it wasn’t just Bren I was saying goodbye to, it was my son’s first stage of childhood - Jill Thorp

And just like that, he was gone.

Jill Thorp

I didn’t think it would be long before our lovely little Bren was snapped up and sure enough, within hours of my advertising him, he was all but sold.

The new family had been searching for a pony for some time and knew within the first ten minutes of meeting Bren, he was the one. They were keen to come and collect him, fearful of where the current situation with the virus was heading and worried that I may suddenly change my mind.

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So for one final time, John-William and I brushed him, talked to him and hugged him through a haze of tears. John-William led him up into his new horsebox and the ramp was closed. I stood staring at the ramp with a torrent of mixed emotions swirling inside my knotted stomach.

Immense relief that he had found such a lovely home where he would be cherished. But sad, so very sad, because it wasn’t just Bren I was saying goodbye to, it was my son’s first stage of childhood that I was closing the door on as well. That chapter of our lives was over and as I watched the horsebox disappear from sight, I somewhat reluctantly opened the door to another.

Bronze, the new pony arrived the following day and took up residence in Bren’s old stable. He was fussed over for most of the day and just like Bren, he calmly accepted the attention of his eager new rider.

We’ve certainly entered a period of unsettling times. Following the announcement from our Prime Minister that we were to stay home unless going out was an absolute necessity, I was surprised to see the motorway as busy as ever. Life seems to be continuing as normal for many and I wonder if his words have gone unheeded.

No doubt there will be further updates and changes to his instructions but I can’t help but feel that he was still sitting on the fence somewhat. Unfortunately, the hoards of people that descended on the National Parks, creating a ridiculous amount of pressure on small, rural communities have forced Boris Johnson’s hand.

Last week the markets were begging for livestock and our local market sold record numbers of sheep through the ring. The following week, markets were turning them away. The buyers just weren’t there.

Amidst all the uncertainty, the two Bluefaced Leicester shearlings we bought from Hawes last year both produced superb gimmer lambs. Big, healthy and beautifully marked, it certainly cheered us up.

Most of our ewes hogs were brought home from their winter keep. Slightly earlier than expected, we decided to get them back even though our movement shouldn’t be restricted.

Thankfully, the land is drying up and the high pressure system bringing the sunshine, a blessed relief. We’re closely watching our two heavily pregnant mares. The foals are sired by our young colt, William, who will hopefully be heading to Belgium next year, to spread his wild oats!