Almanac Equestrian: Giddyup

by Lachlan Long


I don’t remember much at all but I know I had fun. I know from my love of horse riding know that it was the most fun I ever had. I was 2 years old at the time and up at my auntie’s house. She lives in Newcastle. This was back in the days when she could ride. She can’t anymore. She has 2 beautiful horses. One big one small. She only had one at the time. The big one. His name is Will. We arrived at her house and I was in love. She had so much land and her horse was amazing. Tall, lean and powerful. It was spectacular to watch Aunty Sally canter around his field. As the days went by I learned to care for Will and eventually got to ride him.


As the morning sun shone through my bedroom window my excitement grew. Today was the day that I got to ride Will. I got dressed and quickly ran down stairs to have breakfast. Then we went down to feed the Will. I got to do that all on my own and it was the most fun ever. I was then told that I had to wait a hour to saddle up Will. After that long agonizing wait we all headed down to the stable and saddled up Will. Then I climb up the hay bales and sat on the giant horses back.


The thrill was amazing as I felt the muscle and strength this horse had. One wrong move by me and I could be dead. Suddenly he starts moving being lead by Sally. Back and forth. Gradually the confidence grew and a connection was made. I knew that this was something that I would love. Eventually we went out into the field and a moved up to a trot nut it was time to head in.


5 years later

My love for horse has not changed. I go up to my Aunties house every year and ride Will. She has just bought a new horse named Mister. He is still too young to ride though. I am getting better and better as a rider and I am able to walk on my own. I will start to canter this year and I am having the time of my life.


2 years later

Disaster has struck. My mentor Sally as just been diagnosed with cataplexy. She is no longer able to drive and more importantly ride horses. That means now that my teaching is over and I get no more lessons and my skills will come to a stop. This year I didn’t get to see the horses as much. I had to do more jobs, as Sally can’t do her share for the moment.


3 years later

I have managed to get more lessons and do trail rides but my skills have decreased. We no longer go up to see Sally as much anymore and it pains me not seeing Will and Mister. Those were the loveliest horses I know and I miss them. I have other horses down at Gunnamatta trail rides but they are not the same. These two are the ones I grew up with and they will always be my favorites.


My dream

I have grown up and am one of the best local riders. I have two horses and ride almost every day. My Aunty comes down every year to see how I am going and we go for rides together. She is aloud to now as they have found a cure. I teach kids how to ride and am a mentor to many. My life is perfect


  1. Neil Anderson says

    Nice reading about your love of horses Lachlan. My wife has been a horse-lover since her early teens and presently has an appaloosa to ride and two retired horses in the paddock. As you know, all horses need plenty of looking after whether they are retired (pets) or being ridden and worked. Sharyn is feeding out hay at the moment in the dark and cold.
    We also had a pony for many years that pulled a jinker and I used to drive it while my wife rode along side me on her horse. We had lots of bush tracks away from traffic at that stage and it was a very enjoyable past-time.
    I think your equestrian write-up might be the first I have read in my three years with the Almanac.
    We live close to a famous family of horse-riders by the name of Roycroft. Bill Roycroft won an Olympic medal in 1960 after breaking his collarbone.

  2. Lachlan you are in a strong minority. Male equestrian riders. My sons can attest to the social benefits of pony club , EFA, expo and state and national comps surrounded by girls. You have to dislike dressage to be a member of the boys club. Go for it. Scrounge a horse and gear and a lift to events and you will get there.

  3. Peter Fuller says

    This is a superb piece of writing. I have no experience of equestrian sport, but your reminiscences, and especially the reference to your Aunt made it interesting. Family is everything!

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