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Unbelievable , but true. Thirteen years ago today, I nervously sat in a car , following a Landrover and trailer, on a journey from the far side of Truro to Vuckland Monochorum. In the trailer was a bewildered and anxious, skinny, pony called Sapphire. Thirteen years!

We’ve been through a lot over the intervening years, and it’s safe to say ours hasn’t been any easy relationship. She’s feisty and opinionated, a bit like me. She’s prone to anxiety, hates dogs, is scared of bikes and motorbikes, but perfectly relaxed about tractors. . When she says no, she means no, and is not above throwing a full blown, no holds barred, tantrum. She is as tough as old boots, and has more lives than a cat. Over the years she has survived putting her leg down a cattle grid, lymphangitis, and a broken splint bone. She’s had sarcoidosis , which was treated with the Liverpool method. For the last eight years or so she has been living with Maast Cell Cytoma, a form of cancer that is extremely rare in horses. As a result she has had surgery, had countless biopsys, injections and been pumped full of steroids, and has developed sweet itch. Bless her she’s also losing her teeth!

Sapphire is also incredibly intelligent! When I’m leading her she will guide me. However, if she doesn’t want to be caught, she will stand stock still and perfectly Silent, until I decide she is not there and go to move away, when she will shoot past me flat out! I swear I can hear her laughing when she does it. She is a dedicated, and talented, escapologist. She is extremely gentle, and loves a cuddle. She adores children, and in fact is far more patient, tolerant, and forgiving of them than she is adults.

I’ve tried to sell her several times over the years, and she has been out on loan twice. She always comes back to me though. . The matriarch of our herd. She has taught me so much over the years, mostly about myself.

I love her dearly!

Happy Anniversary little one.