An indomitable pony

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.


We all love Rosie here.


Filed under diet, health, track system

15 responses to “An indomitable pony

  1. I love Rosie too. She is such a character and so adorable. Love the pictures.

    • Arlene I first found her in the shed when she had made a Rosie sized hole in the bin of chaff. Thankfully she was fine but since then she has never forgotten what is in that shed.

  2. She looks very sweet, your Rosie. How old is she? The oldies can surely have us worried, I know! Our 37 yr old senior Randver tends to get skinny these days, so we do everything we can to prevent that. He can have the shorter, lush grass instead of the long, high-fibre grass, and we give him three meals a day of soaked hay pellets, which he loves!
    When it rains and rains and rains (like this ‘summer’) we put a rain rug on him. Ever considered that for Rosie?
    But I love the wisdom and smartness of these oldies <3!
    Good luck with your old lady ;-)!

    Cheers, Marja

    • Marja, she is very sweet and only somewhere in her twenties according to our dentist. She looks older and, I think, has had a hard life before she came to us.

      She was rugged up all last winter. Her rug is a bit warm for summer – if it continued so consistently wet I would consider buying a light rain sheet. So Holland has rain too this year? We can’t bemoan Irish weather then.

      • “So Holland has rain too this year?”
        I can’t recall ever having had a more insane ‘summer’ than this year. It rains very frequently and when it does, it’s like the Niagara Falls! We have a waterhole for the horses out here, and it is now as full as it was in january…
        So it’s the same in Ireland this year?

  3. Love her sweet face and spirit! At the barn where we boarded briefly when we first brought Keil Bay and the Little Man into our family, there was a very old school horse named Echo. He was big and hunky and completely sweet and the barn owner gave him free run of the barnyard out of respect for his years and the fact that he still gave lessons to beginner riders.

    Echo’s absolute favorite places in this barn were the feed/tack room and the “classroom.” Both were completely finished-off rooms at each end of the barn, and both had steps going up into their very regular doorways. Echo somehow learned to unlatch the lock, turn the doorknobs, and would carefully walk up the steps and into these rooms where he would then simply stand and hang out. He lived into his mid-40s and died the death most of us wish for our horses – he simply laid down one night and died – no thrashing, no sign of pain or struggle.

    Sorry to bring this up in my comment – I think you can gather that with our grand old girl Salina it is on my mind these days. (she’s doing well right now, thankfully!)

    Big hugs to Rosie. I hope her ouchiness gets better soon.

    • Billie, I remember worrying when I let Rosie out that evening and deciding that if she were going to die she should at least be out, where she was happy.

      I love your story of Echo. And how right that he got privileges out of respect for his years. It is as it should be. I am glad Salina is doing well right now, I do know how she can be on your mind.

  4. June

    We love Rosie here too!!!
    Love the photos of her and Arrow – they do look alike – and I love the photo of her coming into the shed. My neighbour, who has alpacas – very decorous, dainty beasts, sometimes lets them come into the office/kitchen area of their barn, where they like to investigate and also enjoy the air conditioning.

  5. Marja, this is a wet summer – disappointing but not all that unusual. We are also in the west of Ireland which has to be the wettest part of this country. What is a bit different is the very heavy downpours. I know what you mean about Niagara Falls.

    I do like the sound of your waterhole however. Is it big enough for your horses to splash about in and did you make it yourself?