Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sonny's visit to Greenholme (17)

Yawn. A slow start this morning! I fed the two nags but didn't tidy the stable (BAAAD mother!) Jen, Rob and Naomi came today, Naomi having determined that she, too, had to "Boss Sonny!"

We were going to work in the fields again, so Jen opened the field gate and shut the front gate - our cottage visitors having gone out for the day - which meant the "Caution - Lesson in progress" sign was visible to the roadside. Of course, then silly James Beevor, Big Time Boy himself, ignored the sign and came bowling in, leaving his bike at the gate thank God, but getting thoroughly in the way. That meant there was me, Ruby and Naomi, Jen, Sonny, Graham talking to Big Time Boy, Rob taking photos, the Allen family and their farm bike driving a flock of sheep down the road and back to their field after clipping, and Sammy lurking behind my car ready to tell Sonny off if he put a foot out of line.

Poor Sonny, he just couldn't handle all that information at one time. He managed to behave until Jen wanted to mount, then had a small "backing" explosion. Jen got up, and made him settle, then got off and went through it all again. Ruby, Naomi and I didn't see all this, but I heard Graham offering advice so I poked my head round the corner to see if it was ok to set off with Ruby; got the nod and went quietly away down into the field.

Sonny (see Jen's Facebook photos) was gobsmacked that Mother had gone without him! Usually because we've had more stuff to attach (like harness and carriage) we've followed him, and not the other way around. Ruby was pretty chilled. Naomi was asking questions of me about "why did the sheep need to have their fur taken off," so I didn't watch Sonny working in, but Jen says he was pretty keen and for the first time she needed to have a contact on the bit as she circled him at walk around various of the smaller fields, before she joined us in the hayfield. Once she'd brought him along he was sensible and walked, trotted and cantered on either rein without being naughty despite all the clegs that were about. I did wipe a few off Ruby with the tip of the whip, but she wasn't as covered in them as Sonny was, poor lad!

When we got back to the yard Naomi wanted to sit on Sonny, so Rob popped her onto the saddle in front of Jen and Jen walked him around the yard. They took some pics of Naomi sitting on him at the tying tree, and as by this time he'd decided perhaps small children were not actually Martians, he was very calm about it all. It helped that Beevor had gone, too!

Sonny had another hosepipe wash - having got quite sweaty in his tizzing and his workout in the field - and Naomi helped me to take Ruby's harness off (Oooh, grannie just couldn't manage all those big buckles on her own). We turned the two ponies out in the paddock and mucked out (Naomi, Rob and Graham sitting on the field wall like the three wise monkeys) and went off to the pub in Tebay for lunch. We brought them back into the stable after that, as Jen said, "I think four hours grazing yesterday must have been too much for Sonny!"

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