I have been fortunate in being able to contact the lady who owned Dee when she was a five year old. I traced her through Dee's freeze mark. This lady owned Dee for about five years (I think) and competed on her at cross country - as shown in this photograph. (I have edited the photograph a little as it had scan marks across it.)
This previous owner is surprised and mystified about Dee's wither injury and about her bad attitude when I first had her. She remembers Dee as a horse with plenty of personality and confidence, but a well adjusted mare with none of the difficulties to groom or tack I experienced. She clearly was very fond of Dee, giving her the nickname 'Doodle', and was sorry to have to part with her. I believe Dee may have had as many as three owners since then before I bought her, so her injury, her moody habits and fears have developed in that time.
It seems such a shame that a horse that was confident enough to compete is now too nervous to leave the yard alone, although this has improved since she has been back in a herd. Dee was described as a 'schoolmistress' by her previous owner in that she was given the confidence to compete through Dee's boldness and capability. We can all get bent out of shape by the circumstances of our lives, but through time and patience, and letting go of doubt and blame we can learn to let go of our fears and unhelpful habit patterns.
On Saturday Dee and Red were separated so that Dee could go out with the mares and Red with the geldings. This is the general policy at the new yard. I don't think Dee cares, but Red misses Dee. They are now on the summer schedule: out from late afternoon to morning, and in during the day. This is to keep them cooler during the summer heat and away from the flies. Today was gloriously sunny and warm - however it has to be remembered that this is Wales, UK and it is quite possible that these few hot days in May could be our whole summer! Still it is nice for the horses to be out for longer, mucking out will be easier, and there's time to ride in the longer evenings.
I took Red into Coed y Wenallt this evening. He neighed continually all the way out and fairly frequently even on the way back. Otherwise he behaved very well and we had several short canters. He is now always happy to canter. I did not ask him for canter for the first few months that I had him, as I was accustoming him to being barefoot. He has exceptionally good hooves and has adjusted really quickly to being without metal shoes. I'm hoping that his calling for the other horses will gradually decrease as he settles into the new yard, and gets used to being apart from Dee.