Alezane's Diary Archive February 2006
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Tregony looking over fenceWednesday 1st February 2006
It never rains but it pours, so they say. After the bit of a fright with Wicky yesterday, SHE took Treg’s rug right off today and found that he has been losing weight. And this is even though he is on a weight gain diet. I suppose it is not helped by those times (like this morning) when Treg misses a meal by having a lay in. But even so, it is not good news. In fact, all of the others appear to have lost some weight, I am the only exception. Mims appeared to have lost quite a bit when she went under the tape the other day. THEY weren’t worried about her though because she is obviously well covered. It would appear that she has just redistributed her shape around a bit, probably due to the extra exercise she is getting now, going up and down the hills in the fields. Overall, everyone’s weight loss is probably down to the extended spell of cold weather we have been having. Both Wick and Treg are elderly and so most of their food is being burnt off  keeping them warm. Why I should not have lost any while all the others have is a mystery, even to me. Unkind people might say that it is a balance between my developing matronly figure and the cold. I like to think it is just that I know how to keep myself in good shape.
That reminds me, I’ve not seen that new young man Cal yet. Each time I walk up or down the Throwleigh Road, I look over the hedge, trying to catch a glimpse but no luck so far. I must admit I am quite jealous of Mims who has seen him three times now. Oh well, his loss. He will get a very pleasant surprise when he does see me. Being an ex racehorse, I am sure he will appreciate my much finer figure than Mims’s.
And that’s about it for today. Not a very full and exciting start to the new month but no doubt there will be other things in store for us soon. You can tell it is leading up now to Valentines Day. All the birds have started flying around in large flocks and, mornings and evenings, they are getting noisier and noisier. Mind you, they will have to get a lot louder if they are to compete with the chain saws that have been constantly out on Ramsley Common. With this cold, I am not sure if they are really tidying up the place or if they just want more firewood!

 

 



Tregony and his best friend WickedThursday 2nd February 2006
“Ere Wick?”
“Hello there Tregony, what’s on your mi… er, I’ll rephrase that, what can I do for you?”
“Hmmm. I’ve forgotten now. Er, er, oh yes, right. I was going to ask you er, well something.”
“That’s good to hear Tregs, I’d hate for you to have called me over here for no reason. It’s not as if I could spare the time. You heard what SHE said the other day about me losing weight. I’ve got to keep on grazing for all I am worth now.”
“Oh, right. How much is that?”
“What?”
“How much are you worth?”
“It’s a saying laddie, it’s not really about my worth. It just means a lot.”
“Wish I was worth a lot. Then I’d have as big an appetite as you, wouldn’t I?”
“Och, I’m nae so sure of that laddie. It really is more to do with breeding than worth. I was born to be a scavenger, living on my wits whereas you, I think you were born to be a riding horse, to be pampered and looked after.”
“Then where is it?”
“Where is what?”
“All this pampering and being looked after. Where is it, I’ve not noticed it. All I get is you nipping my knees and Mims nicking my supper. If that’s being pampered then I’m an donkey.”
“Ah well, maybe you’ve fallen on hard times.”
“Ah! That was it. I’ve just remembered what I was going to talk to you about. That Mims, she had a fall today, did you see?”
“I expect she was messing about again. Showing off to the lads I suppose. Or more likely that Maxwell. He was in his field today, wasn’t he?”
“I don’t know how she did it. I just saw the grazes on her legs. Quite nasty ones. What with them and the bite Alli gave her on her neck the other day, she’ll become a grey with all the wound powder on her.”
“Well, they said when she came here that she was accident prone. She didn’t seem to make any fuss. If SHE hadn’t noticed it and made her stand still while SHE treated it, I don’t suppose we would have noticed any different.”
“She’s OK though, isn’t she Wick? I don’t mean the cuts. I mean she is getting pretty good now. She’s not silly anymore. In fact she is pretty smart. She seems to know when it is her turn to go down to Ramsley overnight. I’m not saying she is good about it. She does hide sometimes or try to run away but then, so does Alli. But she does know what is going on. And she looks after me.”
“You’re right Treg. She has calmed down a lot now. She doesn’t even bite me much anymore, only when I am being cheeky.”
“Yes, you do wind hr up on purpose some times, don’t you Wick?”
“Just helps to pass the time. A bit o’ fun never hurt anyone, did it?”
“Tell you what, Wick. See it’s getting pretty foggy up the hill tonight. What do you say we go up into the fog and hide from her. That’d be a laugh, wouldn’t it?”
“We can try laddie. Trouble is she follows us. Still it could be a bit of fun if the fog is really thick up there. We could all hide in the fog and play ‘catch me’ games.”
“As long as there is no running involved, I not good at that any more.”
“No Treg. We’ll just stand still and let Mims run around and look for us, OK?”
“OK Wick, let’s go. We’ll get a head start on her. Wait till we’re in the fog and then call her.”
“You run on Treg. I’ll just stand here and count up to fifty.”
“Is that more than three?”
“Just go, Treg. Just go!”

Tregony with Michelle on a rideFriday 3rd February 2006
There is just one word for today – cold! But also, it has its compensations. I watched HIM walk down the field today with our buckets and HE could hardly carry them. Because of the cold, SHE had given us all extra rations. Even this morning, we had a bit more but tonight, well! After this morning’s feast, Treg felt full of himself and went steaming up the hill to the top field with Mims in hot pursuit. Tonight, he just stood there, burped and smiled. I think if he could have lain down in the field shelter, he might well have done. Even Wicky and I shared my leavings tonight without any pushing and shoving. That reminds me. HE gave Wicky a welly kick (soft one) this morning. Treg had his extra and so took longer eating it so, as usual, Wick went over to steal what was left in Treg’s bucket. But he was fooled by HIM picking the bucket up and holding it for Treg. But then, when Wick had cleaned up all that Treg had left on the floor, he came over and bit Treggy to make him leave his held bucket. It was then that HE gave him a kick. Wick just runs out of distance and takes no notice. He was back a minute later, begging for treats.
I hear that Mimsy was  a bit funny this morning, as well. HE picked out Treg’s and Wick’s feet and then went to do Mims. She was OK with the fore and hind near side but when he went to pick out her off side hind, she made off down the field. Then there was a stand off. She looked at HIM and HE looked at her. After a while she came back to her bucket and HE tried again. The same thing happened. Mims stormed off about ten metres away. This time HE picked up her food bucket and hid it behind him. When Mims came back she couldn’t find it and went to HIM. HE then put down the bucket and tried to pick out her feet and again she ran away. Head collar time! HE went and got the head collar and held it in front of the bucket. Mims just eyed him and wouldn’t come. HE then held a carrot in front of the head collar. Well, what’s a girl to do. Mims gave in, had her head collar on and then had her feet picked out. But, HE decided, she wasn’t being bad. The injury she had got yesterday must have hurt her. Maybe HE held the foot in the wrong place or something. Whatever, they ended the best of friends. My daughter really is a sweet thing. I am enormously proud of her (except when she makes me bite her, of course).

 



Tregony having a drinkSaturday 4th February 2006
“Ere Wick?”
“Aye Tregony, my old mate.”
“We never hear or see anything of that new rat nowadays, do we?”
“WE never hear anything of any rat nowadays Treg. Well except that chestnut female one.”
“”I’ve never seen a chestnut rat, Wick. Where do you see it?”
“Oh, forget I said that laddie. It was just a wee joke, don’t you know?”
“What was a wee joke, Wick?”
“What’s he matter with you, you big daft bugger. That, about the chestnut rat.”
“Oh, I’d forgotten you said that like you told me to.”
“You do take things literally, don’t you Treg?”
“I don’t take things at all Wick, that’s you and Mims what does that. And Alli, or, at least, she tried to this morning. Got into trouble with HIM though. Anyway, what has that got to do with rats?”
“Nothing at all Tregony, nothing at all. Now, tell me, what as that you were asking?”
“You know, that rat, Rory I think his name was, he wrote a page of the diary a little while back. I was expecting to see him with a family now, somewhere in the hay store but there has been no sign, at least not that I have seen.”
“I expect it’s due to that cat that has been sleeping in the hay store lately. I think it’s from Annette’s or one of the farms. Looked like a good ratter to me. Either he’s scared them off or worse.”
“Worse?”
“I don’t like to tell you Treg, knowing what a sensitive soul you are, but cats have been known to ki …. No, I can’t say it, to kick rats out.”
“What’s the difference in that and scaring ‘em off, Wick?”
“Listen Tregony, enough! Let’s change the subject or someone’s going to get upset.”
“Oh Wick! I didn’t know you were such an old softy. Of course we won’t talk about it anymore if it upsets you. What shall we talk about, food?”
“Aye laddie, cat’s food, how about that?”
“I don’t know anything about cats food, Wick. What else do they eat apart from grass and hay? Do they like sugar beet, I love that?”
“Well Treg, there’s two kinds o’ pussies, there’s the wild, farm type cats and then there’s the fire loving home cats. They eat different kinds of food.”
“Oh, one has hay and the other has haylage? I see.”
“Er, no Treg. The home pussies eat things in tins or in pouches.”
“They must have really good teeth to do that Wick. Don’t they cut themselves sometimes?”
“No, the reason they are home cats is that they have human servants to do things for them, like opening the tins and washing their bowls. That sort of thing.”
“Huh, like us really then. Only our sugar bet and oats and stuff comes in bags not tins but I suppose they couldn’t make tins big enough.”
“That’s right, Treg. Just like us. But the wild farm type cats, now they feed themselves.”
“I see. No wonder the rats were scared off then.”
“Aye, laddie, you’re beginning to understand now, are you?”
“Oh yes, Wick, any cat that is clever enough to open its own tins must be really scary to a rat. Never know what it might do, eh?”

Tregony grazing under his favourite treeSunday 5th February 2006
I know, I can’t help it. Mum is always telling me to calm down and take it easy but it’s easy if you’re old like her. Or like Wicky and Granddad. Gosh, I feel like I’m in an old folks home most of the time. And then tonite, I was coming back to the stable for even more boredom when, just before we got to Dry Bridge, there he was! Cal was standing there, in his paddock, having a bit of a graze. I don’t know if it’s my magnetic personality or what but I had only just stopped for a moment when he looked up and stared straight into my eyes. Ooh, I went all watery. I just stood there, transfixed. He’s tall, chestnut and got a blaze right down his face, just like me (well, not the tall bit, maybe, but then I’m petite.) We stood there, eye to eye, until finally that Annette had to go and spoil it. I think she is worried that he will charge up to the bank and leap over the fence to get to me. Can’t blame her really, that’s just what I would like him to do. Anyway, she interrupted and got his attention but not before he had called out to me. I blush to tell you what he said but again, it just froze me to the spot. Then HE had to go and pull me away, saying that we could see Cal another time. I allowed myself to be pulled down to the bridge and then stopped and gazed back. But by that time Annette had hidden him somewhere. I allowed him to lead me down Ramsley lane, my heart pounding and a little sigh escaping now and then.
We had just gone past the ‘Y’ junction and were heading downhill to our house when I heard it. In the distance – hoof beats! He’s coming for me, I thought. I knew it. I stopped and put my head to one side. Then I realised that the sound was not coming down Ramsley Lane but from the other road that meets at the junction. Has he gone the long way round, I wondered? After a few moments listening however, I realised that there was one more than horse coming but by this time I was so excited that I forgot my disappointment and just turned my head. Then I saw them. Two ponies came round the bend behind us and, do you know what, they had humans sitting on their backs! I wanted to run up to them to see what was going on and, at the same time, I wanted to go with them. HE took a firm grip of my head collar and made me go the few paces more down the hill and we turned in our yard. Then HE turned me round and we watched the two ride past. I was so excited that I admit I made a mess in the yard and another when I got into the stable. I couldn’t eat my supper, just went round and round and looked over the door. I certainly will have lots to think about tonight. Maybe coming home wasn’t so bad after all!

 



Tregony with AlezaneMonday 6th February 2006
We were talking about names tonight. It’s funny but t seems humans have the habit of giving one a name and then changing it. I don’t mean actually changing ones official given name but rather, almost at once, starting to use abbreviations, lengthenings, familiarities and so on, anything but your given name. It appears also that if one has a long name then they shorten it but if you have a long name then it is made bigger. THEY have named me Alezane, although my name on my passport is “Always Special” . So what do they do? THEY say ‘Alli this’ and ‘Al that’ and even sometimes, when talking to Mims, ‘Special the other’. On the other hand, Mims is a nice short name. So, what do THEY call her? Mimsy or Mimbles and these are just the polite ones! Sometimes it’s Mimsy Muddlehead or Mimsy Moo or something that I won’t mention when she does what she did tonight – later! I gather THEY (and all humans) do it to other humans as well so we shouldn’t get offended by it. Apparently, a child or a spouse knows they are in big trouble if their proper given name is used. The formality of it is intended to convey a cold, distanced feel.
Which leads me to the incident mentioned above. Apparently, this morning, Mims (or Mimbles or Mimsy etc.) was still wound up after yesterday so she hardly ate a mouthful of her breakfast. SHE decided that it was too good to waste so told HIM just to add some veggies to Mims left breakfast to give her for her supper. Not to add any sugar beet as it was already added this morning. As it was, Mims would be having double vegetables so she should not feel hard done by. However, after standing all day, the feed had gone a bit powdery and with no sugar beet to soften it, Mims felt very disinclined to eat it tonight either. Strangely, therefore, this evening, Tregony was the first to finish and went and stood at the door of the field shelter, being so full that he even declined sugar lumps or mint sweets. Wicked (or Wicky or Wicks etc.) finished next and, not having any of Treg’s supper to steal, decided to pay Mims’ discarded bucket a visit. Now Mims may not have wanted it for herself but she was rather averse to her old enemy getting it. So she snapped and she gestured and grimaced but Wicky has lost all fear of this posturing now and just kept on eating. I think out of frustration, Mims lost it and ran at HER as SHE was standing watching. But instead of getting out of Mims’ way, SHE just shouted, banged two buckets together high in the air and, at this point, called Mims something less than an affectionate diminutive.
Funny, names, aren’t they?

Tregony laying near where he diedTuesday 7th February 2006
“Ere Wick”
“Aye Tregony, my best mate?”
“You know, I just had a smashing dream. It was so good, I want to tell Alli and Mims as well.”
“There here Treg, we’re all here laddie.”
“Oh good. Listen everyone. I dreamed I was young again and I was going for a show. And I jumped and jumped and ran like the wind and everyone applauded and I came first and got a rosette and everything.”
“Well done granddad. I bet you showed them.”
“Oh I did Mims. My old mum, Michelle was there and she was so proud of me. You were there too Wicky only your name was Flick then, do you remember?”
“I do Treg. They were good old days, weren’t they?”
“And then, do you know what happened? I came to Ninefields and I met you, Alli. And, although I was a good age then, I fell in love. I think we both did, didn’t we?”
“I know I fell in love with you Treg. I had never seen such a handsome fellow. You were what I had been longing for, a real companion and friend. Do you remember that first day when you came here? We just looked at each other and started grazing just like simultaneous swimmers in the Olympics.
“And the only time we stopped was to indulge in some mutual grooming. Oh I loved you Alli. I was such a lucky chap. All those fields to graze in with you and my best friend Wicky. Those were such lovely times.”
“Do you remember when it snowed and we rolled and rolled and then ran and ran all up the top fields, you me and Wick?”
“Oh, come on you two old lovebirds. Tell us about the rest of your dream, granddad.”
“Well, all those good old times came back to me and I seemed to be watching them, as someone else.”
“So what happened then, laddie?”
“Well, that’s the really good bit, Wick. After I had dreamed all those wonderful memories, I work up. And, do you know what? All my aches and pains had gone. My legs and hip joints had stopped hurting, my coat was glossy and smart and my teeth were all new again. And then I went for a short canter along the fields, high up on the moor. It was so high, I felt I was up in the sky flying. I felt so good I wanted to sing and I looked down and I could see Cornwall in the distance. I looked down and saw all of you standing in Ninefields, cheering me, and then I knew I was going home. I waved to you all and then I could see fields and fields of sweet spring grass with a clear running stream and all my old companions. So you see, my best and wonderful friends, I just wanted to say good bye for now. I’ll look forward to seeing you all again some day. Goodbye Mims, goodbye Aleazane my love and look after yourself Flick , my very best mate.”
“Goodbye Tregony, bye Tregs, our hearts go with you. Goodbye!”

Tregony died at 16.40 GMT today. He was buried where he had lain sleeping all day, just above the field shelter – facing Cornwall.

Tregony wins a rosetteWednesday 8th February 2006
“D’you know, he was a really nice, old granddad. I really got to like him a lot.”
“Aye, lassie. A real gentleman. You should have known him in his young days. You would have fallen for him, I’m sure. Handsome? That’s not the word for him. And yet he never got airs. Never got above himself.”
“You knew him longer than any of us Wick. You must miss him terribly?”
“That’s right, Alli. We were good mates, though you may not have thought it to watch us. I used to torment him, I know. But he didn’t mind. He’d just move out of my way in his big, gentle way.”
“He was a bit of a complex character, Mims. He was gentle in as much as he wouldn’t do anyone harm, however much provoked and yet, in his rush to avoid trouble, he could well knock you out of the way. He wasn’t tall but he was well built.”
“You’ll miss him too, won’t you mum?”
“Terribly, darling. Begging your pardon, Wick, but he was my first real friend since I left the racing stables. I know I went to the riding stable but I never really got friendly with any of them, they thought I was a bit stuck up, being a thoroughbred. But Treg, he just came and fitted in beside me as if we had known each other forever. It was like having a part of me, that I had lost, stuck back on.”
“He had that knack of making every one he came into contact with feel comfortable. Horses that is. He was a bit more reserved with humans. He didn’t trust men. In fact HE was lucky that Treg made an exception in HIS case. And, worse than men, were vets. As soon as he saw anyone carrying that case full of syringes and medication he would be off.”
“If he could, Wick. If he could. Yesterday his legs just wouldn’t obey him. You heard the vet say his heart was still strong. He just couldn’t get up.”
“Granddad was brave, wasn’t he? He tried several times during the day to get up like he used to. It’s rotten when you get old and your bits wear out.”
“Yes Mims, it’s sad and it doesn’t seem fair. But he had a very long life. No one seems to know exactly how old he was but the humans think he was 35 years and that’s very, very old.”
“It’s funny to think that he’s sleeping down there now, underneath instead of on top. The laddie spent a lot of his time sleeping this last year. Mind, I remember when we first came here, HE saw Treg laying down on his first day with Alli standing by and HE thought he had died. The old soldier was quite good at laying down. He needed to give his poor old legs a rest, I suppose.”
“Mum, do you think he’d mind if I had a bit of a roll over there, you know, sort of on top of him? The ground looks nice and soft and sandy and it would make me feel a bit closer to him again.”
“What a lovely idea. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind it in the least. If he was here now, he’d just smile and nod and enjoy watching you. What do you think Wick?”
“I think it’s such a good idea that we should all do it. I know it would make me feel a lot better too. I know he was laying down all day and we left him to go up the hill but somehow the end and then his burial was very sudden. I was glad we had those few hours to say goodbye. Now we can have a good roll with him and feel just a wee bit nearer again.”
“Right, you first Mims, then me next and Wicky, as his longest acquaintance, you can have the last and longest roll.”
“Right Alli, then we’ll all go up the hill for a while so we can have a little graze while we look down at where he is sleeping again. Off you go, young lassie!”

Tregony with HERThursday 9th February 2006
I hated it yesterday. In the evening, it was Mims turn to go to the stable. On Tuesday night, we had all been out together to give each other comfort, but yesterday THEY decided that we must get back into our old routine. The day had been bad enough. Everywhere one turned, there was a memory of Treggy. There was his corner in the field shelter with the tyre for his bucket – empty. Outside in the paddock there are several impressions where he had lain down and flattened the grass and mud. And even where there were no physical signs of him having been there, the very space where he had habitually stood – under his tree, up along the wall, over the shelter – they were all missing the sight of him, a great big void where Treg should have stood.
I’d be the first to admit that I had left him alone a bit lately. Since my daughter came, we have been renewing our relationship and have been together quite a lot. And Treg had slowed down an awful lot so that if we went right up to the top field, he might settle for the middle field instead. But I was always watchful of him, always kept him in my peripheral vision. If he had needed me, I could have been down to him in very few strides. He never complained. He was happy for me to be with Mims. I think he liked her a lot, he was always happy when she was left in charge in the fields at night. And she was a good girl. She always stood guard over him when he  had a lie down. On that Tuesday morning, when he could no longer get up, she stood right next to him and HE had to go up and persuade her to come down for her breakfast, telling her it wuld be alright and that HE would go up and look after Treg.
So, as I said, we all had a gloomy day yesterday and then HE came and led Mims away. Suddenly it was all too much. Where for a few lovely months we had been a herd of four, suddenly I was faced with spending a night, just me and Wicky. I don’t mean any disrespect for Wick. I know he felt just as bad as me. But it was just like another loss on top of the one we had. I just left my supper and ran down to the stream, where HE had put the gate across after HE and Mims had crossed over. And I just cried out. I couldn’t help it. I don’t think that I was even thinking. Something inside of me just exploded and all my grief at losing Treggy came out in panic and despair. SHE came and got me and was very nice and tried to comfort me but my supper tasted of sawdust. After supper, Wick and I went back up to the pot where Treg is buried. The surface now is very sandy where the lower earth was dug out and then replaced on top. We had rain in the night and this made the sandy soil nice and muddy and I just lay down and pressed myself into to be near to him again. By the morning I was covered head to foot. My face was caked with yellow mud and my rug was no longer its natural colour. But I did feel a little better this morning. So did Wick. He didn’t roll or lay down to sleep but he watched over me and thought his own thoughts. I’ve know him now or a long time, since he and Treg came to live with me in September 2000. That’s five and a half years, every day. I know we make up things about each other, he pretends I am snobby and I pretend he is a greedy little so and so but really we understand each other very well. I know when he is hurting and he knows the same about me.
So, this morning hen HE appeared with Mims, as I knew HE would really, Wick and I just kept doing what we were doing (mugging HER for treats) and pretended not to notice her arrival. I think our new smaller herd is going to get along just fine. But none of us will forget dear Tregony, Tregony Bay, Treggy, Tregs. But now we can start to put together our good memories of him and enjoy them.

Tregony feeding with AlliFriday 10th February 2006
HE has a habit of coming out to the stable, first thing in the morning, as soon as HE gets up to give whichever one of us is there a cuddle and some treats. While HE is there, we have a long talk together about anything and everything. As you can guess, some of them these last few days have been fairly tearful, but this morning, HE looked up at the dark morning sky and pointed out to me a very brightly shining and shimmering light. ‘Look, Alli’, he said, ‘there’s Treggy’s star!’ We both looked up at it for several moments, each thinking our own thoughts and then, although HIS eyes were a bit moist, HE started talking about what might happen today.
When I got to Ninefields, there was quite a sight to see. Standing side by side, on the other side of the river bank, were Mims and Wicky looking for all the world like Treg and Wicky used to stand in the old days. In fact, with the rather dim light, one could not see Mims’ blaze down her nose and, if you didn’t know better, you could imagine it was them. When we were walking along, HE told me that the pair had seemed to be getting along better than ever before. They had spent their first night out together and it seems to have created a new kind of bond. HE had watched them as HE came away after giving them their breakfast and they were brushing past each other and standing together like lifelong pals.
It was a very cold day today and all the fields were, at first, covered in a hard frost. However, by the time I got to Ninefields, the sun had thawed the top fields and that was where we headed for the morning. We spent a quiet but peaceful day today. No more desolation, just a general sense of continuity, an acceptance of what must be, still some loneliness but a calm adjustment to having Treg in our memories and not in our fields.
One bright note today. Maxwell and Cal went out together, being ridden by Roy and Annette. On a less bright note (at least for him), they passed by the stable just as Mims was settling down to her supper with disastrous results for her bowels and bladder. She then got so excited that she strode round and round in the stable making quite a nice mess on the floor. HE said HE wasn’t really thrilled to have to clean the stable out before Mims had spent the night there but she did calm down eventually enough to let HIM change her rug for her night rug.

Saturday 11th February 2006
A friend of his asked HIM to describe Tregony. Not what he looked like, she can get that from the photograph slide show that SHE has put on my website. No, she wanted to know about his personality. It was really very nice as she said she wanted to know so that she could miss him as well.
HE had a word with me, to see what HE should say but the trouble is that the way I knew him and remember him is in senses that do not translate into human words. I told him that, as this web site is for human readers not horses, then HE should describe the Tregony that HE knew and if there was anything I wanted to change or add, I would let HIM know.HE started by saying that there were two Tregonys, the real live horse and the Tregony of this diary. In the diary, Tregony is portrayed as a sort of Cockney speaking Cornishman because, HE said, HE cannot ‘do’ a Cornish accent. When I told HIM that, from what I had read, HE couldn’t ‘do’ a Cockney, French or Scots accent either, HE just ignored me and carried on. HE says that the sort of Cockney accent was used to make Treg appear a little slow and unsophisticated as a foil to my French aristocratic background. Tregony with Alli, Wicky and MimsWell, I told HIM to stop trying to get round me and say what else he had to say. HE then said that Tregony the diary character developed partly from the real Tregony and partly from the need to exaggerate to make the diary more interesting. Also, Tregony the character developed over time both as we all got to know and observe him and also, unfortunately, as he aged. So literary Treggy was simple, uneducated, forgetful and bumbling. But he was never nasty – even when he wanted to be. He could be upset and could sometimes be driven to swear, his worst (and favourite) word being ‘fetlocks!’ He would always need the guidance and support of Wicked in his day to day activities but relied on myself for major moral or intellectual advice. Treg had great imagination within the limited scope of his knowledge. Overseas was as far away as Chagford, in actual fact a little town about ten miles away. He knew he came from a small town in Cornwall and that he had spent some time with Michelle in a riding school but, unfortunately, his old memory let him down so that he could never, except in his imagination, fill in any of the detail. He was a willing ‘do gooder’, starting and then volunteering for a position in the ‘Humanwatch’ organisation, a mirror semi police force agency to the real life ‘Horsewatch’. Unfortunately, as few humans or their tack were stolen around the Ninefields area, Treg had to take early retirement from that. With hindsight, it may have been that lack of feeling needed that led to his final farewell.
And Tregony the real horse? What of him?
He was a bay cob of uncertain age. The consensus opinion of the horse doctors and dentists who examined him put him at around 35 years when he died.
 He was not a tall horse but he always gave the impression of a big horse. He was big in the sense of substantial, particularly when he would walk right though you if he was trying to get away from something. He had his own ideas of what was the correct thing to do. If he had treats, they must be in the correct order, sugar or sweets, then biscuits and then carrot – never apple. If it were feed time, he must enter the shelter last. If it was wormer time, he must go as far away as fast as he could. When, however, he had been caught and ministered to, he must clench his jaw tightly shut and not talk to a human or accept a treat for two days. The joke about him not being a great mathematician arose from having his feet picked out when he would co-operate readily for three feet but never reach four. In fact, in the last six months of his life, he did get the message and lift one, two, three, four without asking as you moved round him.
All of this and none of this was Tregony. Tregony would put himself alone, a little apart and, overall, the real physical horse Tregony was the one that you went out of your way to go to, to give a little treat and give a great big hug. One that you whispered nice words in his ear and rubbed the hair above his nose, gave him a final cuddle and then left, saying ‘I’ll see you tomorrow, be good’. As if he wouldn’t. If only I could!

Tregony grazingSunday 12th February 2006
The lassie has asked me to have a go at writing the diary tonight. She said if she doesn’t stop crying soon, she’ll go mad. It’s not all the time. Mostly now, life just goes on. We even have a laugh or two. But then, for no apparent reason, she finds herself (or really I should say ‘we’ find ourselves) with a big tear in the eye and a lump in the throat. Metaphorically of course. Horses don’t cry. But it is our equivalent and just as affecting.
So, I agreed to be the one to write a diary page that is not about Tregony. It will be a short one but most of the others, of late, have been longer than usual so things may balance out.
I have to admit, yes, it’s true, Mims and I are reaching an understanding. I, of course, refuse to move into third (and last) position in the pecking order. Why should I? I am the more senior member of the herd now and must be treated with some respect and dignity. Just because the new lassie is taller than me is no reason for her to consider herself my superior. And she knows it. From her point of view, I can understand that she thinks she has no only height and breeding in her favour but also the fact that she is the boss’s daughter. You know, it’s funny, Alli has never, in her life, wanted to be boss. She is just not a competitive person. That was her downfall when she was racing. The only time she put herself out to win was if it was for a favourite jockey. How she came to be herd leader at Ninefields is simply because she was here first, it is her land and Treg and I were the incoming guests. Mims is in the same position there. I suppose it is possible that, if we all live long enough, she may take over from mum someday but only if Alli wants her to.
Anyway, Mims and I have settled for the status of equal second in command. It’s a shame in some ways if we didn’t all take turns in going back to the stable. Then there might be a chance for the second in command to take over for a night. Although, no, that wouldn’t work, would it? I didn’t think that through properly. See, if Alli is at home, we have to deputies as we do now. And if either Mims or I were at home then Alli would still be in charge. Oh well, at least then the responsibility won’t get in the way of eating. That’s what I am really best at. (How do you think my teeth wore out?)
And that’s about it for tonight. Nothing of any consequence happened today. The weather has got warmer again and HE took my inner coat off this morning. Apart from that, Mims and I are getting on so well that it makes you sick. I did used to enjoy our little spats. Alli tried last night to play the wicked woman but you can’t really take a leg waved aimlessly in the air very seriously, especially when you are up her other end past her head!

Tregony and the farrierMonday 13th February 2006
It’s been a really dull and miserable day today, not cold, just grey. I don’t know if it is the greyness of the weather that is making us dull or if it is our greyness that is making the weather seem more dull than it really is.
In some ways, this miserable feeling is worse that the outright grief that it has taken over from. At least then, there was a sharp pain. We felt something very deeply. Now, everything has lost it’s meaning, everything is dull and boring and pointless. I went up to the Throwleigh Road gate to meet Mims this morning, but I could see from the look of her as she walked up the road that she was listless and dull as well. When she came in the gate, she gave Wick a half hearted nip on his coat and then just trooped off down to the stream to drink, without even a good morning to anyone. Later we all made our way up the fields but silently and just had a nibble here and there again without any enthusiasm. When Treg asked what we might be doing today, no one bothered to reply and he didn’t press it. It was, after all, just a formality.
We all know this is just another phase in our grieving and it will pass. HE keeps trying to get some response by keeping mentioning Treg’s name when HE is chatting to us. HE said that we should keep Treg with us still by including him. But then, that is just HIS way. We have our equine way of dealing with it.
One good thing has happened. The snowdrops have blossomed beautifully this year. The ones in the brambles at the lay by where we stop for carrots and the little clump  in the hedge over the road are really rampant and those along Annette’s bank are just fabulous this year. That reminds me, I still haven’t seen this Cal that Mims keeps going on about. They must be afraid of letting him see a real woman!

 

 

 



Tregony with AlliTuesday 14th February 2006
“Hey, uncle Wick”
“Aye, lassie?”
“How come you never get a turn to go back to the stable at night?”
“I do go there every so often to get my coat clipped, lass.”
“Yeah, but that’s no every other night like me and mum has to go. What you done so special that you get let off?”
“I’m sure if I wanted to go, I could. Have you thought about it the other way? What is it about you two that means that you have to go?”
“Well, when I asked mum she said that it was because we are thoroughbreds and so have very delicate constitutions.”
“Well?”
“Well, I aint sure what a constitution is but I cant think of anything that I’ve got that is delicate. S’matter of fact, I’m a bit clumsy. Always falling over and hurting myself but it don’t matter. I wonder if SHE thinks we will bump into things in the dark.”
“Aye, it’s hard to fathom out humans sometimes, girlie. But you have to admit that you do have pretty thin coats, don’t you? Both you and your mother.”
“Yeah, but we got these rugs on. They keep out the rain, the wind and the cold so it don’t matter, do it?”
“Are you telling me that you don’t like going to the stable for the night? I would have thought it would suit you. All those treats on the walk back and forth and I’m sure that THEY spoil you when you are here.”
“Yeah, well, OK. But it gets borin’. There’s nothing to do except stand and eat.”
“And you call that bad, lassie. It sounds like my idea of heaven.”
“Tell you what then. You try and get HIM to let you swap places when it’s my turn next. I’d be only too pleased to change.”
“Can’t do that lass. Your mother would have a word to say to me about that. Anyway, I think that she likes it. At least sometimes. And this way, at least you know where you are. You know, you get into a sort of rhythm. One night here, one night there. And, it does give me a night alone with Alli when we can talk over old times and stuff. She’s still grieving over Tregony you know. At least I can talk to her about him when we are left alone.”
“Yeah. Poor old granddad. Still, he should be happy now. He’s having a great big sleep. He used to like sleeping.”
“He used to like eating and cantering and jumping as well. He’s not doing those  any more, girlie.”
“We don’t know, do we? He might be. He might be having a really good time now. And he wont have to worry about the pain in his legs any more.”
“You’re right there Mims. Still, there’s worse things than going back to the stable at night, isn’t there? Anyway, it’s Alli’s turn tonight so let’s go up the hill and get some good grazing in. Never know, we might look up at the stars and see old Treg having a whale of a time up here. Come on, race you!”

Tregony eating with Alli and WickWednesday 15th February 2006
Eight days! Eight days ago my beloved friend Tregony was laying on the grass, sleeping but alive. I know I should just get over it. Just get on with my life. But it’s hard, so hard. I feel so lonely, even when Mims and Wicked are there. I’m sure they feel it too. Maybe not so much for Mims because she didn’t know him as long as we did. I know for him, it’s OK. He is not feeling what I am. He has no pain now but I do. I ask myself if I am being selfish and the answer is probably ‘yes’. A lot of the time I am not thinking of him. That is the hard bit that all of a sudden that big black hole of emptiness will just open up in front of me and I am lost. I know I must do all I can to fight against it and I will try. It’s not as if I want to feel like this. The sun comes out and the world feels warm and the spring flowers are starting to blossom – life goes on. Let’s see what another eight days can bring?
Mims and I have got this swapping over to go back to the stable down to a fine art. We both know when it is our turn and have given up trying to hide or run away. When THEY turn up at the Throwleigh Road gate now, whoever’s turn it is just walks up to HER to have their head collar on while HE takes the other’s buckets down to the shelter. Mims has now even started to learn to eat carrots from the boot of the car, a trick I learned a long while ago. This evening it was raining and I noticed that she condescended to have her bucket in the shelter in Treg’s old place.
There, I’ve done it again. Just as I was getting away from him, the old boy comes back to haunt me again. It’s just that, in his unassuming way, he was everywhere. How strange that one so quiet and subservient should be such a dominant presence in all our hearts.

 

 

 

Thursday 16th February 2006
“Ere, Wick?”
“What, what’s that?”
“Ere, Wick, it’s me, it’s alright.”
“What? It can’t be. I must be going silly.”
“No Wick, honest. It’s me. No, you can’t see me. But I can see you. You’ve not been very happy lately, have you?”
“Treg? Is it really you. But how …? What ….?”
“Don’t worry Wick. It’s just that we are allowed to sort of … look back… so to speak. Well, for a little while. And I just wanted you all to know that it’s alright. You don’t have to go on being sad for me. I’m fine.”
“Treg, my old mate. It really is you then. I thought I’d never hear from you again.”
“And you were right, Wick. I really have gone for good. I just couldn’t stand to see you all so sad.”
“But, what are you doing, old fellow. What’s it like where you are?”tregony with Alezane
“Some things I’m not supposed to try and tell you, Wick. It’s not exactly a secret but you just wouldn’t understand it until you get here. But, it’s alright, really. Much better than when I was with you and my poor old bones were aching. And do you know the best part. I don’t miss you at all. Doesn’t that sound horrid. But it’s true. You see, I am still with you in a way. I know where you go, how you are, even what you are thinking. So I can’t miss you, d’you see. I’m with you all the time.”
“So, why can’t we see you then? It doesn’t seem fair to me.”
“It’s just how it is. Just like the sky is blue and the rain is wet. Just accept it. Anyway, that’s not why I came, to talk about where I am. I just wanted everyone to stop grieving and get on with their lives. I’m perfectly happy where I am, or I would be, if I knew you lot were alright.”
“Are you going to talk to everyone, Treg? Shall I go up the hill and get them? Alli will be thrilled to see … er… her you again.”
“No Wick, don’t get the others. If I need to talk to them, I will do it in my own time in my own way. You were my best friend and it’s you I came to talk to.”
“But I was never very nice to you when you were here, Treg. I used to nip you and chase you and steal your food, didn’t I?”
“I know Wick. And didn’t you know that I let you? I didn’t have to take that from you. I mean, I was a bit bigger than you. It was because I liked you so much that I let you do it. It was nice in a way.”
“Do you mean that? I’ve been feeling so guilty since you die… went away.”
“You can say it Wick. Since I died. Yes, I know I died. That’s why I went away. But it really is such a natural thing to do, just like eating is to you. It’s only because we don’t know about it, that it frightens us. When it comes to it, it’s easy.”
“Treg, Tregony. I can’t help it, I miss you, old mate. Life is really not the same without you.”
“Wicky, think about it. It’s just like the seasons. Last year, year had all the lovely spring grass but then that went away. And you miss it. But it is just what happens, that’s all.”
“Yeah, but I know that the grass will come back again next spring, don’t I?”
“And we will be together again next life, Wick. It’s as simple as that, old friend. Now, you have a think about that. I’m going to leave you now. But, I’ll see you again one day and, in the meantime, just know that I am always with you. You can talk to me if you wish. You won’t hear me talk back but I will hear you. Tell you what. When you are feeling really fed up, just say ‘fetlocks, Treg’. It will make you feel a whole lot better. Goodbye old friend. Stay happy until we meet again. Bye!”

Tregony watches the sheepFriday 17th February 2006
There is something a bit strange about Mims. Yes, I know she is my daughter but I have to tell the truth. In fact, it’s more than a bit strange, it’s really very strange. You see, she isn’t very interested in eating. Now, if you were to ask Wicky about it, he’d say it must be some kind of illness. It is definitely un equine. SHE tell us that the number of mornings that Mims leaves her breakfast bucket nearly untouched are getting less than funny. THEY have to throw the contents away as, having had moist sugar beet mixed in with the other feed, it goes all powdery and inedible so it can’t be reused. And, all that effort cutting up the vegetables that go in it. Sometimes they can be rescued and sometimes madam does condescend to dig those out and eat them but often they are also wasted. Another thing. When she is walking along the Throwleigh Road with HIM, she quite often can’t be bothered to eat her carrot treats. She’s just a weird creature.
I think the problem is that she is too interested in what is going on all around her. The one thing that really gets her excited is the sight and sound of a rider going past. And if the horse happens to be a good looking male – that’s it. She completely loses interest in everything else. If we are in the field, she is off, running along the field so that he can see her. If she is in the stable, then it’s round and round and up to the door and round again. And, it doesn’t matter what HE is doing. He can be picking her feet or taking her rug off. Round and round she goes and he has to chase her or get a head collar and tie her up. I keep saying (and so does everyone else) that she is only young and she will grow out of it. The trouble is, she is no longer young now and should know better. It’s a good job she has such a loveable nature so that we all still make excuses for her.
Wicky was funny this morning. He looked almost cheerful. When I asked him what was making him so happy, he didn’t answer. He just mumbled something about having had a pleasant dream last night and that everything was going to be alright. Now that was funny, because I had a very nice dream last night as well. I dreamt that old Treg came back and talked to me. I don’t remember much but I know that when I woke this morning, I felt very calm and relaxed. I’d forgotten all about the dream by then and wouldn’t have had any idea what Wick was talking about. But the Mims came along and asked me if I believed in dreams and when I asked her why, she just smiled and said she had dreamed about granddad. Something’s going on, I know it is. I feel that we all miss Treg but, while we remember him, he’ll still be with us so there is no need to be sad any more.

tregony at riding schoolSaturday 18th February 2006
HE told me this morning that maybe what I wrote yesterday might be alright for us horses but it doesn’t seem to work for him. HE said that this morning, as HE was preparing to go to Ninefields with the breakfasts, HE looked up at Cosdon Beacon and saw that it was covered in a fine mist and HE thought to himself that it was a ‘soft’ morning so Treggy would probably be laying down. Then, of course, HE realised and thought how silly HE was. Just before HE left, HE went in to HER to tell her how silly HE had been and the words just caught in HIS throat and HE couldn’t finish and had to rush out to the car before SHE saw the tears in HIS eyes.
Do you know, I still haven’t seen that Cal yet. When THEY came this evening, HE told me that Cal was in his field but it was Mims’ turn to go home, so I missed him again. I am sure he will be a bit of a disappointment when I do see him, not because he isn’t a nice chap but just because of the waiting and the build up. Oh, and another thing about Mims, after what I said about her not eating, yesterday, HE tells me that on the way home, she even refused a handful of mint sweets. She just clenched her mouth and would not take any. And, for no reason that HE could see.
HE had another groan about her this morning as well. It is a well know fact that she messes up the stable whenever she is home. HE always moans that he has to hose it down after each of her visits. Well, I was home last night while Mims stayed out in the fields. HE arrived at the field shelter to find that he hay bale that THEY use to sit on while waiting for us (usually Wicky) to finish eating had been smashed up and scattered all over the floor mixed with poos and puddles. And what was worse, she insisted on eating in the shelter straight away in stead of waiting for HIM to clean it out. Normally she has been used to eating just outside the shelter to avoid squabbles with Wicky and to protect Tregony’s food. Now Treg has gone she has started eating in his old place sometimes and today, because it was a nuisance, she chose this to be one of the times. So, HE had to sweep round her and keep moving her out of the way and then, when he had the place nice and clean again, Mims decided that she would eat outside after all! SHE suggested that it is Mims’ way of telling THEM that she wants a traditional soft bed of straw on the floor not those nasty lean old rubber mats.

 

 

Tregony with AlliSunday 19th February 2006
HE has the photo of Treg looking at the sheep passing him as his computer desktop picture. He told me that he looked at it tonight and just smiled but didn’t feel upset. Sad yes, but not upset. On the other hand, he met a neighbour today, Annabelle who looks after Meadowsweet, who hadn’t heard about Treg. HE started to tell her when HE suddenly started to feel all choked up and had to drive away before HE made a fool of HIMSELF. So, it would seem the humans are having more trouble than we are but even they are slowing coming to terms with it.
Tonight was a really terrible night, weatherwise. The day hadn’t been that bad but by mid afternoon, the rain started and, by the time I had to come home, it was cold and very wet. When we started out, HE pulled my lead rein and said that HE didn’t want any stopping nonsense. Little did HE know that I was very ready just to dash home and get my head in my feed bucket. You see, it had been so wet that we couldn’t graze and so I was starving hungry by the time that THEY came. Alright, I know we have got hay in the field shelter but, when you have got used to that DELICIOUS HAYLAGE that THEY buy for the stable, you tend not to overfill yourself with ordinary hay. OK we are spoiled. So what? We are gorgeous creatures (or so HE is always telling us) and so we deserve the best.
SHE was worried about Wick tonight. When Mims and I are standing in the field shelter, Wick tends to stand outside in the cold and rain. While Wick and Mims were eating tonight, SHE felt Wick under his rug and he felt cold. So SHE got one of his other rugs (he has hundreds) and put it on top. Within a few minutes, when SHE felt him again, he was warm so SHE was happy again.
And that is about it for today. Oh, one last thing. HE is always calling my daughter “daft as lights” a phrase that HE picked up from HIS mother. He has often wondered where it originated and, over Xmas, HE had several dictionaries of phrases, fables and myths, so HE looked for the phrase in them. However, HE found nothing. After several attempts, HE finally tried to put it into Google and see what he could find. It came up with several quotes, the first from a radio chat show, the next two from web chat pages and then, guess what, the phrase came up on this site with Wick calling Treg ‘daft as lights’. What a surprise. Well, no nearer the derivation but number five on Google isn’t bad, is it?

 


Tregony and Alli mutual groomingMonday 20th February 2006
It can be lonely, sometimes, being a Shetland. No, let me reword that. It can be lonely, sometimes, being different to the others around you. It’s not the fact that I am a Shetland but rather that I am a small male pony in with two tall thoroughbred mares. Now, which of the three factors – height, gender or breeding is the cause of this partial isolation, I am not really sure. Maybe it is one more than the other or maybe it is the combination of all three. And, there again, maybe it is in me and nothing to do with external causes. Or, finally, maybe I am just missing my mate, who was neither short or Shetland but he was at least male.
What I do know is that I tend to drift off on my own now, more and more. It’s nothing to do with not getting on with the girls. In fact, Mims and I are getting on fine now. No, I just tend to become more and more inside myself these days and just wander about the fields without thinking where the others might be. When Mims and I are alone overnight, in fact, she tends to follow me. I don’t mind. Sometimes it is nice to feel that someone else is near you. With Alli, she has some sort of maternal pull about her and I do tend more to stay fairly close to her, when there is just the two of us. However, during the day when all three of us are together, the ladies do tend to talk amongst themselves and then I get bored and just sort of drift off. When Treg was here, we could talk some boy talk and have a bit of a laugh. And if we felt like it we would just wander about and not talk at all. At least we used to do that most of the time until his old legs made him have to lie down.
I expect it will be me next, getting old. In fact, if I’m honest, I am already. But, I’ve always kept myself in decent shape, apart from the odd foot ulcer, and I like to think I still look pretty trim for my age. OK, I know my teeth give me away but they are the result of poor grazing when I was young and had to forage on the moor. I will say the food that THEY prepare for me now is pretty good. They even cut my vegetables up very small so that my teeth can tackle them. The trouble is that I’m not really that keen on them anyway and would much rather leave them for Alli to eat while I mop up what she drops on the floor. Doesn’t work with Mims though because she rarely leaves anything so then I eat all mine up as too. Well, fairs fair, isn’t it.
Anyway, I’ve have to go now as I can see the buckets coming. Wouldn’t do to be late for that, would it now?

 



Tregony walks with AlezaneTuesday 21st February 2006
Well, I finally saw him tonight. Cal, that is. It was Mims’ turn to stay at Ninefields so I was walking along the Throwleigh Road with HIM, when HE stopped and pointed down to what used to be Phil’s old field, where Amber used to stay sometimes. And there, on the other side of the stream, was this chestnut horse with a white blaze right down its nose. I stopped and stared and I stared some more. At first I was sure it was Mims and I just puzzled how she could have got there. And then, the more I looked, he was a good distance away, I began to see the differences. First, and most obvious, was that he was wearing a silver rug and Mims’ one is a dirty mauve colour. But also I then realised he was taller than her (which isn’t really too difficult). He was also a good bit thinner than her. Mims is not fat but she is what you might call ‘stocky’. This one was lean. And of course, once I tuned in to HIM again, HE was pointing out that this was Cal, the horse that Mims had told me about. I looked some more and HE called out but Cal just stared and didn’t move a lot. If it had been Amber, she would have jumped over the stream and run up to the fence to have a chat. Then I saw that, even if he wanted to, Cal couldn’t because there was an electric fence wire going along the stream, keeping him enclosed in the far field. So, after staring for a bit longer, we walked on. Not bad though. He’s the right colour and breeding. Maybe as he gets settled we might end up getting a bit closer and getting to know one another better.
Which remind me. That daughter of mine is spending an awful lot of time with her head over the wall, talking to that Max. She was there again tonight when THEY come with the suppers and it took a bit of persuading to get her to follow down to the field shelter. And when she did, she did a silly girly turn and a buck. I don’t know if Maxwell was impressed but Wicky certainly wasn’t. But then, nothing much interests him when the buckets are around. I can’t help feeling that he has been a bit down of late. He does tend to stay near to Mims a lot and that just doesn’t feel natural. They don’t talk much, he just follows her around like a shadow when she is around the shelter or the road field. Other times he goes off up the top fields on his own. You might even think he is turning into a bit of a loner. Lack of male company, I expect, although that is what Mims is complaining of too.
One last thing. I have a confession to make. After Treg went, HE started to carve Treg’s name on the fence where died but as HE only has an old blunt penknife, it is taking HIM a long time to do it. So, this morning, while Wick and I were eating out breakfasts, HE went up above the shelter and started to try and make another letter. Now, when HE went and Wick and I were left alone, I found that I had eaten all the good bits (the vegetables) and the rest was a bit dry and boring. I then became aware that Wicky was munching away at a very tasty bucket and I am afraid, I forgot myself and moved in on him. When HE came down from the field above, HE found Wicky standing outside the shelter and caught me eating Wick’s breakfast. Enough to say that I got very wrong. I could tell I was in trouble because HE turned his back on me and ignored me while HE fed Wick. No pushing or prodding would get him to speak top me let alone give me a carrot. So I was left to go back to my boring old feed until Wick was finished. Then everyone got treats!

 

 

Tregony at riding schoolWednesday 22nd February 2006
I think I am in big trouble when I see mum tomorrow. In fact I know I was not the most popular girl this evening when they came to get me. The trouble was that while mum and Wick went up to greet them at the gate, I hung back because I didn’t want my head collar on. So when THEY came into the field and SHE advanced towards me with the head collar, I just turned and walked smartly away. Now, normally, this would mean that HE would follow with the buckets and then we would all meet up at the field shelter. The trouble was, something went wrong. Instead of following me, THEY just stayed by the gate and HE started giving Wicky and mum some treats and some handfuls of feed from the buckets. Of course, then I saw the error of my ways and had to make the long walk back. However, I did avoid HER with the head collar and came in a roundabout way to HIM. But then HE was sneaky. HE gave me a handful of feed with one hand but caught hold of my rug with the other. And HE kept hold until SHE had come up and put my head collar on.
SHE was alright after that. She had some small carrots for me to eat in the boot of the car while HE fed the other two. But when HE came back, HE was very puffed out of breath because HE had been clearing up the mess I left in the shelter. I am afraid this had not put him in a very good mood and we walked all the way back to the stable in silence. I don’t mind that though. HE’ll get over it and I expect things will be back to normal by the time late stables comes. No, it’s the telling off I will get from mum tomorrow that is the problem. Just because she is always so goody goody, she expects me to be as well.
Oh well, you can’t please everyone all he time as they say. Maybe it will have stopped snowing by tomorrow and they’ll all be in a better mood!

 

 

 

 

 


Tregony rides outThursday 23rd February 2006
I’m afraid Mims was wrong. The snow tonight has heavy and settling. One good thing about it though is that it is a sort of fine snow, making everything it settles on look extremely pretty and delicate like a white lace tracery. HE told me that  HE was going to take some photos, as we walked home along the Throwleigh Road but it was not so pretty down Ramsley Lane and, by the time we got home, HIS fingers had gone numb with the cold, so HE changed HIS mind.
Do you know what? When we did get home, there was a cat in my stable. Tom the cat, actually. I had to be very careful that I didn’t step on him as I walked in and then he made me jump by giving a load cat shout, just as I was going to have my supper. Mind you, he soon ran away when I started throwing my bucket round as I usually do.
Mims was also wrong about me telling her off for being so bad yesterday. I did have a word with her, but only to warn her that she is doing herself no good at all with the way she behaves. HE told me, his morning, how she will not stand still while she is having her hooves picked out. She is not deliberately naughty but she just can’t stand still in the mornings. HE just picks up a foot to clean and she just walks (or hops) off, leaving him to either have to walk after of let go. HE has decided that she must be put on a head collar now, while she is being seen to. The other way her silly behaviour has done her no good is that SHE has cut down the amount of food in her morning bucket because Mims was just walking around the stable and leaving it. THEY think it is a silly waste to have to throw the food away so she will get less until she eats up. Anyway, I told her this and she was immediately on the defensive. I explained that I wasn’t telling her off and that I just wanted to help her with some good advice but she just walked away and chummed up with Wicky.
Later on, we got together again and she said sorry but she had been having some bad dreams about granddad. It’s funny because she didn’t know him all that long and yet he made quite an impact on her. We both agreed that he is better off now than walking about in pain and she seems a bit calmer now. It’s funny how I still think of her as a ‘teenager’ and yet she is quite old enough to be a mother several times over and she really should act her age. On the other hand, I suspect she is acting her mental age. Because she has neither worked or been a mother, she probably doesn’t know quite what to be. Let’s hope a lot of love and reassurance will do the trick!

TregonyFriday 24th February 2006
“Ere, Mims?”
“What? Who’s there?”
“It’s only me, Mimsy. Don’t be scared.”
“Granddad! Where are you? I thought …”
“Don’t bother to look around, love. You won’t see me. You see, I’m here, in your head.”
“In my head? How can that be? Ooh, it’s spooky granddad.”
“Don’t worry about it, sweetie. I just wanted a word, that’s all. You’ve been a bit upset lately, haven’t you? I wanted to cheer you up a bit and let you know that there’s no need to worry.”
“You’re always so kind, sorry, were always so kind. But really, I’m not very upset, just a bit jumpy, that’s all,”
“That’s good. I’m glad that you know it. You have every right to be a bit high, at your age. I can remember when I was as young as you, I used to run about everywhere. Everything was so exciting then. You can’t help it, can you? And it’s good really. Proves you are full of life. You don’t know how good that is.”
“Well, I do feel sometimes like I have been deposited into an old folks home. I mean, what with ….whoops… oh, sorry, I didn’t mean ….”
“Don’t apologise girly. I quite agree with you. I was ancient and Wicky is not so very far behind me. And even Alezane, oh, you call her Special, don’t you? Even Special is getting on a bit now. Not much fun for a youngster like you, is it. And no nice handsome males to tease, eh?”
“You’re right there, granddad. It would be nice to have a couple of lads here as well. Could have a bit of fun then. Although, I’m not sure how that would go down with mum watching me all the time. I do have Maxwell in the next field sometimes. He’s alright. And then there is that new lad. Cal, down the road. We exchange a few glances now and then.”
“So, tell me, Mimsy. How are you really settling in here, on Dartmoor? Do you miss your old fields and friends down by the seaside?”
“Yeah. I do sometimes. And I miss my old human mum, Caroline, as well. You can’t be with someone for over nine years without getting attached, can you? But I do like it here too. These humans are nice. Bit of a soft touch but then, that’s OK. And, of course, it’s lovely being with my mum, Special, again. She really is such a sweet creature, she’s everything a mum could be.”
“And Wicky? How are you getting on with him now?”
“It’s funny. But since you die … went away, we’ve been getting along a lot better. He’s a gruff old beggar and he can appear a bit hostile but deep down I think he is really a nice pony. I think he was protecting you a lot when he would fight with me. We still have a bit of posturing, now and again but when we are alone at nights we even have some nice long chats. He tells me stories sometimes, about when he was a foal on Dartmoor or about his ancestors up in the Shetland islands. Yeah. He’s alright. We’re getting on well now.”
“It’s nice to hear that my ‘going’ as you put it has done some good then.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean that, granddad. We all miss you terribly. Tell me, are you alright, where you are? Are you happy now?”
“I told you girly, I’m in your head, who wouldn’t be happy here? It’s a bit messy but it’s often a lot of fun too.”
“Ooh. Can I tell the others that? I’m sure they would love to know.”
“That’s kind of you, love, but you needn’t bother. You see, I’m in their heads as well!”

Tregony, Alli and a bucketSaturday 25th February 2006
It was touch and go today whether I came back to he stable or not. You see, this morning, THEY woke up to find a 2 to 3 inch covering of snow where it had been clear last night. New snow is no problem for walking on but, if it has partially melted and then re-freezes overnight, then it can be like a skating rink and deadly to walk on. I can’t remember if I ever told you about the time when this happened to me. I was in the stable over night and in the morning, we set out to walk (HIM and me) up to Ninefields. Well, I don’t think we could have gone more than a hundred metres, nearly to the ‘Y’ junction in the road, when I was slipping so badly that HE had to decide to come back home again. And, because I had lost confidence, SHE had to hold me while HE went back to the tack room and got an armful of hay to scatter on the road for me to walk on. Then, after I had passed over it, HE had to pick it up and run in front of me and lay it down again. And, in that painful way, I managed to get back to the stable. Finally, HE had to go back up the road and clean up all the hay.
So, this was what THEY were afraid of today. As I said, walking up to Ninefields (with Mims this time) was not too bad. She did slip a couple of times but then, she is a bit clumsy at the best of times, and they made their way up to where Wicky and I were waiting behind the gate. The first thing she did (after mugging HIM for a mint sweet, was to paw at the ground a couple of times and then have a really good roll. In fact, she got up, shook and then had another roll straight after.
The morning was a bit cold and miserable but, by lunchtime, the sun came out quite strongly and the snow started to melt. It was, however, as I said at the beginning, touch and go whether it would melt enough to completely clear the roads before the sun went away and it got colder again. Fortunately it did. I say ‘fortunately’ where I should perhaps be saying ‘unfortunately’ because it did mean I missed the chance to stay out all night with Mims. Against this , however, needs to be weighed the warm stable and the late stables and early morning treats. I would say they come out about even, depending on Wicky’s mood for sometimes he can be fun to be with and other times he can be an old misery.
Oh, one last thing. When I am going back to the stable, I usually stop first at the gate to eat some carrots from the boot of their car, sheltering under the raised tailgate. Tonight I was doing this when a couple of riders came by. You should have seen the faces of the two horses. One obviously thought I was crazy whilst the other got the jitters and gave me a wide berth. At least that’s one advantage of getting older, very little spooks me these days!

Tregony looks over the fenceSunday 26th February 2006
I lost my temper tonight. I’m sorry, but I did. We hadn’t had a bad day, most of the snow went away apart from the very top fields. There was no sun and a bit of a cold wind but, what with our higher temperatures and our windproof runs, that didn’t bother us at all. I can’t even claim that Mims or Wick had been annoying me or quarrelling among themselves. No, they had been good too. I think it all started when Maxwell’s human came to bring him home. We had been having a bit of a chat over the walls when he came along and, seeing him being tacked up and getting ready to go home made me think of eating my supper in the stable and then having a bit of a doze. I completely forgot that I had been home last night so that it was Mims’ turn tonight.
When THEY drove up. I started to approach the gate to have my head collar on but HE just gave me a bit of carrot and carried on walking down to the stream with the buckets. I looked up to HER, but SHE was walking towards Mims, with the head collar behind her back. I don’t know why, maybe I was a bit dreamy or maybe it’s just that I am getting old, but I started to think that we were both going home to the stable tonight. I waited by the gate, wondering why HE was calling out to me, and watching HER put Mims’ head collar on. Then, SHE walked Mims back to the gate and made me stand aside while SHE took Mims through and started giving her carrots in the boot of the car and ignoring me.
The next I knew was when HE came up and SHE gave HIM the head collar from the car to put on me. I still believed somehow that THEY were getting me ready to go home too. Then, HE went through the gate and started to walk away with Mims while SHE lead me down to the field shelter. I was too astounded for the moment to protest and then suddenly it hit me. I had got it wrong and was staying here overnight. Well, I just put my nose in my bucket, which was jammed into an old car tyre, and threw them both hard against the stable wall. Then I did it again. And again, bouncing that tyre and bucket all over the place and the feed with it.
And, do you know what SHE did? SHE didn’t shout or smack me, SHE just walked up and picked up my bucket and hurled it down the path towards the stream. Then SHE picked up the tyre and hurled that away as well. Oh, oh, I thought. I’ve done it now. I’ve never seen HER do anything like that before. So I just put my head down and quietly finished up my supper. I didn’t want to go to the rotten stable anyway!

 

 


tregony in his winter coatMonday 27th February 2006
Oh, oh! It gets worse. It wasn’t my fault, of course, it was that Wicky. Well, maybe I helped a bit. Even more than a bit now I come to think of it. Anyway, you don’t know what I’m talking about, do you. OK, picture the scene!
HE drives up this morning. We know HE is coming because that car of HIS is not the best or newest, if you know what I mean. I had long decided that I would stand a little way back to disassociate myself sort of thing. So, HE pulls up and gets out and undoes the padlock on the gate.  Then, as HE always does, HE gets the bag with the overnight dung from the stable out of the back and brings it just inside the gate. After this, HE gets our breakfast buckets and starts down the field, calling out good mornings to Wicky and me as HE goes. And I am wondering if it is going to be such a good morning when HE sees what has happened?
HE’s always quite jolly when HE comes down the field, whatever the weather, rain or shine. I often wonder if it is forced or if HE is just crazy. So, HE is still saying nice things to us as HE gets to the stream gate and as HE opens it and lays it back on the field. Then, HE starts to cross the stream and HIS eyes move away from us towards the field shelter. If it weren’t so serious it would have been screamingly funny to watch the change in HIS facial expression from jolly to surprise to shock to horror. First HE noticed the old black plastic dustbin lying halfway down the path from the shelter, then his gaze moved to the shelter with its open gate to the hay store. Remember HE is walking towards the shelter all this time. He then clocks the empty rolled oats bag that had been stored in the dustbin and, rolling on the floor of the shelter, the empty tin scoop that HE uses to feed the birds from the oats. As HE gets nearer to the shelter, HE can see the hay that should have been stacked in neat piles, scattered all over the hay store floor. I wont go on. I think you can get the picture.
Silently, HE put Wicky’s bucket down. All this time, Wick has been following HIM up the path, quite unaware that anything was wrong. For Wicky it was breakfast time and that was the only thought in his head. I had stayed well back, ready to run at any outburst. When I saw HE was taking it quietly, I came up behind HIM (HE was in the hay store surveying the mess) and looked for where my bucket was. HE still didn’t say a word, so I went round the gate and tried to help Wicky eat his breakfast. Then HE said a word but I won’t repeat which one!
The next fifteen minutes were taken up with HIS silently clearing up all the debris. When it was done, HE came round to where we were very earnestly eating our breakfast and HE tipped our buckets out on the ground, collected then up together with the empty oats bag and just silently walked away. When he had gone, Wicky looked up from his feed for a moment and looked at me. “What’s the matter with HIM, then?” he said and went back to finish his breakfast.

Tregony walks up the hill and away ...Tuesday 28th February 2006
“Well, Alli, how’s it going, love?”
“Treg? I knew you would come back for me.”
“I never left you, Alli. I never will, you know that.”
“Yes, I suppose I do. But I do miss you Treg. I miss you a lot.”
“Come on girl. You’ve got the others, Wick, Mims. Don’t worry about me. I’m always here when you want me. You know, it’s the end of the month now. Enough’s enough. Time to get on with the rest of your life. I had an awful long time, thirty five years. And those last nearly six years with you were really happy. Don’t be sad anymore. Remember, yes. But remember the good times and be as glad as I am that we had them.”
“Yes, you are right, Treg. I was lucky to have you for those five or six years. But what about the other thirty years before you came here? You must have had a really good life?”
“A full life anyway, Alli. And one can’t wish for more than that. Tell you what. Everyone I met was nice in some way, I was lucky there, I suppose. They may not have seemed the most friendly of creatures but I got a lot from all of them. You know, life’s pretty good, whatever happens. And, when it is over? When it’s over, Alli, there is a whole new life to experience, as part of nature. So, don’t be sad for me, my love. And don’t be sad for yourself. Enjoy Mims. Enjoy Wicky. And even enjoy THEM. Humans are strange animals but most of them mean well. OK, they make mistakes but that is only because they are not gifted like us equines. Be a bit tolerant with them and things will be alright.”
“You know, it’s strange, Treg, but you are not talking with that silly cockney accent any more. Do they give you speech lessons where you are now?”
“I told the others. Where I am now is in you head. If you had a silly cockney or French accent then I might be using it, but as you haven’t then there is no need to play anymore, is there?”
“No, you’re right Treg. OK, I promise not to be sad anymore. Except when it catches me unawares. You know, it does that an awful lot these days. I will be thinking of any old thing and then BANG, Treg is there again and my eyes fill up. But I don’t mean it Treg.”
“I know Alli, I know.”
“My last memory is of you going up the hill from the field shelter and saying you needed to lay down. You knew then, didn’t you?”
“I knew it was my last journey in your world, Alli. I also knew it was the first journey in my new one. I’ll leave you now, my love. But I’ll be back when you need me, just think kind thoughts and you’ll hear me. Enjoy the rest of your life, my sweet Alezane. Tregony will always be with you. Good bye!”

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