GETTING ALONG FAMOUSLY
Six months on, and Helen and Roy are getting along famously. “I’m 69, so I’m no spring chicken either; we really suit each other, we’re just two oldies having a good time,” laughs Helen of their growing partnership.
“We’ve been to two clinics – a two-day dressage clinic and then we did an obstacles clinic. He was an absolute star at the first one, although at the obstacle clinic he did nearly have a heart attack. I don’t think he’s ever seen obstacles before,” she chuckles. “It’s amazing the things that we’ve been finding that he can do though… I want to do dressage with him.”
Helen says that while Roy is quiet, he’s no slug either. “He does fire up a little bit… sometimes he goes on like a two-year-old. I don’t think anyone has told him that he’s rising 21.”
“Helen has provided the perfect home for him, they’re just a really good fit,” smiles Fiona. “It’s really lovely to see how happy they are. I was sad to see Roy go because he’d been here for a long time and I can’t help but get attached to the horses that I work with. However, it’s wonderful to know he’s gone to someone who gives him the love he needs and richly deserves.”
Both Fiona and Helen agree that despite what he’s been through, Roy has a beautiful nature. “He loves to be near you and do things with you; he just has the sweetest nature,” reflects Fiona.
“Roy is terrific to handle, you tie him up and he just stands there. He’s such a lovely natured horse; he’s so friendly and he’s got so much trust in everybody,” says Helen, adding that even her non-horsey husband is fond of him and has earmarked him as the friendliest horse on their property. With a long history involving Thoroughbreds, Helen is like Fiona in that she’s a big admirer of the Zabeel horses. “You either get a really nice one or you get a really hot one, and he’s just one of the really nice ones.”
Roy’s beautiful nature is exemplified by Helen’s story of her three- and five-year-old grandkids, who snuck out to see the goldfish in her water trough. “They were found looking into the water, either side of Roy – who was also looking into the water – with their hands on his neck. He didn’t move a muscle.”