Honey love for bobby
"She would make her way two miles up the road to a patch of open land where a handsome horse was tethered. This fine bay horse would prance around on his chain and call that beautiful shrill nostril flared call of the wild that we thrill to hear."
Back in 1978 our fencing skills were somewhat lacking in much needed finance.
Ponies with the urge to roam could sometimes quite skillfully find the weakest point to pursue their inquisitive urges.
At that time we were studying the plight of Exmoor ponies and made a few visits to the moors. News of our fledging sanctuary spread through the district and a number of elderly or troublesome ponies were offered to us. On one trip I was introduced to a rather beautiful golden pony with a flaxen mane named Honey. She had suffered a few years of whipping by an ignorant smallholder. His daughter loved the pony but her dad’s merciless treatment for Honey’s obstinacy brought her secretly to plead with us to take Honey from her miserable life.
The years that I spent putting her mistrust of mankind into reverse is another story. This story is about her amorous adventure escaping through our weak fencing.
Being a female she was like all mares, ‘in season regularly’, and she would make her way two miles up the road to a patch of open land where a handsome horse was tethered. This fine bay horse would prance around on his chain and call that beautiful shrill nostril flared call of the wild that we thrill to hear.
The Call of the Wild
Of course horses with their long ears can pick up distant sounds which to us are inaudible. Thus we found that the nightly escapades of Honey were to answer these calls. She was uncatchable in an open field and so many hours were spent each time herding her towards a narrow part where a coax, a cuddle and a bucket would bring her to allow the halter to be attached.
This occurred so many times that I decided to sit each evening to await the visit of the owner of the tethered horse. After a week we managed to track him down. Then he told us that the horse was a trotting pony, that he was two years old and that he was ‘entire’, meaning he was a full blooded stallion. He also told us he was a horse knackerman.
Fears of Knackerman
We listened in horror as he told us about his work. When horse, ponies or donkeys became lame or such and their owners could no longer ride them they send for the knackerman. He would then go along, shoot the horse in the head and drag the body into his lorry and back to his yard, where he would cut the dead horse into many slices. The big joints of meat would go to his stall in Smethwick Market to be sold for human consumption (very busy today because of the B.S.E cow problems). The small joints and innards would go to zoos and for dog food, the bones to the glue factory and the hooves to make paperweight trophies.
What Can We Do?
We went home very disheartened and told the story to our neighbor whose fields were used for grazing. She immediately sent us back to enquire how much he would accept for the beautiful stallion. Needless to say she purchased the horse (God Bless Sandra Evermore). We immediately had him gelded (neutered) and named him Bobby.
Bobby then received first class schooling from my daughter and her horse riding teacher to make him a safe and trustworthy riding pony. Bobby has lived here all of these years and has been a faithful servant, helping many disadvantaged and unfortunate children learn the pleasures of grooming and riding a gentle pony. As he grows older he becomes even more contented and a much better schoolmaster for those whose fear of huge horses needs to be overcome.
Bobby is Saved!
Bobby has wintered out each year with the main pony herd in the bottom wooded fields of natural warmth. He and his close companions, who are also getting gold will need extra care, warmth and housing for future winters. Bobby is now 22 years old and has a life expectancy of 45. He looks half his age because of his contented life here in peace and tranquility.
If you have enjoyed the story of Bobby and think of him as a grand old man who has spent his life helping to solve human problems, then please donate. Your bi-annual donations will help to provide necessities for the coming years of rain, hail and snow:- a stable, a rug and a regular bucket of grass nuts.
“Bobby and friends in the luxurious green, green pastures of retirement pleasures"
HUGKIDSos (Help Us Get Kids Safely Off Streets)
Verity and William, my children, have been training to run The Horse Sanctuary since they were old enough to sit on a pony. Most of you will know the wonderful stories of their growing up sitting on the back of a tractor on the daily feeding routines and of course on every Christmas Day we love our days of peace with no staff about, we gleefully get up early to not miss one niche of this glorious day. Down the fields first thing with carrots and oats for the horses, corn for the wild birds of the forest and lakes. Then to stand in awe at the wonderful silence as we give thanks to God for all of our progress and the booming health of the animals in our care.