I look out the kitchen window and there is Rosie, ignoring the hay left for her and gazing at grass. She moves off along the track and my eyes follow her anxiously, watching her footfall, worrying about her soundness. Is she sore today on the off fore? Is she really moving better or is it my imagination? Should I have kept them off the grass last night?
It can become an obsession. An obsession as big as Rosie’s own obsession with grass. When the spring growth started she would stretch her neck under the second layer of tape and work her away around the track, eating a surprisingly wide strip inside the tape. That’s when I first noticed she was sore on hard ground once again. Not dead lame, sound on soft ground but, on hard ground, obviously sore on her off fore. She had come back home from winter grazing sound on all surfaces.
Then I worry that she is too thin and I add extra speedi-beet to her bucket in the mornings, shutting both Ben and Rosie into their stables so that she can take the time to finish her feed. Then it rains, it is cold and the rain comes down in sheets and Ben chooses a dry stable and Rosie stands outside in the yard shivering all over her small body; she looks fragile and wretched. I bring Rosie into the second stable, give her plenty of hay and leave her to dry off. But she is never happy in a stable and I let them out that night and wonder will she still be with us in the morning. Morning comes, I hurry out and her eye is bright, her coat is gleaming and once again she confounds me with her sheer survivability.
But how she can move when she needs to. Left with Cassie and little Arrow while we were on our clicker training weekend, she gave Arrow as good as she got and out-ran him, young pony that he is.
They look remarkably alike – both Kerry Bog Ponies, one young, one old but with neat little heads, a body more like a small horse and plenty of hair.
She hates being left behind when Ben and I ride out.
She loves her feed, she loves treats, she loves grass – and she loves the inside of the shed.