Diary of a Farmer's Wife - Spring 2018

Spring approaches - with an entirely new challenge for Anna MacCurrach of Tagmoor Farm. But how's one to manage when one doesn't speak Equine?

We have recently taken delivery of two ponies who needed a home for five months. I cannot believe this has happened and the world is still on its axis.

It seemed like a good opportunity and we have the space. However, neither Jimmy or I speak Equine fluently – how would we manage? Still wary, despite the commitment only being for five months, our enthusiastic neighbour Amy promised full practical and emotional support, and we decided to go for it.

Now, just to clarify, I just about know one end of a pony from another and haven’t shown any interest in them since I was about nine. Simple instructions are fine – one can get fat so don’t feed him too much, the other can get thin so feed him plenty. Throw me a curve ball though and I will struggle – one needs one rug, the other two, then there are inside rugs and outside rugs. All the rugs look the same but they must be different. Plus one is tricky to catch.

It’s ok. We can do this.

Day one. Time to let them out for some yard time while they acclimatise. Grabbing what looked like outside rugs I tackled putting them on. But they are so different to inside rugs! More straps and buckles! I had to abandon this mission and phone the support hotline (Amy). Straps and buckles clarified, the ponies went out into the yard for the afternoon.

On their second day with us I felt ready to let them out into the paddock after they had breakfasted. I thought a few hours would be fine so they don’t overdo the grass. I also thought that if I went to get them in at lunchtime that would give me plenty of time to catch the tricky one before it got dark (3 hours, keeping my goals realistic). Bracing myself, I turned the corner to commence ‘Operation Catch the Pony’ only to see Jimmy strolling into the yard with both ponies following him happily, straight into their stables. My husband, the Horse Whisperer!

As I write this we are almost at the end of our first week. The ponies are still alive and even though I am really quite allergic to horses I am still alive too! I might even go as far as to say that their company is currently preferable to the children who, I have discovered, I cannot leave alone for ten minutes while I feed the ponies without my son wreaking untold havoc in the house.

After all the worry, I might actually be a bit sad when they leave.

Find out more about Tagmoor Farm at www.lovemycow.com