near her sister in Rotherham. I said I would ask my Dad and see what he thought and then go and look at her flat.