Matchbox

Life at the sanctuary

Let me explain a bit about where we live. We have 4 acres of fields to play in and the Lady’s house is slap bang in the middle of it, at the end of a long driveway. There’s 14 of us at the moment so she has us divided into 2 herds because we don’t all get along and she can’t have 14 ponies running batshit crazy all over the place.

The Lady has us on a track that goes all the way around the fields with paddocks in the middle. The number of paddocks varies according to how many fences we break every week. We’re supposed to walk on the track around the outside to stop us getting fat and the Lady opens one paddock at a time for a few days. That’s the theory anyway.

It’s called rotation but we like to do our own rotation so sometimes we walk through the fencing. The very small ponies like Monkeyskin can go under the fencing and the bigger ponies like Reginald Goatpony just lean on it till it breaks and then we have one big paddock instead of 2 small ones which suits us better because we can get up a good burst of speed.

This winter she started a new system called Equicentral, I don’t think she’s done it right because we’re all up around the house now and whenever she leaves a door open Lorenzo and Pamela Anderson walk inside. Sometimes they go into the sitting room to watch a bit of telly and leave muddy hoof prints all over. I’m pretty sure that’s not part of the Equicentral system but there’s no talking to the Lady, she thinks she knows everything and she’ll just start roaring.

In the summer she’ll open the track again because it forces us to exercise if we want to get anything to eat. Be easier if she let us in the paddocks, I can’t be arsed walking for hours to find 2 blades of grass, but then we might get too fat and get laminitis. Laminitis is very serious and very painful and you can die from it.

We’ve got 2 ponies here with laminitis, Ernie and Sinbad. They’ve been here about a year. They didn’t get it here, they came like that when their own people gave up on them. The Lady put special boots on their feet and got them trimmed properly and gave them painkillers and they’re getting better but it’s taking a very long time. When Ernie first came here he lay down alot and he got abscesses in both his front feet for months but now not so much. I’m glad I’ve never had laminitis, it’s a dose.

Matchbox is our residential blogger

Matchbox is our resident blogger

My name is Matchbox and I am the Lady’s secretary. I used to be the clerk but I got promoted last year on account of my good work. And now the Lady has asked me to write a blog, which I think might be another promotion.

When I first came here 6 years ago I’d just been fired from my previous job and I was unemployed. My previous job was as a Therapy Pony but I misbehaved so I got the sack. Well, if I’m honest I did more than misbehave. I didn’t read the job description properly before I applied. I thought being a Therapy Pony meant I was the one getting the therapy because I’d been rescued from cruelty and they wanted to help me. So when they tried to put a headcollar on me I had a hissy fit and tried to kick the farrier with my front feet.

There were 2 other ponies there and when they saw what I did they called me a silly twat and I didn’t like that at all so I kicked one of them and after that I bit the lady that owned the place so that was the end of that job. I didn’t mean to be naughty, I was just very frightened of people because of the cruelty I’d suffered before I was rescued. Luckily the Lady here is cracked so she said she’d take me so I didn’t have to go back to the other place. Her name is Carole but we all call her the Lady, I’m not sure why. She’s been called the Lady since before I came here.

I came here in a horsebox with another pony called Snip, who’d also lost his job for bad behaviour. He’d bucked off a little girl although it wasn’t his fault, he had a sore back and ulcers in his tummy but nobody knew that until the Lady figured it out after he’d been here a while.

He was a very nice pony, alot bigger than me, and he told me not to be frightened, because he’d heard good reports about the place we were going to.

We got off the box and the Lady put us in a paddock on our own so the other ponies could see us and we hadn’t been there long before a wonderful thing happened.

Snip started calling and before I could ask him what he was at, a very old pony came cantering down to us and started kissing him. Pony kisses aren’t like people kisses, they’re more like nibbles.

Her name was Dotty and she was almost 40 years old and blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. Snip told me they’d been together all their lives until they were thrown out into a field one Christmas and a rescue came to help them. They sent Dotty to the Lady because she was too old to live outside in the snow but Snip stayed behind and he thought he’d never see her again.

Dotty said it was a miracle he’d been sent here and she should know. It was a miracle she was alive at all.