The joys of spring seen from a pony’s viewpoint

By Nicola Jane Swinney on |


Connemara pony

Have you ever wondered what horses and ponies make of spring? We have the scoop…

Gah. Poppy the pony pulls one tiny, perfect hoof out of a puddle of muddy water and shakes it, delicately, like a cat. She’s not cold, exactly — she’s rugged up like a lagged boiler — but this relentless rain and howling wind are getting her down.

She has loved these weeks of being outside with her friends in the field, galloping and romping about, but the novelty of being up to her neat little ears in muck is beginning to wear off. It may be spring, but the weather gods didn’t get the memo.

So she’s quite pleased to see her human, Lucinda, walking towards her holding out a handful of pony nuts and cooing enticingly. Shaking her hoof again, Poppy takes a tentative step forward, but out of the corner of her eye she can see Billy glowering.

She can’t let the side down. When Lucinda is about two paces away from dropping the headcollar over her face, Poppy wheels round and canters away. Honestly! She didn’t realise Lucinda knew that kind of language…

Acknowledging Billy’s approving glance, Poppy trots in a wide semi-circle around Lucinda, keeping out of reach but with one eye on the pony nuts. There are standards to be upheld, but she likes pony nuts, and she likes the idea of a warm stable even more.

Having been just difficult enough for form’s sake, she allows herself to be caught and led back on to the yard. There, pointing nose-first at the gate, is the lorry, complete with haynets.

Lucinda’s full grooming kit is on the ground outside the stable. This can only mean one thing — and Poppy is delighted. She likes feeling pretty, and she loves going showing!


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