While I rest my shoulder, my daughter has a new job – mucking out, feeding and filling haynets – all of which she is doing very well. But what with no mucking out, and being away for the weekend, it has been a few days since I saw Ben and Rosie.
This morning I went up to the paddock. Ben looked up, saw me, and came walking up with a spring in his step and a bright look in his eye. He greeted me by bringing his nostril close to mine and blowing in and then nuzzling my head with his muzzle. This despite my having a hand full of carrots. After this greeting he gave the carrots the attention they deserved.
I had a lovely morning in the paddock. I groomed both ponies, collecting brush loads of hair which I put on top of the muck heap in the hope that birds once again might use all this hair for lining their nests. I asked Ben to ground tie whilst I groomed him, which he did, being rewarded for such patience with the occasional piece of carrot.
I measured Ben’s hooves, which now measure 130mm wide (as before) and 140mm long (longer than before and unfortunately too long for another pair of renegade boots). I find the length hard to measure accurately, but Sandra and I trimmed Ben’s hooves a week ago and, try as I would, I could not persuade myself that they would measure any shorter. I really like the renegade boots and now have to go boot hunting once again because he still walks cautiously on the road and I want him to move out more and also I want to go back to the forest trails.
I did some in-hand work with Ben which went well, except when he jerked back once when asked to lower his head and the nerve pain that shot through my arm literally made me dance on the spot. Ben lowered his head in response to this rather dramatic reaction and softened noticeably through the work.
Afterwards I sat in the paddock. It was peaceful. The sun shone and Alice soon joined us. We all rested, Alice, Rosie and Ben fanned out around me from left to right, Rosie facing me and Ben in his favourite position, looking out across the fields on the far side of the lane.
I had no watch and hoped that I could judge the time as I had to collect my youngest daughter from school. Before I thought the time was up, Rosie stirred and stood up, breaking the spell. I left and Ben followed me down to the fence. I went into the house to discover that Rosie had given me two minutes to spare for my school run.