This is me exactly 35 years ago, summer 1980, somewhere called Ballymacelligott, Co.Kerry, Ireland.

It is a vague memory (and I have remembered a horse not a donkey!), I was only 4 years old but it is lodged as where my love affair of four-legged fellow creatures began.  I grew into a horse obsessed teenager endlessly dreaming of ways to own one.

However, to cut a long teenager dream short, I spent my free time volunteering in a riding school which give me privilege to a gallop around the hills and also the job of breaking in the new horses.

As with most things that developed as a teenager hobby, they were abandoned when I left home.

It was not for another 10 years that I got back on a horse.  It was a pleasure trek in a forest park near where I lived at the time.  To my horror it didn’t go so well.  Shortly after being in contact with the horse I was to discover that I had an severe allergy.

It was a classic case of histamines flooding the system, nearing anaphylaxis:  Itching, tears streaming, red eyes, inflammation, sneezing, difficulty breathing……  A full immune reaction.

It seems this story has a 10 year cycle.   For the next 10 years I lived in fear of that allergy.  Denying myself of the thing that gave me such pleasure in my youth.  As much as I admired these strong creatures, I would avoid them at all costs due to the reaction bound to ensue.

Until last week!!!

The opportunity arose whilst holidaying in Andalusia, Spain.

The opportunity was right in front of me to go horse riding with friends through the olive groves and almond fields just at sunset.

It was too much to resist and somewhere inside me I trusted that all the years I have spent nurturing my inner ecosystem surely a favourable immune response would be in place to the dander from the horse.

I wouldn’t be finding cause to tell the story if there was no happy ending.

The horse riding experience passed wonderfully and I have gone from someone who would have suffered a severe allergic reaction to no reaction at all.

The only difference I can honestly reference, is that some years back I introduced cultured and fermented foods into my diet and took the classic inflammatory foods out.  I have never taken medication to address this problem.

Funny that I have never needed an inhaler since either!


I am back in saddle and ready to muck out your stables for a gallop on your horse, yeeeeha!