So I continue my lessons on my girl, Rosie. She’s a sweet-natured mare around 16.2 hands high, a quarter-Shire and three-quarters Thoroughbred. I now call her Random Rosie because it’s a random event if Rosie decides to move. Shires are a breed of draught horse and are renowned for their docile temperament. When I groom Rosie’s feet, she often lifts her back feet before I even ask her to – she’s such a placid girl.

I’ve been borrowing some riding gear whilst learning but am now starting to get my own gear. The first thing I needed was a bridle. I haunted TradeMe (for some reason, New Zealanders don’t really use eBay) and spotted an auction for a lovely American leather bridle studded with sapphire-blue diamantes. Perfect for my Rosie I thought. The hubby is an old hand at winning eBay auctions, so I put him on the case and he won the bridle. Next up, I went to the Saddlery Warehouse to pick up a saddle blanket and bought a maroon-coloured one with side pockets – so when you’re road riding, you can take the essentials with you (in my case, that would be lip gloss!).

The really big expense will be a saddle. I prefer riding in a Western saddle and they seem to suit Rosie better because she is a big, chunky horse. I’ve missed out on a few on TradeMe because Rosie needs a large girth. The saddlery place in Rangiora actually let me bring two saddles home to try on Rosie – no deposit, just trust. That’s rural NZ for you. But, unfortunately, they didn’t fit. So the search continues.

Meanwhile, Rosie would like to show off her new American leather bridle and saddle blanket. You can also see how much like a Shire she is when you compare her to a Wikipedia photo.

I look pretty fetching in my new sapphire blue diamante bridle, don't you think?

And what do you think of my new maroon-coloured saddle blanket. That's a Western saddle I have on.

Shire horse: source Wikipedia.