Blackberry is retired but sometimes used in clinics for ground work
In the September of our first year in Spain we went to a horse fair in a town about an hour away. A stupid thing to do really – it was pretty obvious we were going to want to ‘save’ all the poor horses being paraded about. One little black horse really caught our eye though – she was so sweet and pretty and being dragged around by an old man who was trying to convince everyone to buy her. He told us that her name was Mora, which means Blackberry or ‘dark woman’ in Spanish, and before we knew what we were doing, we had agreed to buy her (thanks to my Dad who was there at the time and felt it only fair that our daughter Elizabeth should have her own pony, seeing as we already had 2 horses for the boys).
Poor Blackberry arrived at our farm in the back of a van , smaller than a transit van, she could just about stand up , and was squashed in next to a mule that was also being delivered to our village! We were horrified, and couldn’t wait to give her some love and attention. We soon realised that she was absolutely running alive with bot flies, but she stood so nicely while we hosed her down and tried our best to remove them. What a well behaved horse we thought – that was until the next day when it became obvious that she had only been such a quiet placid horse the day before as she had been drugged! Today was a whole different story!
Blackberry proved to be a very nervous and angry little horse – we had no idea what had happened to her in her previous life but it can’t have been good! With lots of love and attention our daughter Elizabeth, only 10 at the time, was able to eventually ride her and she became a nice companion for Polly and Caretta. She has never been an easy horse though, and it always feels like we go two steps forward and one back. She is very intelligent and sensitive and can also be quite moody. She really does not like men at all and if she takes a dislike to someone she lunges towards the fence with her ears back in a very threatening way, but on a warm sunny day, she can be so lovely and gentle and laid back, it is almost as if she suffers from seasonal adjustment disorder – she is definitely not a fan of bad weather.
We had just got her to the point where she was usable for clients and a trustworthy horse to ride, when we had to go to the uk for a week and had horse sitters to take care of the place. When we came back , Blacky was completely unridable and would not even let us near her with a bridle. We never found out what happened while we were away, but we were back to square one and it has been a long journey, getting her happy enough to be ridden again.
Blackie is now in her 20’s and enjoying retirement.