Thursday, 19 January 2012


In the last year, I've made a very special friend and in a short space of time we've had some excellent adventures together and really enjoyed feeding off each other's knowledge and passion for the great outdoors, animals generally and horses in particular.
Danni (Elle) Metcalf is an equine psychologist who is about to open her own riding centre at Bowkerstead, Grizedale, where Chris and I had our wedding reception last year. Elle has been travelling around finding horses for her riding school. Being without a bottomless pit of money to purchase her trusty herd of steeds, Elle has been rather canny in her methods of selecting horses and has had to draw on her experience, knowledge and ability to pick out a diamond in the rough and turn it into a safe and reliable trekking horse.
I wanted to share with you Tizzy's story because the transformation in this animal has been so rapid and it makes me so proud and happy to see Elle's talent so evident.

Tizzy's background is little known to us; there are a lot of previous owners on her passport. She is a 20 yr old Hanovarian x TB. Her shape suggests that she has had a few foals and she has had a big injury in the past. Elle was asked to take her on because the young man who had her could no longer afford to look after her.

She did not look great when we went to visit her but we put her in the horse box along with her pal Teeto, a little unbroken Section A Welsh.
The first time I rode her she was quiet and felt like a bag of bones. We didn't go far but we wanted to bring her back into work to pick her up, get her muscles developing and give her some interest in life.

After just a week she was beginning to look better, but Elle there was still a lot to do.
Three months on and Tizzy is a different horse. She is far more positive in her outlook (despite being a very stroppy mare in the stable) and is really becoming quite forward.

When I rode her a couple of days ago for Elle's new website photo shoot, she was really quite strong and excitable and at times I struggled to settle her down! Ignore the dropped rein please, I'd just ducked under a low branch when she shot off!

She is clearly feeling good and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better as we build up her stamina and give her some more experience of longer trails. Well done Elle!


Kelly Bartels said...

I can literally feel my heart soaring when I see such a stunning transformation. Well done and bless your hearts for the effort.

Shirley said...

What a beautiful transition she is making. She is looking so much better. It's good to see she is where she can be happy. Thank goodness for people like you!

Laura said...

What fun! It's really wonderful that someone is out there helping the less fortunate equines.

Tizzy looks like a hoot to ride. I used to have a mare with whom I shared being in charge - I imagine Tizzy to be similar.

Keep up the good work!!