I have been busy and very neglectful of this blog. I don’t think I have ever let so much time pass since posting.
It has been a strange winter: long, Spring creeping up and catching me by surprise. And storm lashed. We lost six trees in hurricane force winds, one of those trees crashing on my trailer so I am now without transport for Ben and Cloud (and for emergency trips to the Mart for hay). But we have got off lightly here. Generous friends have offered loans of their trailers when needed. I have neighbours who have had to reach their house by crossing three fields for weeks now. The west of the county has been badly battered by the sea. Houses have been damaged by flooding.
But there has been very few opportunities to take Ben and Cloud out. Cloud has been stranded with post-laminitis recovery and with a teenager who has a full life of exams, music and friends and a diminishing interest in a pony who requires such careful management.
So Cloud is mine now. I have to put it that way and embrace this pony who is so different to Ben and somehow find a way into his heart and mind. I remind myself that I struggled with Ben in the early days. Easy to forget when communication between us seems to be telepathic now. We have managed a couple of nice Spring rides, or rather rides and walks as Ben is not fit enough for riding of any length. But he has enjoyed them, rewarding me with a lick on the cheek afterwards.
A couple of weekends ago I drove north to attend a workshop given by Nic Barker (of Rockley Farm blog fame) which was very interesting and encouraging in allowing horses self trim. She made the point that we should never judge hooves on photos alone, but to take videos, slow them down and look at the footfall. I did just that when I came home. Both Ben and Cloud had heel first landings! (Ben’s slow motion was gorgeous – such hairy legs clopping down majestically on the yard.)
Some things stay the same – each year, no matter in what manner Spring has approached, by the end of March the primroses appear and the hairiest cob in Ireland sheds wheelbarrow loads of hair, day after day after day. I become slightly obsessed with currying those long silky slides of hair, and no matter how much I remove there is no discernible difference; and yet there will be, suddenly the bones of his legs will reappear, his belly will seem higher off the ground and his face will be beardless once again. But for now, he rolls and covers the ground in his hair, rubs and leaves hair caught on the bark of trees, and is starting to walk away when he sees me approaching with the rubber curry comb.