Tribute to Cookie

Welcome to our Tribute to 'Cookie'

'Orions Oyster', aka "Cookie", was a 16.1hh mare that I purchased in January 2011 as a 9 year old. I bought her for Gill to get back into riding and the aim was for Gill to ride her and I would do some of the work from the ground. Due to a progressive illness we lost her on the 6th January 2012. This is our tribute to a lovely, sweet mare.

Gills tribute to Cookie

It all started back in January 2011. Cookie came up for sale and I really thought she would suit Gill and I and so I spoke to the owner and agreed the sale at 9.30am, rang Gill and told her that I had bought her a horse and by 4pm that afternoon Cookie was in residence at Bury Farm and Gill had ridden her!

Cookie Week 1 Cookie Week 3

Cookie would also be used, where possible, for long reining and in-hand demos. Gill took this footage for me so I would be able to show her start point on the long reins and then as time progressed we aimed to show the progression of the work.

Cookie on the long reins

As the weather headed into Spring we lunged her outdoors. This was the first time ever in this field let alone being worked / lunged in here! The video on the lunge was purely for my records to see her moving freely. The contact on the lunge line is not ideal but then I was videoing and lunging at the same time!!

On the lunge.

Cookie getting a polo after her lunge Cookie and Gill

The work in-hand was coming along well. She was such a joy to work with and was now eagerly offering work, to the point where I have to sometimes gently ease off show her we do not have to work flat out all of the time!!

To see her working in hand click here.

Things then started to go slightly awry. Cookie seemed to be getting a pollen or dust allergy so with regret we decided to move her from Bury Farm, only for the reason that they have indoor stabling, to somewhere where there was more air. It seemed to work and I made a video of Gills schooling session with Cookie (11th May 2011). Gill was getting back into riding after a 10 year gap and so it takes time to get the position, core stability and timing of the aids back let alone getting to know a new horse.

Gill's progress

Gill thanking Cookie

Cookie's issues were getting worse and so we returned her to Bury Farm, which is so close for us and with the vets practice on site. She would have fluctuations of the issues and we even thought at one point it was down to her coming into season. I kept a chart from August onwards and we went through everything we could think of. However it would not come to a good end.

Bless her, Cookie always tried for us. Below are two photos of her work. I will never forget the feel from her when she was on a 'good day'. The photo on the right shows a really good left shoulder-in in the trot. The inside hind leg is really stepping through and under and at this stage I am really happy with this.

Showing more engagement

Gill wanted to say this about our beloved Cookie:

It is with great sadness that our dear sweet lovely Cookie will be put to sleep on Friday due to neurological disorder. It has been a long tough year with her and an emotional up and down enough to tear the heart out of anyone. She is suffering so much and because we love her we have to set her free. Her essence, her soul and her wonderful nature will be what I will remember. There was not a mean bone in her body. She tried for us and tried so hard but in the end we had to do what was best for her. As I write this I feel heartbroken for me, for Simon but mostly for her. Who could have known out of such joy could come great sadness. Bless you my lovely wonderful Cookie I will never forget you so please gallop off free, no tack, no problems and plenty of rich green grass. You will be missed so much, words cannot express how much. We do this for you as it is the only thing we can do to make it right for you. I hope to see you again some day. R.I.P. Cookie.

I cannot believe it came to this. Cookie was the most genuine, sweetest horse. Seeing Gill riding again brought a smile to my face that had been absent for way too long. With photos and videos we have memories of Cookie and these, combined with our actual memories means that she will always have a very special place in our hearts.

We think this photo shows her kindness and how we will always remember her heart and soul until this terrible illness took over.

Our darling Cookie

We would like to thank some people.

The staff at Bury Farm have been excellent and they chipped in to get Gill and I these lovely flowers which is so touching I cannot put it into words.

We would also really like to thank the vets at Chiltern Equine. Gavin has been Cookie's main vet but Angela and vet nurse Sam have been so helpful and supportive, going beyond the normal.

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