I helped out with my friend’s pony today, getting him from the field to the yard for his 6 weekly pair of new shoes.
He is a spirited chap who knows his own mind and has his own characteristics that have set like concrete as the years have gone by. Now in the horsey equivalent of a man in his 80s, he is cantakerous but mischievous. If he was in a care home he would send the nurses flying every time he needed a bath.
This little Welsh pony sent me going round in circles in between shoes, as if we were doing a dance round the stableyard to try out his shiny new tap shoes. The only way I could keep him remotely still for the farrier was to constantly feed him apples, carrots and mints to take his mind off being a fidget. Then the noise of the beagles on their exercise echoed round the valley. The noise of anything hound like puts every equine in the vicinity ‘on edge’. They stand as if they are obeying a two minutes silence to a cenotaph somewhere in the sky with their ears to attention to catch the next fascinating sound. In many ways they are like meerkats, on high alert for the next predator.
He was joined in this stance full of awe by a horse in a stable who looked like he was going to rob a bank with a hood covering everything except his eyes. Another horse stood in the field – all standing to attention in the same direction.
It was in this pose that I was able to admire the beauty of the horse and the inherent intelligence that is innocent and sensitive to experiences both negative and positive.
It made me think of the horses sacrificed in World War One and the plight of the surviving horses who were slain after the war to feed the hungry French.
If you want evidence that an inner spirit exists in living things, there is no greater proof than the spirit that lies within horses.
This blog is for Unicef.
Thanks for reading.