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Douglas was a bit of an impulse buy. I was at the yard seeing to Jess one Sunday evening and announced that I was going to get a cob. Once I got home the computer was turned on and I typed into google 'cobs for sale'. The first link that came up was to a little cob called Flash. I clicked on the link, read the advert, looked at the pictures and had that feeling that I needed to go and see him.

I continued looking through the various adverts resulting from my search but something kept telling me that I needed to contact Flash’s seller, so the email was sent. I wasn’t expecting a reply until Monday morning as it was now 9.50 PM on a Sunday. Within minutes I had a new email in my inbox. I arranged to go and see Flash on Monday afternoon. When I got to the yard he was in a stable with another little cob. He was brought out and tacked up. I rode him and he napped back to the gate with me constantly but I still liked him. I went home to think about it (although the decision was already made as was the change of name to Douglas). I called his seller and we reached an agreement on price pending a successful vetting.

Fast forward to Saturday morning and Douglas was now happily munching some hay in his new stable. His first time out in the field was an emotional one as he had never experienced electric tape before (at least I don’t think he had). He was ‘got’ on the nose by the tape about 5 times before he realised that it wasn’t the best idea to touch it.

When I started riding Douglas we did a lot of bareback as I was waiting for my trusted saddle fitter to come and make sure we had the perfect saddle. Once we had a saddle Douglas proved that he was happy to have a go at everything.

I contacted the previous owner from Douglas’s passport and was sent some pictures of him as a youngster. It became apparent that Douglas had pulled a cart before so I got him a harness and a carriage and away we went. Douglas had to teach me the ropes as I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but we were having fun and that’s what counts.

When I began to treat Douglas with massage therapy he was very closed down and wouldn’t release the tension where I could see him. He would hide around the corner and have a yawn then come back to me once he had finished. Over time Douglas has become very receptive to massage and now spends a lot of time enjoying massages from our students during their hands-on experience days.

Douglas is just coming back into work following a year off after sustaining an injury in the field, which means he is enjoying his massage treatments even more as we gently build his fitness, strength and muscle tone back up.

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