Look out! It’s my birthday!

 

Today is my official birthday, when I celebrate the beginning of my life here. I have a good life now, but I did have a bit of a false start – you can look at my story here.

https://hooveswho.com/2013/12/12/its-my-birthday/

This year’s birthday will be unusual because I am not expecting any visitors. I shall have my cake as usual, at 4.30 pm, because that is the time I was collected from the side of the road. I shall also have lots of edible treats which I will share with my friends, Hooligan, Paddy, Bramble, Tawny and Tabitha (as long as she doesn’t make rude faces).

The thing is, I know I will always get one visitor, every single day. It’s usually the same one, but sometimes it’s Sarah or Joanna or Steve or the other Sarah (Happy Birthday Auntie Sarah!). They never fail to come. Even if I don’t need anything, they check that I am OK in the field – at least twice a day.

Not all ponies and horses are so fortunate. Some owners don’t bother in bad weather, or if they are late home from work. Some owners forget they have a horse when it’s the winter and sadly, many of my poor friends will starve this winter on their tethers or in wet, muddy fields.

If you are reading this, please look out! Don’t forget that all animals need to be checked twice a day and if you see a neglected one, do something! The RSPCA rescued me and you can report a poorly animal to them. But there are other organisations as well – Redwings, World Horse Welfare and the British Horse Society all have networks of caring people who can help a horse in need.

Here’s another film which explains a bit more about how I came to be here, and where she gets very serious about it all. I had fun that day, nibbling the front of the BBC lady’s cream cashmere jacket. She seemed to take it well.

 

Luck

Luck can be good or bad and some say you make your own. As the recipient of some extremely good luck once, I doubt that statement.

But luck in sport – how does that work? We are great rugby supporters in this household and we have been watching the World Cup unfold. For the duration (being a Welshman) I wear my red headcollar and when I tweet in support of the brave lads, I always use the hash tag.

#wearinmyred

#wearinmyred

Wales fought a hard campaign and were heroes throughout. What is more, they were well-behaved heroes and were not always accorded the decisions they deserved. Luck played its part in their last match against Australia. It seemed as though they would prevail and just before half-time, a drop goal seemed to say that luck was on their side. I am honoured that my tweet featured on the roof of the O2 at that point.

Just imagine – my name in lights with the best outside-half in the world. I thought I would burst with pride!

The rest is a sad tale of bad luck and disappointment. For the ‘home’ teams, well. The luck of the Irish certainly didn’t make it to Cardiff and Scotland were truly robbed by a ref who should have gone to Specsavers.

Keep up the good work you brave British rugby players. Remember what Mr Gatland said: It’s not a matter of ‘if ‘a home side beats the All Blacks, it’s ‘when’.

Good luck!

Tim’s Poem for National Poetry Day

AUTUMN WARNING

I spotted it, I spotted it!
It wriggled on the ground
A worm, all white and gleaming
Amongst the poo was found.

A quick look at the worming plan
And off I sent the staff
Just get the right thing, one tube each
And don’t do this by half.

Well there’s Equi- this and Equa-that
The choice is something scary
And you could be sold the wrong thing
So it pays you to be wary.

The lady can advise us here
We’re lucky that we have her
To help us understand the terms:
The veterinary palaver!

To test the poo and test the spit
The cost works out amazing!
But we are very lucky here
To have rotated grazing.

So if you’re short of grazing
And you have a lot of gees
It’s time to get the chequebook out
And sort the worming fees.

And if your horse should have the luck
To be your only love
Go get a kit and test his spit
And poo (and use a glove).

Take care of us this autumn mild
When wriggly worms abound.
You know it’s what you need to do,
To keep us safe and sound.

A most excellent day

Yesterday, I had a day out. It all started with a bath on Thursday. I behaved pretty badly, all things considered, because it did not suit me, at that moment, to have my feet scrubbed. However, by yesterday morning I had thought it through. A bath usually means a trip out somewhere – and I am a very sociable pony.

There was a bit more polishing when I came in from the field yesterday morning, then it was best hat on and off for a walk up the lane. What? No trailer?

Shanks's pony

Shanks’s pony

We arrived at the church car park, to meet some very nice people, who gave me a soft mint, which is STILL stuck around my teeth today. They were in charge of some very smart cars with ribbons.

Nodes of transport

Various modes of transport

It was then that unfamiliar things began to happen. She worked a double plait into my mane and hung one of my shoes, all polished up on a pretty ribbon, in the plait. I felt a bit girlie I can tell you, but whatever! They kept telling me I was good, so I went along with it.

 

Wearing my shoe.

Wearing my shoe.

Then we continued down the road into the church yard. I liked it in there! There was plenty of grass for me to eat and some flowers which I wasn’t allowed to eat.

Off to church.

Off to church.

After a bit of muffled music and some shouting, some people came out of the door. It turned out to be my friend Jane and her new husband Dave! They had got married! And my shoe was a good luck token for them.

Hope she didn't break a fingernail!

Hope she didn’t break a fingernail!

Naturally I stayed a while longer so that my many fans could say hello and I could get some more grass. I also had a very important official photo-call with the bride and groom (he wasn’t really dressed like any other groom I’ve met and he didn’t have a brush).

Official photo-call.

Official photo-call.

After a while, the people all got in their cars and went off up the road. I said thank you to the vicar and his family for allowing me to attend.

Thanks Trevor!

Thanks Trevor!

Then we walked home. Weddings are my new favourite thing!

Photos by Sarah Smith

 

 

Dear Mr Cameron

I understand there is a precedent for some people writing directly to the Prime Minister with their concerns about the country. Let me make it clear right now that I am not a spider, but a small skewbald pony.

What is more, I am a pony with a passport! Trouble is, there is no database for my passport details to be logged, so my passport does not really serve much purpose.

What with you being a town boy, perhaps I had better explain some stuff. The EU (sorry) says we ponies have to be identified because over in mainland Europe they want to eat us. And all that is a tad irrelevant here, because nobody in the UK wants to eat us because we are companion and work animals in this country. But a database is such a good idea for other reasons – and it works really well for the cows and sheep so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work for us too. It could regulate our sale and purchase and help to protect us from unscrupulous dealers (you’ll have heard of that persistent character Fly Grazing Bill, who has been in and out of your place a few times!). You see, I am a lucky pony, with a good home, but many of my poor friends are neglected and starving and action is rarely taken against their owners because there is no way of identifying them.

Anyway, sometime, when you’ve got a minute, could you sort it out please? If you want any help, just let me know.

Many thanks and good luck,

Tim

You learn something every day

This is my current field companion Paddy, short for Paddywack.

Paddy the wise

He came to live here some years ago now, in semi-retirement, having been Elin’s busy Pony Club pony. He is bay and bigger than I am and sometimes we do have misunderstandings because he speaks slightly differently from the rest of us. Paddy is an Irish pony and he is very wise.

A couple of days ago she arrived in our field wielding a strange engine on a stalk. She set about the brambles with this thing and it was so noisy, I really thought we ought to be tearing around the field pretending to be scared (as you do). But Paddy said we shouldn’t. He said we would wait just around the corner from her until she switched the thing off, then I would see why. I stood behind him, just to be sure I was safe (I mean seriously noisy).

Well it turned out she was in bonfire mood, so soon she was clearing the cut brambles, adding them to a pile of hedge trimmings, which we had already investigated thoroughly, and setting them alight. We are used to that sort of thing – it takes her out of herself in early spring and autumn and she has to have some amusement.

autumn bonfire

But the thing is, as soon as she had finished cutting, Paddy said ‘Come on Tim!’ and we were soon digging into the lovely bits of grass which had been hidden under all those brambles. I would have found them sooner or later, but Paddy just knew.

After next Saturday when clearly, we shall be standing in different corners of the field (or pitch), I resolve to stick with my friend Paddy. His old Irish mammy taught him some good tricks!

Tim’s Valentine

Oh my love is a fine bay mare who bears the name of Bramble.

She calls to me from up the bank, then down it she doth amble

I see her daily at the gate, her sharp pricked ears a-quiver

And how I wish she’ll come to me, her promise to deliver.

We sometimes meet in my own yard, but sadly all too briefly

She always has to leave again, for feeding reasons chiefly.

We like to groom each other during itchy summer days

I bite her and she bites me back, tho’ we’re not 50 greys!

My Bramble is a strapping girl, she beats me by four hands

But size is not important here, and this she understands.

We are a marriage of true minds and never will I waver

And even if she’s fickle, well it only makes me braver:

There’s some would say it’s food that brings her swinging down that hill

But I know that she loves me – you can say just what you will!

Bramble

Bramble