Fern

Fern can be ridden by all abilities in walk, but only experienced riders in faster paces.

Fern was born at least a month premature in August 2005. Luckily I was in the field to collect her Mum Alfie’s first born, who was a year old and needed to be weaned in preparation for the new arrival. As it turned out, I had left it too late, but was luckily there to witness the birth.  Things seemed to be progressing normally to begin with but after a while I became worried that Alfie was in trouble – the foal had started to appear but then everything seemed to stop.  I knew that it was best not to intervene and let nature take its course, but when the delay seemed too long, my instincts took over and I decided that I needed to help a bit.  Luckily with a gentle tug on her legs, Fern was finally born, so tiny but perfect.

Knowing that Fern was so premature, I was then quite worried to see that she was taking a long time to get up and suckle.  After what seemed like hours, Fern had still made no attempt to stand and I began to get worried.  I decided to try to help her to her feet and placed her in a position to suckle.  To my relief everything worked out fine and Alfie seemed delighted with her lovely, tiny new baby.  Within a few days of her birth, Fern not only had a loving Mum but also a very proud brother to look after her.  Fern and Spirit were soon inseparable and eight years later they still enjoy playing together, though Spirit does prefer his male companions and Fern has become very bonded with Lola and Blackberry.

Being so tiny at birth, Fern has remained very small; she actually looks like a miniature horse, with everything perfectly proportioned.  It was a problem when the time came for backing her as we needed competent light weight riders. She was perfect from the day she had a saddle on, however. Because she is so small (no more than 13hh), she can go months at a time without being ridden, if we don’t have small enough riders around. Yet she is so calm and well behaved. She really enjoys going out and if anything worries her she just has a good look at it but very rarely reacts to anything.  She is a little pocket rocket though, and can give the bigger horses a run for their money. It is best to have her in front when planning a canter or she will do her best to wiggle her way through to be in the lead!  She will happily take up to around 60 kilos, without even breaking into a sweat, so has become very popular with the lighter weight ladies!