As a child, Margaret was obsessed, as so many young girls are, with owning her own horse. The closest she came was during the long school summer holidays in the late 50’s and early 60’s which she spent with her aunt, the only teacher at Whitebridge Primary School in Inverness-shire. There she was given permission by the landowner to go riding on Beppo a dark bay Highland garron who lived all year on the hill above Loch Ness. She was shown the tack room and told, “If you can catch him, you can ride him”.
Never one to walk away from a challenge, Margaret proceeded to learn (the hard way) how to catch, saddle and bridle “her own” horse. Beppo and Margaret spent many an enjoyable afternoon wandering together over the heather-covered hills at never more than a walk or the odd trot, but, really, neither could be bothered going too fast. Just too much like hard work! Unfortunately, this magical learning curve was cut short after a few years following the death of Margaret’s aunt.
Margaret moved on, went to University, graduated MA in French and Philosophy, married had children and “settled down”. However, her spirit of adventure (some might call it madness) has never really left her and, over the years, she has participated in various activities. She has swum with the dolphins in Kaikoura, New Zealand (a very emotional experience), sky-dived from 9,000 feet over the beautiful plains above Canterbury, also in New Zealand (but obviously with a man strapped to her back!), done a victory roll and a loop-the-loop in an open-topped World War Two Tiger Moth aeroplane above Melbourne, eaten raw whale meat and been transfixed by the beauty of the Strokkur Geyser in Iceland, walked along the Great Wall of China (not all the way!), watched a live volcano erupting in Bali, drunk Singapore slings and thrown the peanut shells on the floor in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, had a hair-raising journey on a Harley Davidson motorbike while whooping with delight (but still managing to hang on tightly to the man in front!) and been moved to tears by the sight of the boat people living in their ramshackle floating “homes” in Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong.
However, Margaret has now reached a stage in her life where she has been able, at long last, to fulfil her girlhood ambition, and is the proud, although slightly surprised, owner of not one but two beautiful horses. Gucci is a 14.2hh quarter horse bay mare while Smokey is a 14.2hh quarter horse palomino gelding. She keeps them at Blackford Glen with John’s horses where Gucci is definitely the leader of her own little herd i.e. herself, Red, Smokey and Bow. After many years away from horses, Margaret has been trying to learn how to ride Western and is enjoying the challenge.