Tuesday, 6 December 2016


At Greys Mallory there was a horse. It was a right stubborn little bastard... when I say little his back was about my height off the floor, which is about 5' 6"/5' 7" at this time (I'm 15). I'm good with horses, always have been for some reason as they are good for me. I've always had a bit of an affinity with them and with this horse in particular, Thunder, we understood each other brilliantly.

Thunder would stand in his paddock (a field... don't know why a field with a horse in is a paddock :/ ) which was down beyond the rally track and next door to the orchard for days on end without even moving. He was old, he was tired and he just couldn't be arsed. Our eccentric and dangerously paedophilic landlord, Mr Robinson or Ronny as we all knew him (go and read 'Cars I won part one' if you want to know more on Ronny, if you haven't already!) tasked me with the job of exercising Thunder after a bet that I couldn't ride him. He'd not let anyone on his back for a good while and the only exercise he got was being dragged around his little paddock. If nobody bothered dragging him around he just stood still and ate the grass within reach without moving his feet at all.

The first time I got on him he tried bucking me, tried throwing me into a fence, tried running me into a tree with low branches, tried pretty much every evasion tactic a smart horse can try. And he was good but I knew it was coming. I didn't relax riding him for a long time, in fact I never fully trusted him as he got great pleasure from dismounting a rider. You could actually see the 'gotcha mate' in his eyes when he got his way. One minute calming trotting along and then a sudden acceleration and halt, he had moves that horse but I was young and fit and dumbly confident.

It was enough to take him around the rally path a couple of times, enough for an old horse that just wasn't used to exercise. After he'd been out and loosened up he was even known to walk around his paddock all by himself but after a while he'd settle back in his spot and return to the morbid routine of having absolutely no positive effect on his own life. I could never get it, never understand.

Thunder loved me, loved our time, after a while i grew in confidence and took him out over the big fields for a proper run and even had him sweating a few times and he'd forget. He'd forget  his misery, he'd forget that he hated life, that he would literally kill himself of starvation for the sake of taking a single step in any direction and we'd run, we'd stroll and we'd relax in each others company, though always aware he'd chuck me off at any given opportunity!

I never had enough time for Thunder, I look back now and think I should of gone down the paddock more, should of stood at the gate with his reigns in my hand and seen the reluctant anticipation in his eyes. It's freedom riding a horse, it's even better than driving a car because you have a companion and you're both free, especially with Thunder as I'd let him choose the route within reason, if it was avoiding low branches! He was a friend though, and that shared time was great for both of us. Without me he was just a lonely horse in a field that everyone was too scared to ride, with me we were a pair of explorers, running rampage and loving every second.

The thing is, that's kinda where I am. I'm Thunder. It occurred to me earlier today when I was lying in bed contemplating Cade's upcoming birthday, Christmas, work, lack of money, living here in a house that really isn't good enough for the kids, all the weight on my shoulders and no real progress seemingly being made. I'm him, stood still in my paddock and refusing to move out of stubbornness.

Thunder had loads of people that would come and try and help, drag him around that field or attempt to ride him but he'd just kinda shrug and dig his heals in. He had me, though not for long enough I guess but even when I was there fighting with him and obviously right to be doing what I was, literally making him move, it was against his will...

I miss Thunder, I think I am Thunder...