There was great excitement on the yard last weekend when a new resident arrived. Charlotte, the yard owner, had bought a two-year-old mini Shetland pony filly. Charlotte fell in love with Shetlands after getting to know both Diva and her friend Peanut the mini Shetland who also lives at the yard.

Toplarch Tilly Trotter is a lovely well-bred skewbald pony. I went with Charlotte to assess her temperament, as she will also be handled by Charlotte’s seven-year-old daughter and we were delighted when her breeder was happy to let Charlotte have her. One week later, Charlotte and I headed off to bring little Tilly home.

Woman and pony

We had to drive the horsebox through a field to get easy access to the yard and although the ground was wet, we thankfully neither got stuck nor churned it up. Tilly was waiting in her stable, her fluffy coat groomed and her mane and tail sleek and tangle-free. As she had been born at the stud, we weren’t sure how she would load, but we needn’t have worried ­– with just a little push from behind she walked on without any problem. Vicky, her breeder, gave her a good-bye cuddle and with Charlotte promising to send her photos when we got home, we shut up the ramp and set off on the return journey.

I drive carefully with any horse or pony on board, especially around corners and roundabouts, pulling away slowly to ensure they are not unbalanced. I had never travelled such a small pony before and so was super careful. Tilly, however, took it all in her stride and had a little munch on the hay net as she travelled.

Pony drinking

Tilly was a little more reluctant to get off the horsebox than she was to go on, no doubt because it was all unfamiliar. We let her take a moment to get her bearings and soon she was in her lovely big stable. She will have a few days of being handled and led out several times to have a pick of grass and get to know her surroundings before she is turned out in the field.

She is definitely settling in well and enjoys being groomed by Charlotte and her daughter.  What a lovely little pony she is, and we look forward to seeing what adventures she gets up to. Tilly is tiny, about 29 inches tall at the moment so Diva is feeling super tall in comparison! Even Peanut, at about 34 inches looks big!

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