In 1993 when I was 9 years old my parents bought me my first horse, a 2 year old chestnut filly that I called Brandie. A 2 year old Brandie early in 1994 I was one of those horse mad children who dragged my parents kicking and screaming into the world of horses. We lived in the city and both of my parents had never had anything to do with horses. I kept Brandie at a local horse riding school and mum drove me out to ride her each weekend. After all the nagging for a horse I used to cry when I came home from riding. Brandie was a mismatch for an inexperienced rider and bucked me off every time! Mum and Dad always said 'You got what you wanted.. now go out and ride'.... After much persistence on my part, we clicked. Brandie and I in early 1994 Brandie had a heart as big as Phar Lap... would jump anything I faced her with and was as tough as nails. I remember the endless days riding her down dirt roads with my girl friends... and jumping over locked gates into paddocks so we could jump the freshly baled hay. Eventually I sold Brandie to a young girl via a horse dealer because Mum and dad wouldn't let me keep 2 horses. I had received a scholarship to attend a fancy private school and I had replaced Brandie with another horse. One who had papers, was registered and who was black, pretty and looked good in the show ring..... It didn't take me too long to regret selling my baby. Brandie ended up getting sold on and on and seemed lost to me forever.... but after a number of years she showed up with lamness and attended a vet clinic that I was working at. The day I saw her, I approached her owner and told her that I would love the opportunity to buy my mare back. The lady who had ended up with Brandie loved her as much as I did as a young girl. The woman told me that I couldn't buy her back, but I could have comfort in knowing that Brandie would die happily, as she would never leave her property. Brandie had been used for fox hunting and was supposably the best horse that the lady had ever owned. A few years later Brandie's owner was killed in an unfortunate farm accident. I was overseas at the time and was unable to attend the funeral where Brandie was used as the head of the guard of honour. Another year later again and I received a phone call..... it was from the husband of the woman who had been killed. He said to me 'I was always told that if anything happened, you were to have first chance to buy your mare back'...... Of couse I couldn't say no. So I purchased Brandie for the same price I had sold her for and agisted her at a friends place for another 3 years.... 12 months ago my husband and I moved to 20 acres. Hours away from the city life and a perfect haven for Brandie to live out her years. So on December the 26th 2011, exactly 18 years and 23 days after I initially purchased her, Brandie finally came 'home'. Brandie & her paddock mate Carrie - December 2011 I feel like a little girl again and my passion for horses has been rekindled. I just wish I had some gear left so I could chuck a saddle on her (after an hour of lunging!) and go for a ride!