Our Latest Hope Pastures News
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Sharing my limelight this month with newbie Ruben. A very popular addition at Hope Pastures, I have to keep my eye on him to make sure he’s not diverting my public’s attention, but he’s really such a sweetie that I allowed him a sniff of ‘the special one’ (yes, me!!) as a little treat.
Quite a bit to report in this Musing, since the tapping human was so busy at the end of last month that I couldn’t pin her down to transpose my erudite thinking into a human format. This month she has no choice (that’s if she ever wishes me to talk to her again) and I’ve also forbidden her use of ‘tablets’ of any kind (injested or the flat objects which she occasionally uses to tap on) as these absolutely cramp my creativity. You can see the conditions in which I am forced to work.
I’m going to start my Horse Update with some very sad news about Tina. She’s had a mystery illness that’s come back every year for some time. Our humans asked the clever stabbing ones about this, but even they weren’t sure what was wrong with her. She was being treated for all sorts of things, but mid-June she fell ill again and just didn’t respond to treatment. She refused to drink and barely ate anything for two days (which meant she was really poorly, as Tina means was even more serious about her food than I am.) After a couple of days she was very weak and had lost the sparkle in her eye and I knew that she would soon be in horsey heaven. Although she wasn’t in my field, I would see her over the fence and, like me, she was one of the ‘original’ equines here, when the current humans started to look after us, so it’s really strange without her. We all miss her.
Other news is much happier…
Ruben and Fagan have been turned out together, and Fagan is teaching him things as a big brother does. It’s fun to watch them – I dont know where they get their energy from.
The stabbing human has also been here to (appropriately) stab Jack and Ruben – something called a vaccination. He also stabbed Fagan, this time to take blood away to see if he’s better inside, which the humans now say he is! Then he stabbed Fergus with one of the sharp things which leaves a small lump in our necks – a microchip, I’ve heard (?) Fergus was really not happy about this, but I know it’s no big deal.
The man who rubs our hooves down came and replaced Kizzie’s shoes – I have to say I’m rather jealous. Another hoof-rubber comes regularly to remedially trim Banjo, Snoopy, Hope and Alfie’s hooves, because they all have hoof problems and need special attention. Sometimes I wonder whether having such fabulous feet is a burden, not a benefit – special attention indeed?!
Polly and Bella are visiting again due to Polly’s feet being sore with laminitis. She’s improved now, due to careful feed monitoring, rest and limited time out in her field – I have to admit that’s not something I’m jealous of.
Some of my friends, especially Polly Joey Sago & Freddie have a problem with something called sweet itch. When they’re bitten by the pesky midges, it’s not like you or me, when the bite’s a bit itchy, they itch all over and scratch like mad. It’s really annoying – for us as well as for them! This means they’re brushed and sprayed a lot (ugh!!) and wear the most odd clothing to keep them from being bitten. This can be quite challenging in the changing British weather, although it’s nice for the humans to have the excuse of changing rugs to give them the chance to come and see me more frequently. I’m sure they’re pleased about this
Bernie and Joey are still with us and Bernie has been receiving special one to one attention from the Sue human as he’s so nervous. He’s now learning to trust her enough to be gently groomed. Joey has been receiving training from the India human to begin being a ridden pony. Despite my warnings, he’s taking well to his saddle and being a really good boy. The humans hope he can find a home soon, with someone who can continue his training and that he’ll become a good child’s ridden pony.
In another field off-site, it appears young Logan of the horse family is rather a joker and has been making the most of the lovely weather while sensibly protecting his eyes from the sun. Very kind of Miriam to lend him her glasses. I’ll be keeping my own perfect eye on his antics to make sure he doesn’t get too big for his hooves.
At the start of June, we were delighted to wave Flint off to his forever home with Elena. After a year nibbling at my grass, he’s beginning the next chapter in his life. The humans think he’s rather beautiful, but his tummy doesn’t seem round enough to me! Good luck to Flint and Elena xx
Updates from ponies who have new families include Rosa, with her tiny jockey Tiana who have been winning lead rein classes at their local shows; Piper, who is loving his life as a ridden pony with dedicated loaners Meg and Julie; Humphrey, with his riders Petra & Alex, who is just getting used to hacking out alone and being a superstar but is very unsure about cows (!) and finally May with her human, Kirsty, who has been doing well at local shows and teaching a young lady to ride.
In May we equines received all sorts of special treatments, including Aromatherapy, Reiki and Physio, relieving a lot of aches and pains on various friends. I particularly look forward to my new daily herb trail and am now very good at protecting my yummy pile.
We’ve even had a visit from Nikki Meggison with her weigh bridge, which the humans seemed to think we’d like to walk on (really??!!) In the pouring rain??!! And wind??!! Nikki and the humans were very patient, and waited for us to learn to cope with this scary new equine-eating item in the horses’ yard. The good news is that now the humans have carefully planned diets which are perfect for each of us. I’m still waiting to see the huge increase in hay and pony nuts which that should mean for me – I may have to remind them soon….
We have two new humans who now help out at weekends and the Emma human back after having her foal (a little filly)vWe just love having all the extra attention.
Little Sago has been out and about on all sorts of visits, from visiting elderly people in care homes, to star turns at local Pets at Home stores. He loves meeting so many new friends and is full of all sorts of interesting stories when he comes back to the sanctuary (I’m not sure about going inside the humans’s stables, though.)
Well, not quite sanctuary news, but my humans have asked me to mention it. Bramham International Horse Trials selected Hope Pastures as their Official Charity for 2017 and many of my humans attended, to help raise money for me and my friends this month. They came home with over £6,600 pony nut tokens (well, that should see me through Winter, at least.) They even found new homes for nearly 300 of the knitted ponies – who knew there were so many, thank heavens they don’t eat grass! I couldn’t go (obviously – I have my public responsibilities here), but Mini-Muffin made a guest appearance and even had his picture taken with some of his celebrity friends. I’m not sure he’s been properly trained in public etiquette – he seems to have spent most of the time cuddling people. I think he has been taught by Sago.
The humans have asked me to thank everyone who made this happen – to our wonderful, regular knitted pony-breeders (!) and those who found needles in cupboards, dusted them off and knitted specially for the Bramham herd; to the generous people attending; to the eventers and celebrities for their support; to the Pony Clubs for their donations; to our raffle, tombola and competition sponsors for amazing prizes; to the Bramham team for their help and, of course, to our (very tired) volunteer humans, both on site and ‘holding the fort’ at the sanctuary, for all their hard work. The humans say the money will directly help them to rescue more animals and give them new lives with loving families – I rather hope they’re teasing me and that they’ll actually be investing this in my tummy!
I also have to report on the day which happens in early May every year, when herds and herds of humans come to visit us. Some dress up in odd, old-looking clothes and many bring tents and tables and put out all sorts of goodies on these. We equines make lots of new foal and adult friends when this happens – the humans call it the Spring Fayre. This year Asher, who was rescued here and is now really luck to be re-homed with Di, Richard and Lewi came and told everyone about his story – it was good to see him looking so well. Apparently the day raised over £3,500 pony nut tokens – a big thank you from my tummy and me to everyone involved.
Well, the tapping human’s fingers are slowing down, so that’s enough musing for this month. The one special date I haven’t mentioned in this Musing is World Donkey Day, which was on May 8th this year and was a celebration of all things donkey (and especially half donkey.) Can you please keep an eye out for World Pony Day and let me know whe this is, since, once again, I’m feeling rather lop-sided.
Love Muffin xxx