Thursday, 28 April 2016

Horse & Pony Sale

This morning I accompanied the Lady Artist, who is nearly at the end of her month's working holiday in the cottage, to the horse sales held in the local village of Llanybydder each month ( As always it was an interesting day...people watching as well as horse watching. I will confess to being not very knowledgeable about equine matters, but the Lady Artist is an expert and so with her fund of knowledge it was a very enjoyable couple of hours. There were horse & ponies of all kinds; coloured ponies & horses of all types, an enormous 17 hand chestnut stallion, tiny Shetland ponies no higher than a coffee table, flighty, frightened young ponies brought down off the hill, a couple of woolly donkeys and some very smart hunters. The tiny Shetlands we thought we should tuck into our coat pockets and bring home and the Lady Artist was quite tempted by some of the other horses but managed to resist the temptation to take them back to Suffolk.
As with all livestock auctions there is a great atmosphere of anticipation by both buyers and sellers. Will the buyers be able to get the bargain bomb-proof pony they need for the children and will the sellers get the price they know or hope their animal is worth? Some sellers were visibly disappointed especially if their beautifully groomed and well-presented animal did not reach its reserve and others just accepting whatever sum the the auctioneer's hammer goes down on. It is a noisy, clattering business and for some of the animals there quite terrifying while for others who are used to crowds of people at shows, hunt meets and point-to-points they are ridden or walked around the ring quite calmly before being loaded into boxes to go back home or to to a new stable.

It was very cold in Llanybydder and seems to have got colder still this evening, though that may be wind has got very blowy. Yesterday we had constant hammerings of pea-sized hail, interspersed with flurries of snow which was then quickly melted by lovely sunshine before the next pelting of hailstones. The fruit trees are just about to burst into flower and it will be a great shame if the blossom is damaged by the severe weather causing a poor harvest later on. The oak trees are coming into leaf well ahead of the ash so we may be in for a dry summer...but what we are all waiting for is an increase in temperature so the grass will start to grow. The smiling yellow primroses and Quink-coloured bluebells are everywhere and the birds are singing madly so spring is here despite the weather's oddness.

Photos courtesy of M. K. (The Lady Artist)

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