Saturday, March 22, 2014

22nd March, 2014 Punch Drunk

Off to see three Suffolk Punches today or should that be Somerset Punches? Sweet Pea (5), Lily (2) and Mirabelle (1) all live on a lovely farm with lots of other animals. Because of the horrendous weather they have been barn kept for the last two months but seem extremely happy and relaxed in each other's company. Today the plan was to do some groundwork and foot handling. The foot handling went according to plan although I often seemed to be working with two at once.

I've worked with Sweet Pea before when she belonged to another lady in Swanage. A complete but happy coincidence. She was just a foal then.

I didn't do any work with Draco, the Short Horn Bull who lives next door.

Lily starts to understand what is wanted.

The groundwork had to be handled very carefully as there was a lot of pent up energy and the girls have grown used to being together. Whilst Sweet Pea was relatively calm, Mirabelle has done very little leading work out in the open and is fascinated by anything new - note the almost exaggerated running foot.

At the end of the day, much to the astonishment of the elderly Shetland Sheep, I was asked to help turn the three horses out.

We stuffed all of their heads into a bucket of food and led them around the perimeter of the chicken farm and down the grass track to their field which they set about ploughing almost immediately. They looked so impressive as they thundered around.

"Thank you so much for yesterday - we both learnt an enormous amount and hopefully we will be able to put your teaching into practice. Thank you very much for the wonderful photos - there are some spectacular ones of Suffolks in full flight (in both senses of the word). You will be glad to hear that they are still in their field happily grazing, all came up for a scrap of feed and a rub (not pat!) to keep their routine going.

Many, many thanks for helping us get them out - above the call of duty - but cannot tell you how much appreciated (especially by me who understood what could go wrong) - as you said, Tim was in blissful ignorance of the explosive nature of grass under their little hooves.

Very best wishes to you and Tracey and hope we will see you again."  SW