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The Tale of Teazel

Teazel first came into my life on Jan 18th 2015. 

My first horse Midnight Maiden (Min) who had been with me for nearly 24 years died on 1st Jan 2015.

That was quite typical of Min not only to choose a date which I would never forget, but also to choose a time when everyone that had ever loved her would be there present to say goodbye and honour her passing.

Midnight Maiden aka Min

These people included my best mate Angie and her husband Tim. The fact was that it was only because of Angie and Tim agreeing for me to over-winter a horse on their field with Angie’s horse, that meant I ever got a horse in the first place. Thus Tim and Angie were an integral and everyday part of Min’s life and the care, attention and love they gave her was second to none.


On that fateful New Year’s day  morning, it was Tim who found Min suffering from colic. The vet was called, but I knew straight away that this was probably the end for Min. The nearest vet hospital was over 2 hours away and at 25 years old, age was against her.

The vet came out and gave Min painkiller and muscle relaxant, stating that he would call back in a couple of hours, but he too knew the likelihood of improvement was slim.
Whilst waiting for the vet to call the second time a car drew up and out stepped our amazing cranial osteopath/bodyworker/healer Cat!!
Cat had mentioned she might call to treat the horses sometime between Christmas and New Year, but New Year’s DAY???!!!
In fact there was little surprise that she turned up at precisely the right time. 

That is who Cat is and reflected her connection with Min.
As Min lay quiet on the ground waiting for the vet to return, Cat worked with her supporting and listening and relaying messages to me. 

Cat calmly told me that Min was already leaving, she was totally OK with going and that now was her time.
Cat then said something that at that moment I did NOT want to hear, namely that Min was bringing my new horse forward!!
That was a big NO from me for several reasons. 
Firstly and most importantly Min was STILL HERE! There was no way I could even contemplate the thought of a new horse. Min was still there in front of me, not long for this Earth maybe, but come on!
And even once the deed had been done and Min was dead and buried, I would need time to make peace with the loss of my beautiful girl, my first horse, my partner, my teacher.

There was also the practical side of things. Living on a sheep and beef farm meant that January to April meant weeks of lambing and calving that translated into long days of little sleep, bone numbing work and weariness. Along with the lack of grass and the likelihood of cold, wet weather, the thought of even trying to look for a new horse let alone getting one, was way off my radar.

However……

about two weeks after Min had died, a stray thought entered my mind. 
We regularly bought work clothes and boots from a small business about 30 miles south of us, where they also bred Welsh Cobs and…… Andalusians!!
I always went with my husband when he went to but anything there just so I could see the horses!

So on that cold day in early January 2015 this germ of a thought entered my brain.
 I decided the sensible thing to do would be to ring Clive the business owner and breeder, “just in case” he had anything suitable there at the moment, my reasoning being how pissed off I would be if I waited until April and then found my perfect horse had been there all along but was now sold.
The attraction to looking for a Spanish horse was that Min had been a Cleveland Bay x TB. Despite the predisposition of Cleveland bays for being stubborn (and Min was certainly true to type!) I totally loved them. When I had been researching the breed I found that in fact there was Spanish blood in their ancestry. So that together with the fact that I was totally in love with the beauty of the Iberian breeds made it a no-brainer to ring Clive and just “enquire” as to what he may have.

I rang Clive and indeed he did have horses for sale. After trying to convince me to buy one of the 16hh+, 4year old un-started geldings, (lets face it it is a nice idea but my arse is really too near the ground for that size horse!), as almost an after thought Clive mentioned that he also had a 15hh bay mare called Llangybi Castiza that had been started the previous autumn and was said to be one of the sweetest horses he’d ever handled. 
Oh really!!

And that is why on Sunday 18th January 2015, Angie and I went down to the stud. Clive had moved the horses from the next door field which was their winter pasture into a big field that had a slight covering of grass. His reasoning being that the winter field was ploughed from the horses being there and it would be nice for us to see them in a clean field. This worked wonderfully but for the only miscalculation on Clive’s part which was that the new field was just irresistible and so most of them got down and rolled and rolled and rolled. 

So the nice clean horses were now all just about a uniform colour of mud brown. 

This included Teazel.

Teazel first meeting 18th Jan 2015

It was wonderful being in the midst of the herd, they were all approachable and kind. Teazel was one of the first to come up to us and yes – it was love at first sight!

Here was my new horse!
I was very good and did not actually buy her there and then, but as she had been started said I would return the next Saturday to have a short ride on her.

And the following Saturday that is exactly what I did. Considering Teazel had only been started the previous autumn and had done no work in the interim, she was amazing taking everything in her stride even when a post office van came hooling round the corner!! 

I was smitten – well even more than smitten – I was totally head over heels in lurve

First ride on Teazel 24th Jan 2015

24th Jan 2015 The deal was done, Teazel was my new horse!!!
Part of the agreement was that Teazel would stay with Clive until mid-April, so that meant I negotiated the lack of time to work with my new horse due to lambing and calving as well as there being the chance of having some grass for her arrival in April!

 

 

The following writings came about periodically over the months and years following Teazel’s arrival.

For Christmas 2013 a very kind friend had given me a beautiful leather-bound notebook with a brass dragon motif and brass clasp. When I was given this book I had no idea what it would be used for – only that it would definitely be for something special.

And so it was.

 

The first entry in this book are my thoughts about my loss of Min, what she had taught me and what she described to Cat in that final hour.


Thereafter it became Teazel’s book and is now in fact part of the logo for Teazel’s Tales here on my website. 

It was on 18th August 2015 that I first felt the “need” to sit with Teazel and write. The writings are all automatic, in that I do not sit and ponder what to write about or how to phrase it, the words flow one after the other and I honestly do not know what I have written until I stop writing and read it back. There is never a pause where I review what I have written, there are never any crossings out, it just flows until the words no longer arrive.

Whether Teazel is putting these words in my head or it is her presence which allows me to find them, I do not know. I just accept. And when that urge comes over me – such as the time I was in the kitchen peeling potatoes on a Saturday morning and was overcome with an absolute  compulsion to go and sit with Teazel and write, so potatoes were abandoned and off I went – I trust the process and just see where it takes me.

 Since finding Teazel I have also recorded in this book my thoughts and musings on my journey with the work I do, as well as some of the wild and witchy goings on that I have experienced. 

I see and feel Teazel as my guide, mentor and friend. We are in this -whatever this is – together.

Whilst when I first had Teazel I may have had visions of horsemanship and training and riding, I now know our connection goes far beyond those things.
Teazel is leading me to knowledge and understanding of subjects way, way beyond my wildest imagination.
Teazel truly is my guide, my mentor, my friend.
How lucky am I!

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