Learning to be a Pack Pony

Our neighbours have just been away for a few days and while they were gone I volunteered to fill up their bird feeders.  The best way to do it seemed to be to use Galahad to transport the food.  It promised to be fun!

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We set off on our hack loaded with bird food and had a lovely ride up the hill, despite the fact that it was pouring with freezing cold rain.  Obviously I couldn’t take Galahad into the garden so I had to tie him to a nearby gate – I took some binder twine with me specially.

He waited very patiently while I went off to fill the feeders.  The poor thing got absolutely drenched and I was not thrilled about sitting on the saddle again afterwards!

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We had a great time and it was nice to have a purpose on our ride – I’d be quite happy to do it again!

Pheasants!

It seems that pheasant season is upon us.  Almost every time we ride out we are met by a whole flock of juveniles which run along the lane or field ahead of us before giving in and flying over the hedge.  The ponies have got fairly used to them now, although we can still get taken by surprise occasionally.

A few days ago Galahad and I met this little one who seemed younger than the others, as unlikely as that sounds.  It was cheeping like a chick and when the rest flew off it got left behind and just ran into the fence.

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Eventually it managed to squeeze itself through the fence but was then trapped in the lane with us until it climbed into the hedge, still cheeping madly.

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Hopefully it found its way through the hedge to rejoin the rest of the flock!

Stable Mates

The ponies might be spending a couple of weeks away but their stables are not unoccupied.

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A couple of months ago a pair of wrens started trying to build on a failed swallows’ nest from last year – it kept falling down and had been abandoned.  The wrens were more persistent and kept doing their best to build.  Their efforts tended to fall down as well but that didn’t put them off and one evening we found them perched on an impossibly thin looking sliver of nest.  Sadly that fell down too after a few nights and they were obviously never going to be able to lay any eggs on it so my Dad put up some little shelves for them.  Almost overnight a proper nest had appeared and pretty soon the wrens were sitting on eggs.

Now we have chicks!

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I have seen four and the parents are constantly flying in and out with food.  It is lovely to see.

The swallows have also returned and are starting to build a nest on another shelf.  They haven’t finished yet but they are definitely still around so we are hopeful that they will stay.  They make wonderful house guests!

Light!

Look what we now have enough light for before I go to work!

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It has been wonderful to be able to ride every day.  No one else is about so it is just me and the pony.  Plus a lot of birds singing.  It is the best start to the day!  We probably haven’t been riding for quite as long as normal but that is no fault of the light – I am just struggling to adjust to the earlier mornings.  They are so worth it though.  We have enjoyed several misty hacks and have seen some pretty dramatic clouds forming.

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Luckily we haven’t got too wet though!  We have however made friends with this year’s crop of lambs.

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At any rate, we looked at them and they looked back.  I’m pretty sure that counts!