Since my last blog post we have had three new additions to the Shannon Eventing yard. Albeit only temporary ones, they are fast making their mark!
Sweet Pea, Poppy and Archie are all miniature Shetlands owned by Purdey's owners. Purdey, or Big P as we call her, grew up from a yearling with these gorgeous little hairy ponies, which is no doubt where she gets her cheekiness from! As their field needed a rest this spring, the ponies have come to keep Scrumpy company at Mushill Farm for 6 weeks or so.
We already had a lovely little field around the outside of our school for Scrumpy to be turned out in, so I thought it would be very easy fitting the new little ones in. The first night they settled well, which I now see was simply us being lulled into a false sense of security.
The second morning we went to bring the ponies in, and low and behold, they had broken the fencing in the corner of their field and escaped. I immediately panicked, as they are definitely small enough to fit through any small gap in a hedge and wander for miles. I kept rehearsing in my head what I was going to tell their owners as I ran round the fields looking for them, "So sorry Claire, they've disappeared." and wondering why we hadn't put collars on them with address anbd phone number!
Luckily, we live a good half a mile off any road and after 20 minutes of panic we managed to find them in Mark and Tanya Kyle's school, which is next door to us. They were very chilled out, and aside from pulling some flowers out of a display (which we rearranged very quickly!) and admiring themselves in the arena mirrors, they weren't guilty of too much.
Cue Tom and me setting to work making a new paddock for the ponies down the bottom of one of our fields in a hailstorm after spending the day at BETA tradeshow on Tuesday. As we finished late, we figured it would be best to leave them in on Tuesday night and turn them out Wednesday morning.
This went without a hitch-until about 4pm when Archie decided that he didn't like the field after all, and thought that jumping out would be really fun! He then gave the girls the run around before letting them catch him, and came in looking incredibly smug.
Therefore, even having a busy week including dressage and jumping lessons, a fabulous trip to BETA to see my brilliant sponsors like Equisox, Tredstep Ireland, HorseFirst, and Racesafe, I think I have spent at least 75% of the time worrying or running after Shetlands.
So, we're off to reinforce more fencing, and I can only think that the moral of the story is- stick to horses, you're less likely to be made a fool of!
(Photos courtesy of Adam Fanthorpe, Copyright 2015)