I went to have a play with the Clydesdales again yesterday and enjoyed both long reining Mystic for miles and talking to his owner as I did so. I realised on the way back that, although I wasn't really concentrating on Mystic, we had developed a dialogue down the reins as we went. He began by more or less ignoring me and listening to his owner's voice but began to listen more and more the further we went until we had some sort of harmony by the time we arrived back at the yard.
Mystic's owner told me about a friend of his who is trying to save four registered Fell Ponies, among scores of other horses and ponies, from the meat man. I begged him not to tell me more as I have no-one to restrain me now but ended up arranging to go and see them on Thursday.
I have thought long and hard about this and I can't not go. I am the person who can't look at those ILPH adverts and I am always protecting myself from pain that I can't do anything about. This time last year I couldn't have done anything about these ponies either. Now I can.
Fell Ponies are closely related to my Dales and even more rare. They suffer from a genetic defect that results in many foals dying at birth. I can't let these survivors die unnecessarily now.
My plan is to try to get volunteers to help tame them and work with them, both because I need time for my own animals and because I aim to re home them and not let them become my own animals.
I also am going to get Kate going and find a kind home for her too, with her own person to love and entertain her. She is a lovely mare and one of the most polite horses I have ever met, which is why she couldn't tolerate her previous, very impolite owner. She deserves more time and attention than I can ever give her and my heart belongs to Bella, Jack and Grace.
The owner of the Clydesdales says that he could never be happy without a horse and that's how I am too. I can't go for more than a few hours without severe withdrawal symptoms that can only be relieved if I stroke a horse. No other animal will do for me - it has to be a horse.
Mystic's mum and constant companion for 13 years died just before Christmas and he wouldn't eat for a while and he is still sad and not himself. I said I knew just how he felt and I couldn't eat for a month. His owner, a psychologist, said that we are all mammals and all run on emotion. That made me feel much better and more normal somehow.
He said that Mystic is over the worst now and will be fine when he's worked his way through his grief.
Mystic and I have a lot in common. No wonder we developed a conversation along the reins so quickly.
We have walked a lot of miles in each other's shoes.
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