When we moved down to south Wales, we were able to bring the pigs and the chickens, not to mention the cats and dogs. Moonlight, sadly, has been forced to stay put at mum’s as the field really isn’t suitable for a mare and foal.
Jo and Moonlight - 6 February 2008
It occurred to me as I was writing yesterday’s post about Moonlight that in reality, even though she is my pony, I have spent very little time with the mare. I got her in February and other than spending some time with her each day, we thought it would be best to let her settle in and find her place with Mum’s herd of Section A mares without too much interference from us. Things like feeding her but not them would lead to severe jealousy and some major arse-kicking and she couldn’t come down to the house because the stallion, Ted, was stabled and the last thing he needed was a mare to distract him.
Thanks to that, it was until the end of March, when Ted rejoined his harem, that I was able to bring Moonlight down to the house. Typically, I had just started bringing her in each day to handle her and teach her about being groomed and having a rug on, when the builders, contracted to repair and do up the house, decided that now was the time to start The Work. (Ha, only eight months late then!)
Minor distractions such as the dumper truck parked outside the stables, the roofers ripping the roof up, the builders knocking things down with sledgehammers etc brought about the swift decision that Now Is Not The Time and Moonlight’s training (and our bonding) came to an abrupt end. I tried in the field but her companions in the field were a young mare, Hope, and her surprise foal who was born in mid-autumn. I say “surprise” because Hope wasn’t even two when Ted had his wicked way with her so she foaled as a two year old: the equine equivalent of a very young teenage pregnancy. Still, she was a fantastic mum and we chose her to keep Moonlight company so that we could wait until late spring before putting her in foal again. Bless!
Anyway, to get back to the point, Hope is very timid and having been at the bottom of the food chain her whole life, Moonlight suddenly discovered what life at the top was like and her dam’s personality (that of a total thug) began to shine through. So, handling her in the field wasn’t such a good idea because it simply reinforced her newly conceived idea about being Special.
But… by the time the builders finished and we got the yard back, it was time for Madam to meet her new boyfriend, Monty the 3/4 Polish Arab at a friend’s farm nearby. There, she was turned out with Himself and about thirty other mares (who never once let her forget she was back at the bottom) so although I visited her quite often, again it wasn’t the right time or environment in which to handle her.
And then, by the time she came home, we’d moved out …
So although she is technically my mare, it doesn’t really feel like it at the moment.
One day, one day, we’ll find a way to own our own smallholding with enough room for Moonlight (and a companion!) as well as the pigs and chickens. Until then, Mum adores her so she’s in good hands.