This week marked my little pony’s birthday – his 22nd! – which we celebrated together with the usual blend of carrots, treats, a bemused but happy toss of the head from him and lots of reflection from me on the decades we’ve now spent together.
It’s 18 years since I first met Charmer, and I continue to be amazed every day by the joy, love and balance he brings to my life just by being in it. I usually try to rein in the soppiness I pour out here at least a little (believe it or not!), but as time goes by I only grow more and more grateful for the blessing he is in my life and has been throughout all these years.
He was the perfect childhood pony and every dream I had come true when he became mine way back in 2000, thanks to my lovely parents, on a day I don’t know if I’ll ever quite believe happened. Every pony book, every scribbled story of my own, every devoured horse magazine and every daydream was eclipsed by the reality of my very own boy, a gift I am forever grateful for.
As I wrangled through my teenage years, he was my adventuring companion and a friend I don’t know where I would have been without, anchoring me in the all the turmoil of adolescence.
We’ve grown together, and looking back we’ve weathered so much. He’s seen me through uni years, working life, the ups and downs of every chapter and some of the biggest highlights and lowlights I’ve known. I always remember an early morning jumping session on the morning of my graduation; evening sunlight at the farm the night I got engaged, my new ring glinting as I stroked his neck; and a November sunrise hack, gathering my thoughts, on my wedding day. In turn, I’ve laughed at his antics with fieldmates old and new, nursed him through bouts of illness, celebrated his triumphs big and small, ducked and dived through woods in one home after another and watched him enjoy so many different views and grow so many different patches of grey in his once-black coat.
In spite of how constantly thankful I am for all these years together of sunny days, tears cried into his mane and everything in between; it still took me by surprise to find myself lucky enough to be wishing him a happy 22nd birthday, and especially with my daughter in tow. I once read a quote I’ve always remembered that said “Every horse deserves, at least once in his life, to be loved by a little girl.” I’ve felt the same little girl’s huge love for Charmer throughout all these years as I did the first day he became mine – and now he’s lived to see a next-generation little girl in his life too. ♥️
Pinterest / Moments by Lori-Ann
A very happy birthday to my old boy… and a very lovely Sunday to you all. X
It’s been a while since I wrote on here (it turns out life with a young baby is as busy as it is wonderful, haven’t found much time for scribbling in amongst what has become the everyday rhythm of feeding and changing, pram walks and naps, stories and games.. ♥️). I did have a few partly thought-out posts I never quite got to writing up in the last few weeks, as spring has wrestled with winter and time has tumbled on. For the longest time we seemed to be in limbo, snow in one direction and daffodils in another, truly “summer in the light and winter in the shade.”
Eventually, however, we have been rewarded for our patience throughout this very long winter, and a real and lasting change is finally in the air. This weekend we had a chance to spend some real time in the sun for the first time all year and even sit out in the garden, wee one and all!
We also all got out for a family walk, me on horseback (still so enjoying being back to riding and building up both my fitness and Charmer’s bit by bit!). It was so unbelievably lovely to all amble together and to watch the pony peering curiously into the pram and our daughter gazing up in amazement at his big fluffy face!
This morning the sun has risen straight into the sky without a hint of mist or a cloudy start, and so looking forward to another lovely day in it. Have already done the early farm shift this morning – brushing the mounds of winter coat out of my biggest boy and leaving him in the field happily grooming with his buddies looking for all the world like a summery pony at long last!
Hope you are all having a lovely week. 💛
A big hello from Jasper and Jet and a very happy World Rat Day from us all… Delighted to have a day dedicated to celebrating what super little pets rats are – and our little furry family members have been enjoying a few extra yoghurt drops today!
Hope you are all having a good week. X
This is a post I have looked forward to writing for a long time! This week, a few days short of a whole year since the last time I sat on my little black pony; I was back in my all-time favourite seat, viewing the world through my all-time favourite pair of fluffy ears! 💙
Back in the saddle again!
I had last ridden on the day we put the clocks forward in March 2017, just before I had found out I was pregnant with our little girl and hung up my riding hat until her arrival. It was a lovely little hack; up bright and early on a sunny Sunday morning and clopping down the daffodil-lined track, just me and my boy. I didn’t know then the significance of it, but – since I generally tend to be snap happy whenever I’m around Charmer! – I have photos to remember it by all the same, and have looked at them often in the past year.
Riding, March 2017
It was always at the back of my mind that in taking such a long time off riding a 21-year-old horse – and one who’d come close to retirement once or twice before – I was definitely running the risk of not getting back to it; and I tried to be realistic about the fact that those lovely memories might well come to be of our last sunny day exploring. I’ve never been a competitive rider, and the working side of horse-owning has never been the main drive for me – as long as I can spend time with my boy I’m happy. But it will always be a bittersweet day when we have our last amble together, whenever that is, and as I edged closer to being able to get back on, with Charmer still up for it too, I’ve been so looking forward to it, and so very glad we’ve made it.
We’re still living in the aftermath of the snow and flooding of a few weeks ago at the farm just now, on a 24 hours in / 24 hours out routine to try to help the fields survive; and I’ve been meaning to try to fit in a little ride one of the mornings Charmer’s been in, just safely in the sand school at a quiet time of the day on the yard. But when I got there the night before last – planning just to put him out and get his stable ready for the next day – there was still some light in the sky, there was no-one around and it seemed the perfect moment; so I put off the mucking out and decided to go for it.
I couldn’t believe how happy I felt slinging the saddle over the stable door once again – and couldn’t believe either that this wasn’t met by pinned-back ears from Charmer, who I was very sure considered himself fully retired! He just looked mildly interested, as if to say, “Oh, this again? Fair enough, it’s been a while,” and stood waiting patiently to be tacked up.
It was an absolutely amazing feeling to settle back into the saddle, after the longest break from it since I started riding as a child. More than that, though, being on my own Charmer’s back – reunited as our adventuring team, patting his fluffy neck and watching him toss his head – was beyond wonderful.
We didn’t do much, just a ramble round the yard and grass school, but it was really lovely. Charmer makes me laugh so much – I had no idea how he’d react after such a long time, and was half-prepared for fireworks, but I did have a feeling he might take it all in his stride; and he certainly did, just setting off at his usual unflappable pace. 💙
Tomorrow brings the arrival of British Summertime once again – and this year, thanks to the winter we’ve weathered, the daffodils are not all in full bloom in just the same way; the change in the season seeming to be a long time coming. Yesterday though, the very first of them were beginning to open at last, a sure sign that spring will find its way here, any day now.. 💛🌾🌼
Have a lovely weekend all.X