Hi, my name is Sunny, I am a 15.1 Piebald (black and white) traditional gypsy cob (for those of you not up to speed with horsey height and weight this makes me a big boy). I am nearly 4, which according to my owners makes me a baby but I am very brave and act really grown up most of the time. Until very recently I lived with my friend Lucy in Devon. It has been an unusual year for me, for a start I have been allowed to grow a very long hairy coat, normally I have a hair cut in the winter.
Then my friend Lucy left me. I am not sure where she went but she was quite old and poorly. Then my owners left me with new people, but luckily they must have missed me loads because after just Christmas they came back, that was when my biggest adventure began. I was very pleased to see my owners. The other humans were Ok they fed me every day but they didn’t take me out and I really do like going out and about.
When my mum and dad came they started doing something really weird. They started packing up all my stuff and putting it into my blue lorry. I was a bit worried especially when they put my food bins into the lorry. What if they are going again and taking the food and lorry with them? I didn’t need to worry because they came in the morning as usual to give me my breakfast and I heard them talking. My mum was saying I don’t think he is going to load into the lorry with all that strange looking stuff in it. Fancy her worrying about that. I knew the food bins were in there so I walked up into the lorry without hesitation like the big brave boy I am. Oooh, I knew it was a good idea, I got an apple.
I didn’t think it such a good idea later because I was in that lorry longer than I’ve ever been in it in my life. There was also a very unusual hour when the lorry seemed to be moving but the engine was off, not sure what was going on there! Then the engine started back up and we drove for a little while more. They had given me hay in the lorry but I was starting to worry that I wasn’t going to get any tea, when suddenly the lorry stopped.
The ramp came down and my dad asked me to walk backwards down the ramp. Don’t worry, it’s not hard. I learnt to do it when I was little and I am an expert now. I was a bit sweaty (the lorry was warm and I will admit it had been a long journey and I had been worrying about my tea), so I got a lovely warm rug put on me. I had to wait around for a bit while the lorry was emptied but I didn’t worry too much because it meant the food bins were staying with me, Yippee! Then I was put in a lovely warm stable with, yes you’ve guessed it, my tea.
Oh yeah, I’ve also got new friends here (not as important as my tea but I do like a horsey friend to talk to). I had a lovely sleep in fact I was still asleep the next morning when my dad came to give me breakfast. Normally, I am up waiting for it ages before he gets here. I then went out into a great big field with 3 friends. One of them is the same age as me, so we ran around for ages. I didn’t even think about Lucy all day. I think this is my new home. It’s great; I think Lucy would have liked it here too.
Very soon I am getting new shoes from the farrier, then you might see me out and about in Shanklin. I pull a lovely red cart with my name on the back. If you see me, can you please slow down because although I am very brave sometimes fast cars scare me.
Part 2 - Sunny’s off to School
Hi again, well I am pretty sure now that the Island is my new home as I’ve been here for ages and they have unpacked all my lorry.
Lucy hasn’t shown up, I thought maybe she had moved here first to check it out but she definitely isn’t here. I missed her at first but there are loads of horses here they aren’t Lucy but they will do. Dolly lives next door to me and she is quite nice, when the humans are about she ignores me but when everyone has gone home she talks to me through the bars of the stable. I have my own field now, I used to share but we’ve had a shuffle about and now I have a field to myself, it’s great as no one else gets to eat my grass or hay. I have Lizzie and Treacle on one side and Sunny Bay and her friend on the other. I’ve met Michael my farrier but still don’t have shoes on so I can’t go driving on the road yet.
I was settling into my lazy life just nicely when my mum said that I was going into the school. I am 4 now and I think I remember humans talking about children starting school at 4. I wasn’t looking forward to it because I have heard children talking about it and they never seem impressed about having to go there. The school day arrived and mum gave me some breakfast she said so I could concentrate instead of worrying about my tummy, I don’t know what she means? My teacher arrived her name is Jo Hogan and we are doing something called Natural Horsemanship. Sounds interesting right? I was a bit worried because I haven’t got any shoes on but I didn’t have to worry because the school is a fenced square and it has lovely soft sand, I quite like sniffing it, sometimes it goes all over my muzzle, I did try eating it but it doesn’t taste very nice.
I didn’t need to worry about not enjoying it; as it was really funny watching my mum try to talk in horse language. She is really clever at English although I think it’s a bit of a weird language, but she is not very good at horse language, unlike Jo who I could understand perfectly. I really like Jo not only can I understand what she is asking me to do (without that stupid English being spoken at all) but she thinks I am very clever knowing what she is asking, I didn’t tell her my horsey mum taught me when I was very little. I wonder if she realises its horse language she is speaking. We play loads of games, the friendly game is the best as mum rubs and scratches me all over and I stand perfectly still. Why they would think that would be difficult is beyond me, if you scratch me I will stand still all day.
The only thing that wasn’t great was Jo pointed out to mum how I had trained her to let me do what I wanted when I wanted, I had a little tantrum when mum wouldn’t let me go the way I wanted instead of the way she wanted but it got a bit boring when they both just stood there quietly so I just did it properly and guess what I got a lovely scratch again. Anyway I’ve realised the school thing is for mum not me as I know it all and she has to learn how to ask me properly, I thought she was a bit old for school, but I am happy to help her if that’s what she wants. During the week mum takes me once or twice to practice her Natural Horsemanship, she is getting the hang of it slowly.
A couple of weeks go by and mum buys me a saddle, ooh it’s quite nice it has the new Cair system so it is squidgy on my back and doesn’t create pressure points (whatever they are). Then mum says we are going to the school again but this time she puts a saddle and bridle on me. The bridle is different to the one I wear for driving. The driving one has blinkers over the eyes so I can only look ahead and can’t see behind me. Mum thought I’d be scared without my blinkers (and you can see loads of things without them) but I’ve been to and from the school in just a head collar so I didn’t let it phase me.
Mum did the funniest thing she only climbed up on my back, I turned my head and thought what is she doing up there. I’ve seen mum sitting on Lucy’s back, they used to go out together all the time and Lucy didn’t seem to mind so I wasn’t too worried. I have a different teacher for the whole mum on my back thing her name is Martine Harper and she is lovely. She tells mum what to do and every time she speaks I stop to listen (it’s only polite right) well mum isn’t very polite because she asks me to keep walking.
It’s really quite difficult as mum keeps squidging me with her legs so obviously I go faster but then she asks me to slow down. I don’t think I understand what she wants me to do; I think mum should sit on the cart as I am brilliant at that. I heard mum and dad talking the other day and I am going to have shoes on and go driving with my lovely red cart soon, maybe mum understands more than I think. I haven’t been driving for 8 months but I know I am brilliant at that so I am looking forward to it, I will let you know how I get on.
Bye for now