As the green grass turned to brown sludge, it became time to move the ponies onto their winter grazing. We said a final goodbye to Honey as she left for pastures new and immediately moved the rest to their new fields.
Faith, as ever, fully investigated her new paddock, galloping from one end to the other, snorting, head up high and with her tail proud. She flashed her field mates and encourages them to canter with her, exploring every fence and hedge, and taking in all the new sights and sounds. From the stables that overlook the fields, I watched Faith as she swiftly put Ava in her place, ensuring that this little one knew who was boss. She then approached Tom thumb and repeated this. She moved his feet, showing dominance, and showed him her back feet and the speed at which they could be deployed if necessary. He immediately took the hint, and went over to gorge on the lovely fresh grass. Christmas had come early for this greedy Shetland.
I left them to settle a few days. I did not want to ask much of them as their digestive systems were busy adjusting to the plentiful supply of grass in the new environment.
Only 3 days after the move, and I approached Faith in the field. She immediately assumed I was here to take her back to the mud and trotted away. Softening myself and rolling my shoulders, I stooped and began to arc around her head, paying close attention to the grass below my feet. Curious as ever, she watched me closely, and then allowed me to approach and stroke her head. I sometimes think she appreciates the dance I do for those few seconds that she wonders away, like some open-air entertainment for her between meals.
Upon stroking her face, I immediately noticed a difference in the hole in her face. It was covered by a black crust. At first I thought it was mud, but then I removed it and the smell hit me instantly…. Oh no…
I cleaned her up as gently as I could, and walked away. I reached for my phone and called my vet. At that moment, a part of me knew instantly where this road would lead…
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