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Little Pony - Big Problem

Anyone who owns a horse or pony knows that acquiring the equine is just the start of your problems! Take Ben, for instance. Ben arrived in the village with my sister who had just come to live on the ...

Anyone who owns a horse or pony knows that acquiring the equine is just the start of your problems! Take Ben, for instance.

Ben arrived in the village with my sister who had just come to live on the hilltop on the opposite side of our 14-acre goose green to my own cottage. They say that size isnít everything, and my sisterís Shetland pony proved the point. He, Ben, measured all of 36 inches to the withers (the highest point of his shoulders), but in his mind he was as big as a Thoroughbred horse with the courage of a lion. He also liked mares. The fact that most of them were considerably larger than he was just didnít enter into it as far as he was concerned. As soon as one came into view he would start snorting, stamping and showing off, galloping up and down behind the fence as they passed. When they looked down their noses at him and walked on he obviously thought it was their loss. That was until he got his come-uppance from my palomino pony.

It was a nice summerís day. Bees buzzed, birds sang, and my sister decided to take Ben for a bit of road work. As usual in the holiday season the village green was swarming with holidaymakers, some playing games, some enjoying picnics and some just sitting. A couple of local lads were playing round on motorcycles and one young man was washing some mud off a pick-up down by the stream.

I took my palomino filly, Kerry Dancer, out of the stable and tethered her on the hill in front of my house then walked over the green to join my sister who had stopped to let some admirers have a closer look at the little chestnut pony. Ben ignored us all and munched happily at the lush grass. Suddenly his ears pricked and his nostrils flared. Heíd scented Kerry Dancer. Rearing up with a stallion-like screech he set off over the green at a flat out gallop. We were all completely taken by surprise. My sister hung on to the lunge rein for the first 30 feet or so down the hill ending up on her backside in the middle of the stream before she finally gave up and let go. Released from her annoying encumbrance Benís speed increased.

People scattered right left and centre as he set out to prove that the shortest distance between two points was a straight line. As the risk of being trampled to death passed most of them joined in the growing crowd chasing after the miscreant.

From Kerryís point of view the approaching stampede must have been a hair-raising sight.

First was Ben, closely followed by a mini-pick-up, a couple of motorbikes, several push bikes, a gaggle of people on foot, three sheepdogs, a terrier, a Labrador, an English setter, me, and my sister, sodden from the waist down.

What else could any self-respecting filly do? As Ben screeched to a halt in front of her she swung round and planted two hind feet fair and square in his chest.

Ben was unhurt but devastated to find that, having at last encountered a filly with no intervening fence to get in his way, his attentions were not wanted. Rejection hit him hard. Head down, tail drooping he turned and plodded back across the green - smallScience Articles, pathetic and almost lost in the crowd of erstwhile pursuers.

Benís depression didnít last long. See below to find out more about his further adventures.

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Theodora Cochrane has a lifetimeís experience of looking after all sorts of animals from pet mice to horses. For more stories about Ben visit or Email

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