Our Latest Hope Pastures News
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Sad, sad, sad news this month. Normally I can keep my spirits up, but this month we’ve had to say goodbye to one of my best and oldest (in both senses of the word) friends, Sparky, and I can’t tell you how much I miss him. It’s made me very grumpy. The first day he didn’t come out to my field, I started worrying that ALL my friends might leave me and I’d be completley alone. More grass for me, but who’d protect me from any lions wandering past? Fortunately, my other friends are still here and we’ve settled down again, but we all really miss him.
Sparky was over 30 and was always fit and well for his age and full of beans, so the humans were very worried when he went downhill overnight and losing him was a shock to us all.
I remember when he came to the sanctuary, over 8 years ago. He’d been a much-loved children’s pony throughout his life, but had to move from home to home, as his children outgrew him. Listening to his story, I knew I’d been right not to let the humans try to ride me. He’d spent his life trying his heart out, behaving well, winning rosettes and trophies, only to end up on the scrap heap once he was ‘old’ and started to develop health problems. He was brought to Hope Pastures when he was found waiting for the meat man at a horse sales. Far from being retired here, he had a special role as a ‘Pony Day Pony’, taking part in grooming sessions on pony days and children’s parties. He adored being petted by so many tiny hands, and covered in ribbons. He was loved by everyone who met hime and he was probably the most popular pony in the whole of Leeds.
He was a very loyal friend and he would become very attached, especially to some of my girls, whom he would sometimes claim as his own and refuse to share (something I’m not missing.) Hope was his latest love and he wouldn’t rest until they were side by side. Because of his poor eyesight, though, he had some trouble finding her in my field, often trotting around neighing full volume until finally finding her a few feet from him which always made me chuckle. Sparky was a true gentleman and no-one will ever replace him. We’ll all remember him, though.
Little Sago is back with us and he’s now in my field. More worrying about my grass (though the humans are giving us hay in our fields as well as our stables now, so he can stay for a while.) At least it’s nice for Cloud to have someone his own size to nuzzle.
Elsie and Cherish have gone to their new foster home. The humans said they were super-good travelling and now they’re heads-down eating what looks like delicious grass. I do hope my public realise the sacrifices I make for them – if they didn’t need me here, all that grass could be mine!!
Cloud has attended his first event of 2017 – the Leeds Cross Country Varsity. It was a lovely day, though the runners actually claim to prefer ‘conditions’ – mud, we think………..I can see where they’re coming from, being covered in mud really helps keep the biting beasties away, as well as cleanse the skin (and there’s ‘nothing quite like it for cooling the blood’, apparently.)
Danny and Gypsy made it safely to their new home and have settled in brilliantly – they are so lucky to have found an amazing family. They were with us long enough for the humans to make sure they were happy and healthy before moving .
Two new small ponies (possibly even smaller than Cloud! I can’t really tell as they’re over the road – good job too, we don’t need ANY more ponies in my field) have come to stay for a little while with us. I’ve met one of them, Rodney, before and he’s brought his friend Fergus to stay as well.
Like the rest of my friends here, they have been enjoying some time play-fighting in the mud.
The BEST news is last – I have made it to the Final of the UK Blog Awards with these Musings!! I’m not surprised, to be honest, I put a lot of effort into them, but the humans say they’re stunned (thank you humans!!) I can’t wait to go to the presentation evening, as there’s FOOD (and fame!) promised.
No herds of humans to report on this month – I hope some come and plant some yummy saplings in my field VERY soon
Love Muffin xxx