The Mystery of the Missing Ponies - Part 1
Gypsy gold does not clink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark. ~ Gypsy Saying
It was quiet. Morning mists rose from the pastures as the sun broke the skyline. For a moment, I paused to gaze at the beautiful dawn. I ripped the earplugs from my ears and was greeted by birdsong. Sinking into dew stained grass, I listened to the birds and the trees and the wind. I forgot about last night and focused on today.The Pony Camp kids were arriving today. It was going to be chaotic.
Despite aching wounds from last night’s boxing match – my last ever match sadly (but only because I had to choose between the show ring or the boxing ring obvious decision) – I was ready for today. I hoped Zepplin was too. This was his first ever Pony Camp. I knew that Royal Black, Arielle and Estelle would be fine. Zepplin was a hard worker so I doubted that he was going to let me down.
Standing up and brushing off my knees, I headed down the path towards the yard. Hopefully my girls and boy where as ready as I was. Yet there was a small feeling of guilt because there was a three day event coming up in a month so I was going to have to throw myself into training for that. Both me and Arielle were slightly out of shape. Maybe the Pony Camp kids will keep me on my toes - especially the ones with naughty ponies!
Finally reaching the yard, I was relieved to see that everyone was up and preparing for the arrival of the Pony Camp kids and their ponies. My mum was baking all sorts of treats while my dad turned out the horses. Both of the hired instructors were going over last minute regimes and plans for fun and learning at the camp. Dez and Hans - our stable hands and my older brothers - were preparing stables and cleaning tack. The only ones who weren't preparing were myself (I think watching was help enough for a bruised ex-boxer!) and Francisco the daft, lazy and fat but much-adored Parson Russell Terrier.
"Oi!" yelled Dad. "Don't just stand there like you're waiting to get knocked out, help"
"With what?" I said. "It looks like you all have it covered. Besides I'm battered and bruised and soooooo tired."
"I'm sure you'll manage to sort out the indoor arena - it looks a mess! The quad's in the spare tack room," said Dad.
"Alright," I replied secretly first-pumping when no one was looking.
"Oh, and Will," he mused. "Don't go crazy with the quad."
"I won't," I said trying to look innocent.
A few minutes later, I was ripping around on the quad bike, smoothing out the sand in the indoor arena. For a short amount of time, Francisco had joined me in the mad rush but had made a quick exit when he heard a trailer pull into the yard.
Some of the horses who were out in the field watched from a distance. Poor Zepplin couldn't work out what was going on. Horses who were still in their stalls strained their necks just to get a glimpse of whatever was in the trailer. They all knew that it was Pony Club season and loved the arrival of the ponies. Last year, Hans' horse, Solo Drum, jumped the pasture fence just to say 'hello' to a chestnut pony. They were best friends for that holiday. Unfortunately for Solo Drum, that pony wasn't coming this year. Never mind that though, the other horses seemed to be saying, Pony Club season has begun!