It has been brought to my attention that Mabel has not been mentioned in the blog for quite some time, so I thought I had better rectify that. She is Diva’s best friend and as such does put up with a lot from the bossy little black Shetland.
I have owned Mabel for almost twenty years now, and in all that time I have never seen her bite or kick another horse despite some provocation from them. She is so gentle and kind – with people and horses and ponies.
Although she has now been retired for several years, we once did strut our stuff in the showing with wins at county and championship shows. However, she has always been so much more than my show horse. We have enjoyed fun rides, galloping on beaches and stubble fields and generally just enjoyed being together.
One of my favourite memories is when we went to a show on our own on a hot, sunny August day to a lovely venue in the grounds of a manor house. She won both her classes and went on to be champion. Mabel was as perfect as the weather.
She is happy in retirement and with her hog grown out, looks like a bit of a hippie chick. I do get twitchy to get the clippers out and tidy her up, but during the summer her mostly white mane prevented her from getting sunburnt on her crest as she might have done if hogged. When she was competing, I put a fly rug with neck cover on to protect her, but now she is mostly un-rugged.
The height difference between Mabel and Diva makes me chuckle, and when they are grooming each other, I do feel that Mabel gets the short straw as Diva can only reach up so far.
Like many people through life, I have made good and bad decisions along the way, but I can honestly say that buying Mabel was certainly one of the best decisions I ever made. If I could turn back time, I would happily do it all with her again.