At the end of this month, Ginti officially retires from her riding centre duties to become a lady of leisure and pleasure. At twenty years plus, her working days are soon behind her and she can put her hooves up and enjoy a more leisurely and sedate life. For now we are gradually reducing her work to allow her time to adjust. She will be on a permanent loan to good friends of ours in Callanish to enjoy slow ambles around the villages and tracks, teaching as always as she goes along with Big Hannah for company, She is healthy and sound, and so she deserves a long happy retirement.
I bought Ginti from a local lady in North Tolsta over 5 years ago, as a family horse and even from that time we stood in the field looking up at the stars that cold early April evening... 11pm at night with her beautiful heavy head rested in my arms, it was like it was written in the stars. Not only has she given me my confidence and she has taught both my daughters to ride. She is such a master at her job, it wasn't long before I needed and wanted a little bit more, At the time the croft could only take 2 horses, so we found the most amazing home for her on the Black Isle. Again doing what Ginti does best, teaching people to ride.
When we decided we were going to run the gauntlet and open up Traigh Mhor, my first wish was I wished I still had Ginti! So, like all things that are just meant to be and we all bundled into the car to go to Broomhill to collect our girl. As always Ginti is cunning and saw the horse box and turned around pulling the leadrope out of my hands as she ran back to the stables... that never changes. The cheeky and mischievous Ginti still there to try me. So unceremoniously me on one side and Gavin on the other for extra weight and anchor got her into the box to get the Ullapool ferry. She was as good as gold the rest of the way and when she saw Oakie they danced around the field like frolicking fillies. Reunited after 2 years.
And from then, Ginti has been our main lady of the show, showing all before her what a true professional she is. A school mistress who has taught over the years 100's probably 1000s of people to ride over her 17 year plus career, incredible really. Who doesn't have a soft spot for her is a really steely heart. Even with the bruises and scrapes. She also taught you how to fall to in a gentle forgiving way. Ginti is the one horse I have never fallen off of, fallen with when she stumbled but not fallen off. She has always looked after her mum. Her teaching accolades are quite incredible from Riding for the Disabled to adult learners to taking 8 year olds down the beach for their first gallop. The first jump, the first canter, their first rising trot, their first splash in the sea to first time on a horse fulfilling a life time dream. Mending broken confidence is another one of her specialities too, as is mending broken hearts and damaged souls too. She really is the ultimate riding school horse, tough, sound, gentle when she needs to be gentle to raising it to jump the moon and gallop in amongst the constellations with those after an breath-taking and exhilarating ride. It was how she could switch from one persona to another like a grand prix dressage horse changes gait.
I am a great believer in listening to what the horse says, so she told me a while ago that she was tired, I had just taken her out of the field very warm morning a few weeks ago and that was enough for me. She her breakfast and went straight back to the field. For now she is being used once or twice a day a few times per week, until she moves to pastures new.
The riding school pony that made more dreams and wishes come true than fairy godmothers,
Still doing what she does best.. teach.