Monday, 2 April 2012


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Can think of nothing but the weather. I am so delirious with excitement about getting Red away from her muddy, bare livery paddock and into her new lush surroundings that I rather ignore the snow warnings. Anyway, I always think people exaggerate these things.

Sure enough, snow starts to fall in the morning. In a panic, I drive halfway across the county to an excellent equestrian establishment to buy extra rugs and feed. Then the snow stops and the mercury rises and I feel like a bit of a fool.

A brilliant woman with a lorry arrives after lunch, and we take the mare up to her new quarters. I lead her out. Cue very, very surprised face, and most theatrical jump at the sight of an unexpected blue Landrover. She is back in unknown territory. Up goes the head, scanning the horizon for threats. I talk to her and gentle her and give her treats. The great nieces and nephew come out and stare at her in awe.

Into the new field, Red gets her head down, and within five minutes is relaxed as an old hound, pulling away in delight at the good grass. Every so often she puts her head up, and stares into the distance, as if searching for Morven, which is lost in the mist. As I leave her, I look back, and see her gazing out to the west.

At home, I think yearningly of her. I remind myself that horses are tough old things, and that they are much better and happier out in the field. But now the snow is falling, and my heart falls with it.

Then two emails arrive. One is from The Old Fella, who sold her to me. He is the best horseman I know. Don’t worry, he instructs; all his horses stay out all winter. He believes in the field. I calm down and little, and send him a long and grateful reply, with, as usual, far too much information in it. I don’t know if, when we shook on the deal, he knew that he was going to get endless long and winding emails about the mare’s progress. In the last one I sent I wrote a lyrical ballad about how much I love her.

Then, The World Traveller, who can see the mare from her window, sent a bulletin. Head down, happily munching away, she wrote. I shall keep an eye on her, she wrote. I feel passionately grateful.

The snow is slackening a bit now. At least there is no wind. We are going to build her a shelter in the next few days, and she has a good clump of trees to doze under. She will be fine. But all the same, I resolve to go up at seven tomorrow and take her a big bucket of alfalfa, to keep her insulated from the cold.

Bloody Scotland. The mildest winter in years, the hottest spring day on record, and now there is idiotic snow. I shake a fist at the weather gods.


No time for pictures today, I was too busy running around on horse business. (Just in case the agent is reading: did also do a huge amount of book.)

Here are a couple of quick girls for you:

2 April 1 01-04-2012 08-11-48 4032x3024

2 April 2 01-04-2012 09-12-37 4032x3024


  1. I always think Red looks a bit 'street' with those white marks above her eye - like the cool kids who shave into their eyebrows! Either way, for a non-horsey person, she certainly is a very attractive horse.

    I'm having a little Twitter break but do love to keep up with your 'family', animal and human, on here. Thank you!

  2. Love that she took one look at the grass and thought, 'oh, hell, what are mountain lions, lead me to the good stuff.'

    The best broodmare manager I know, who handles very valuable horses, leaves 'his girls' out to 25 below F. Gets them fit for it, of course ~ no clipping as the fall advances, so they have a heavy coat and don't even want sheets or blankets ~ and checks them every day. They have run-in sheds, but usually don't bother to use them. They're happy as clams being horses and don't come in until their foaling time nears.

    Ms. Red is probably thinking she's died and gone to heaven. ;-) You, on the other hand, are a riot. And love that she has small people to admire her. Her personal family is growing.


  3. Love the image of Red jumping at the Landrover. She is surrounded by love. And lots of grass. What more could a girl want?

  4. Tania, Red does not yet appear in your Dramatis Personae in the RH column...


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