This is the first rough draft of my intro to my children’s story Adventures in the stable yard.
When I say children, I mean around 7 to whatever age as I hope all horse lovers might enjoy this story eventually. it’s in the early stages but let me know what you all think. 🙂
Adventures in the Stable Yard
The munching of hay and the twittering of birds was all that could be heard in the spacious stable yard in the middle of Summer Valley. The mixture of horses of all different heights and colours were basking in the glorious summer sun beneath the blue, pearlescent sky. A few of the smaller, podgy ponies were laying beneath the cool trees while some of the mares drank from the babbling brook that ran through their paddock. It was a nice place to live with the two stable blocks set in an L shape with the grooming areas to the East side facing the longer edge of the stable blocks while the shorter edge looked South over the paddocks and in the far off distance the rising moors of the hillside.
A small dirt track ran up the east side and only from there was there many outside noises. All the stable doors were open today as Miss Molly and her daughter Lily and nieces Harmony and bethany cleaned out the stalls and replenished the food supply. All the horses milled around, enjoying their day off from riding and such. It was a beautiful day in the country and a horse would pay to live here. At least that’s what Sergeant , an old, black, Stallion always said. Let’s meet him!
My name is Sergeant , I’ve lived with Molly and her family since I was three years old. I’m now the grande old age of twenty Seven and in the twilight years of my good, happy life. Miss Molly, as the others refer to her as, is a kind woman with soft, gentle, warm features that would make even the most angry of horses love her and want to be loyal to her. See, we horses bond with humans not because they feed us, care for us but because we seek what they seek, love and compassion. A good horse will always get that at Miss Molly’s and even the, how shall we say this? misguided ones will always get plenty of chances.
I was born to a beautiful ebony mare with flaxen main and tail. She was a beauty and rare looking, her master always said. I am one of the lucky ones, tis true, for he was kind and lovely and broke me in nicely before he had to sell mother and me. Her name was Cello and she whinnied so musically I knew how master had given her her name. I look more like my father, dark, strong features and a ebony tail and mane. But master always said I had her eyes, deep, brown, soulful eyes that could tell you a thousand stories. Anyway, as I was saying, I am one of the lucky ones for when master got sick when I was only three and just starting to be ridden and used in cart with my mother, I had to be sold. He couldn’t keep my training up and so he asked a few people and so miss Molly had seen me in a field, she herself was only eight years old and begged her father to purchase me. And he did. I soon went to live with Miss Molly, her sister April and mother Miss Susan. I was well loved, well cared for and it has been that way ever since.
I never saw my mother again but I know master would have taken care of her and done it well. Since being with Miss Molly I’ve enjoyed good food, an excellent exercise regime and have always had the love and affection I needed. Miss Molly never would part with me and when her mother, Miss Susan continued to badger my mistress about a job and career and told her to sell me, Molly said no and bought three other horses and moved us all to Hummingbird farm that was owned by Mr Richard’s father who had sadly passed away. They did up the old stable blocks and over the years our stable yard and facilities have grown. We now have twenty stalls, filled with riding school horses, ponies for the youngsters and Mr Richard’s competition horses. He takes horses to run around the countryside and jump fences and such but I was never useful for that. Now I’m in my older years, I an no longer ridden but often used to meet children and adults who may be afraid of us gentle giants. I’m so careful with the children and the people who fear me that soon they come to love us horses.But I digress.
When we moved to Mr Richard’s farm that used to be home to cows and cattle for milk production, there were only four of us. . Those other three horses were Beauty, Orkid and sunset. You will meet two of them later. Beauty was a mare I was first bred with and past not long after our son Onyx was broken in. She contracted a very bad cold that she never recovered from. Molly had sat with her throughout the whole ordeal and sobbed so hard being pregnant with her own daughter, Lily then. I was fourteen and devastated and I will admit, walked away from Onyx with no hesitation. He had his mother’s eyes and it pained to be around him. Orkid, my dear old friend took care of my first born but I swore i would never love again. Only the humans. They surely wouldn’t leave me?
Slowly, as I said, more horses came to live with us and we’ve grown into a huge family over the years, both human and horse alike.
Miss Molly has four children, Lily, who is kind, sweet and loves us horses. She’s a natural rider and never uses unnecessary force with any of us. Then there is young Alex who detests horses and who would rather be off playing with football and motorcycles. He can be cruel to animals but Miss Molly will chastise him if she catches him doing such things. Then there is caitlin-Leigh and Emily-Jade; What lovely little things they are. Miss Molly sat both girls on my back when they were just two years old and I wasn’t yet retired from working. Miss Caitlin-Leigh pronounced. “Mummy! I like this horsey. He’s big, black and gentle! can I keep him?” Even now, she’ll come up to me, being the grand old age of seven as she always exclaims to me, comes and cuddles me and sits by me in the stable or out in the paddock. When she cries, I always snuffle her cheeks to try and tell her not to be sad. Her twin, Emily-Jade is frightened of bigger horses and adores her pony Lightning who is calm and quiet with her. Caitlin-Leigh on the other hand has her father’s risk taking gene and will climb on top of even the biggest horses. Even Miss Molly was somewhat like this as a child. I’m no pony standing at 14.2 Hands high but this is still quite big for a child of seven or eight who’s a little fearful of heights like Miss Emily.
It’s a quiet day today, being the first day of the week. We horses can rest on this day as no customers are here to hack or learn to ride. All the jobs get done on this day of the week and all the horses can relax and play.
I’m watching the youngsters don’t get into too much trouble. Lightning and Smidge are little trouble makers and are often the reason poor Phoenix loses his thorough bred temper.
But silly me, you don’t know all of my horse friends yet, do you? Well, why don’t I introduce you?
Orkid is my best friend. She’s a sweet cob horse with a lovely temperament. She’s what the humans call a coloured with brown and white all over her. She was Beauty, the love of my life’s best friend and has been a mother to Onyx the best she could be. Then there is sunset, a chestnut mare with so much zest for life it’s contagious. She’s always ready at the paddock gate, wanting to be picked first to go out. She’s popular with the younger kids standing at only 13.2 Hands tall. Then there is Phoenix, a competition horse. as I said, he’s a thoroughbred and very impatient both with horses and people alike. Mr Richard is one of the few riders who can ride him and keep him in line. But underneath all that, he’s a nice and genuine horse, always wanting to please Mr Richard.
The smaller ponies are lightning, Smidge, Belle and Luna. All are between 11 and 13 hands tall. Lightning is Miss Emily-Jade’s pony, Belle belongs to Miss Caitlin-Leigh, while Smidge and Luna belong to Miss April’s daughters Miss Harmony and Miss Bethany. Miss April is Miss Molly’s younger sister and she has two horses at our yard, Artemus and Mystery. Artemus is a smart horse and can be what the humans call a moody mare or a diva but she’s just a lady who knows her own mind. Mystery is a young horse, around seven with promise of being a good dressage horse. They, like phoenix are rarely used in the school and most learners are never allowed on them as they are competition horses and valued greatly. Miss April is a good rider but much more ambitious in the competitive circuit than Miss Molly ever has been. Miss Molly wants to help people to learn and enjoy horses whereas Miss April and Mr Richard want to show off their own talents. All are very commendable virtues indeed.
the riding school horses besides the young ladies’ ponies who are often used in the riding school are Orkid, Sunset, Prancer who is also Miss Lily’s horse, Spirit, Sapphire, Diamond, Dark Knight an ex race horse, Onyx and Sarrason a horse who loves his food.
We are all well taken care of here at Hummingbird Farm and I hope you will join us on our adventures here.