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. ♥️
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A very happy birthday to my old boy… and a very lovely Sunday to you all. X