The More Hardy

Horse and pony


After a night of heavy rain of which, I am happy to say, I was oblivious, Jackie drove us around the lanes of Sway and Tiptoe.

Wild golden daffodils and pale yellow primroses proliferate on the verges and the banks of ditches.

When I disembarked to photograph some of these in Flexford Lane, a whinny from the field beyond them, and the thud of hoofs alerted me to the arrival of a hopeful horse which was brought to a reluctant standstill at an inner fence. Like most of the more domesticated animals this one still wore a rug to protect it from the cold, especially as the temperature drops to around freezing overnight.

The recent snow and ice has increased the number of potholes and crumbling edges of the tarmac. Many of the lanes are awash with water, some of which runs off the fields. It is the job of the ditches to absorb this, but their capacity is not always sufficient to contain it all. Barrows Lane was particularly damaged. Imagine driving along there in the dark without a depth gauge. The traffic cones are a necessary warning.

Field-kept horses are far more inquisitive than the more nonchalant New Forest ponies. One be-rugged example, as eager as its cousin in Flexford Lane, rushed silently over to the five-barred gate before I had been able to photograph it in the process of grazing. The creature had competition from its smaller, bridled, companion.

Both fixed me with a persuasive, pleading, gaze until the larger animal tossed its head in disgust. I wonder whether the smaller creature could be a forest pony in the process of being backed, which is the term for breaking in for riders. This might make sense of both the bridle, the application of which it would resist, and the lack of a rug. New Forest ponies are definitely the more hardy.

This evening we dined on a plentiful second helping of Hordle Chinese Take Away set meal for two with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Azinhaga Portuguese red.

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

40 thoughts on “The More Hardy

  1. Bridles are used as instruments of torture on people but somehow people think it is ok to use them on animals just for the pleasure of riding them.

  2. Your close up header is extremely effective, Derrick. Do the Chinese restaurants in the New Forest have bird’s nest soup on their menus? There must be a lot of them about!

  3. I followed you about those lanes, swaying and tiptoeing as you went, warned by traffic cones and hoofed beings of which you have an intimate knowledge. Great shots, as usual.

  4. Wonderful to see those horses! I expect they were hoping for a little snack—carrot, apple, or even a lump of sugar.

  5. The daffodil photos and green new leaves brightened up your fantastic early spring photographs. Nicely contrasting with lined up orange and white cones (man-made necessities). πŸ”Ά πŸ”Ί

  6. So nice to see one protected from the elements. Such beautiful creatures. My daughter and I used to stop at random horses to photograph them. I lost thousands of images when a hard drive broke. I’m holding it for future repairsπŸ˜‰ prisoner of hope!

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