A Horse's Tale

Part of the deal to encourage Heather to move to a new and better life in the country was the promise of a horse.  When we first moved here, Poppy was quickly introduced to us on loan, a lovely pony with a distinctive mind of her own, especially when food was involved!  Heather unfortunately grew out of her and after a winter where we gave the paddock a rest, we have finally welcomed a new addition to Demelza Cottage, Smithy.

ansum eh?

Ansum eh?

Smithy is the very first horse that Heather has owned and he is a sweetheart.  A playful, but gentle cob, he is bonding as much with Heather as she is with him.  Now, I don’t know much about horses, but when we bought Smithy, I thought it was quite a good deal.  What I didn’t bargain for was the amount of additional money that needed to be spent.

It wasn’t long before we realised that Smithy was lonely.  He came from a riding stables, with lots of other horses around and it was fairly early on that Smithy made a break for it.  He found the weakest point in the field and took himself off to meet the local horse population.  In the morning, he was gone!!

Now, picture the scene.  It’s 9am on a Sunday and the kids are having a lie-in.  Joby in particular had been working hard all week and was looking forward to a sleep in.  I realise the horse has gone and wake Heather up:

“Quick, grab the head-collar – Smithy has gone missing, we need to go and look for him!”

She gets up in a panic, still in her PJs, we jump in the car and get about 100 yards before we realise we have a flat tyre.  Misfortune or  sabotage?  I was starting to worry that he had been stolen!!  So, we can’t get anywhere and Heather starts walking, in her PJs – she’s not prepared to wait.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to get the tyre off, but I can’t undo the wheel nuts, so I have to wake up Joby, who really isn’t a happy bunny about it!  After lots of griping and moaning about his lack of lie-in and a fence post that the 'bleddy 'orse' has knocked over, he can’t get the wheel nuts off either!!!  So we were a bit stuck in the transport department.

Around the same time, some of our guests were just packing up to leave, they see we are in a predicament and they jump in to try and help and decide to drive around the block to see if they can find Smithy.  I’m starting to wonder how on earth I’m going to fit in an apartment changeover as well!!

About a minute after they leave, Heather has found Smithy, he has only got as far as next door and had gone to introduce himself to their horses.  If there was ever a morning where I needed Stuart as that extra pair of hands, this was it.  The tears started flooding and I went in to melt-down, it was all too much before 10.30am on a Sunday!! However, we’ve all lived to tell the tale.

So, that was the short story of Smithy, who needs a companion.  He had a little holiday for a while with our neighbour’s horses (money for livery) and we shopped around for a companion.  Welcome, Chicory – a little miniature Shetland, who is a tiny version of Smithy (more money). He was very pleased to see her and they have become great friends. 

In addition, we needed to secure the paddock better, to make sure that the horses don’t get out again, (quite a lot more money) although it was a job that needed to be done eventually.  We’d also like some stabling for the winter to help protect the field from getting too churned up (lots more money!!) – planning permission is in.  Not to mention, the tack, the insurance, the farrier, the rugs and a never-ending supply of fly repellent. 

I think it’s about time Heather got a job.