Peopleton Brook, as many regular readers will know, is a bit of a poster boy for HorseBack. Many of our veterans see a parallel between his story and theirs. He was a hard-working sprinter, running in almost eighty races, before injury put paid to his career. Sprinters are sometimes hard to rehome, as they are considered to lead such specialised lives and many people don’t know that, with a little patience, encouragement and understanding, they can make glorious riding horses.
It was only when our partner charity, Retraining of Racehorses, had the bright idea of sending him to HorseBack for his re-education that Brook’s second act began. He is now as soft and responsive as you could wish a horse to be, easy with himself, and a pleasure to be around. He has worked with some of our BLESMA veterans on the ground and serves as a demonstration horse, the first equine our course attendees get to know when they arrive. Next season, we hope that he will act as lead horse when we take our veterans out into the wilds of Glen Tanar.
Brook has come a long way, and defied so many assumptions and stereotypes. He is an inspiration, and everyone who meets him loves him. In the spring, he will be doing demonstrations at various Scottish racecourses, and perhaps venture even further south. So while some of the herd are having a winter rest, he is in full work. All the same, as you can see from the photograph, HorseBack co-founder Jock Hutchison likes to make the schooling sessions as much fun as possible. Brookie is on the right of the picture, working at liberty so that he can express himself fully, and Nimitz, the founding father of the herd, is on the left, wearing his traditional ‘no young shaver is getting past me’ face.