I longed for a horse growing up. I bought horse magazines and books. I spent summers on trail rides. I drew horses and dreamt of what I'd name my future horses (Pippa and Dartanyon!).I had jodhpurs, boots and my own helmet. I'd beg my parents for a horse and would always be told, "Marry a farmer!" Instead, I married an economist, which although a good decision (I love you Tobes!) it reduced the likelihood of a horse ever joining our family. Horses are known money suckers and take time too.
So you can only imagine my delight when we discovered a pony living closeby. One day as we drove past, the owner was out the front with this pony and so the kids and I stopped to say hello. We had a pat and got talking. I offered to help if it was needed in tending the animals or her block and I couldn't believe it when she asked if I'd walk the pony. 'Free reign' so to speak. We learned where everything was kept and had the go ahead to play whenever we wanted.
We would time our 'Dolly walks' around Sam's naps, wearing him in the ergo so he'd sleep as we wandered to a park with a pony in lead. Oh my goodness. The looks you get when pony walking in suburbia are hilarious!
Today, Tilly and I left Sam and Toby at home to walk Dolly together. Tilly has become so comfortable with Dolly now, sharing the leadrope with me, clucking 'come on Doll' or 'walk on' as we stroll. She loves giving her pats and giggles when Dolly braes and breathes out. Today Dolly was served at a park shop. She's a tolerant partner!
Dolly is now used to us and I was chuffed today as she stood still to be caught and snuggled in to me when at the park.
Taking our four legged friend for walks is the next best thing to owning our own pony... Now to get Tilly used to riding her.