She crept down by the fencer and held out a tentative hand, silk like whiskers tickled the tips of her fingers sending a shock up through her body. Her body jolted and the powerful horse with its fight or flight instinct on high alert chose the latter and flew off down the field leaving dust in its trail.

The girl decided to head for home, swinging her school bag over her shoulder and making light work of the big gate that separated that field from the rest of the world. Over dinner she would enthusiastically tell her parents that she seen the most beautiful creature living in the field down by Ring Hill half way between her bus stop and home. They would nod their heads and listen politely, proud that their daughter seemed to have a spring in her step for the first time in a long time.

This family had moved over to Ireland having taken a leap of faith for want of a quieter life in peaceful surroundings. The English daughter with the rosy cheeks had not taken well to the peace and serenity of Ireland. To this quiet girl it had taken the ground from under her and left her with an aching heart until that day where she had laid eyes upon that horse.

The 4pm bus home each day could not come fast enough, she would dream of spending some of her afternoon before homework watching the horse mow down the field, each day the fencer extending to allow for more luscious grass to be grazed upon. One could not deny the bond that was growing between girl and horse. Precious moments of trust and curiosity were built on foundations of loneliness. When the school bag got flung over the gate ahead of the girl, the horse would nicker and canter up to the fencer waiting for the girl. The girl standing on top of the gate would smile like clockwork every time she heard him. Confidence bloomed; she would sneak under the fencer hearing the current tick above but risking it to get closer to her best friend.

Time passed by without the girl realising that the fencer was getting stretched to every inch of its life and that horse had nearly gotten through the whole field. There was one particular evening where she was sitting down watching her horse friend roll around in the dirt, feeling the last of the days sun radiate on her face and she thought to herself that life does not get any better. “Ring Rover” is what I will call you. Skipping away she looked grateful and at peace with herself. She glanced back taking in the beautiful bay horse with his long legs and the white strip down his face whilst wearing his trademark torn rug. He may not have made it as a racing horse, but he had made it into the heart of this young girl forever.

That young girl was me and that was the last day I ever saw that horse. Miles were travelled on my bike trying to find what had been taken from me. However, I realised he was never mine to take. Love can take form in many ways. This moment taught me what it feels like to give love, how it felt to receive it and how to be grateful in the process. I dedicate this personal piece to Ring Rover. I worked for many years with horses realising that I should probably get myself a “proper job” and study hard, so here I am closing in on Year 2 of my Account Technician Programme having realised that at the end of the day what I long for is my own horse, on my own strip of land stretching my own fencer.