This week saw the passing of a long time family member who was much loved not only by us but by a myriad of kids in the Horsham area through the Riding for the Disabled program.
Joe was a tall white horse who grew up with Kat through those formative teenage years when a true friend helps you find your place in life.
Right from the start he had a massive impact on Kat’s fitness, dedication and confidence.
From presenting me with a business case showing how she could afford a horse, to the building up of the muscles to cart 2 bales of hay around (after falling over with one bale first time up) to the dedication to get the best out of Joe, it was a pleasure to watch.
One day she was heading “down the paddock” with a book, a chair and a hat . Our interest was piquet.
Prior to this Joe had started being a bit naughty when Kat wanted to get him in the float for pony club so after watching hours of Horse Whisperer material on video tape she was ready to turn the tables.
Joe did his usual trick of heading to the far end of the paddock but Kat simply set up the chair facing the opposite direction and settled in for a read. It took a while but eventually curiosity got the better of him and he trotted up and poked his head over her shoulder to see what was up. The technique was a beaut and he ended up being a treat to float.
One day he fell in the horse float going through Geelong (the kids had been playing in it and pulled out the locking pin). Kat simply pulled over without freaking out Liz. Got Joe up and out of the float, locked the partition in position and led him back in. No fuss at all. Both had confidence in each other.
Going along to pony club to watch him show jumping was a treat but Dressage was even better. They scored plenty of ribbons.
In his final years Joe ended up in Horsham to work on the Riding for the Disabled program, and because he was so well behaved, he was used for kids to learn trick riding. There was a lovely article about him just last year surrounded by a stack of kids and I can well imagine there will be plenty of tears from them when they learn this handsome old boy is gone.
As a parent, I never regretted Kat buying Joe for a second. He taught us so much and helped Kat grow into the fine woman she is today.
Great work Jobi. You will be missed old fella.