I’ve told you about the One Who Got Away and that I would be continuing the search for a horse. This week, we were in hot pursuit of a pony. This horsey business can be seriously expensive – ponies command a lot of bucks. One pony was NZ$8,800 – possibly that horse was made of solid gold. Needless to say, I’m on the scout for a horse (about 14 hands high) or a pony that costs a lot less. And so we’ve found Splash.

We went out to visit Splash during the week. I was satisfied that this was not going to be some evil horse that would bear its teeth at me. I decided to take Splash on trial for two weeks. This trial business is interesting too – people here don’t seem to mind you spiriting off with their horse to ride and assess whether it’s a good match for you or not. No contract needed. You just take the horse.

Splash arrived on the Inter Island horse transport and seemed quite calm on her arrival. The people hoping to sell her equipped her with a bag of carrots and a rather spiffy horse cover. On arrival, she seemed very curious about her new surroundings. We all gathered around and cooed at her like proud mothers. She’s seriously cute. But she was also seriously muddy, so Splash had to endure a shampoo before being turned out into her new paddock, adjacent to Lily. Meeting Lily was going to be an interesting situation because they are two mares. The horsey world is all about the social heirachy – who was going to be top dog? Lily or Splash? Since Lily is a grand old dame of 22 years and Splash a mere pup at 7 years, I placed my bets on Lily. And I was right. Their noses met across the fence, Lily neighed and then turned her back on Splash. Splash took it all with good grace and decided to have a mud bath.

I’ll let you know how the trial goes.

Here's Splash coming off the horse transport.

We all begin to fuss over her, taking off her cover and getting ready for a shampoo.

And this is why they call me Splash. See the splash of white on my belly?

I think I have a pretty face. What do you think?

Yeegads! that water is icy cold, hurry up.

How undignified! you're washing my tail in a plastic bucket?

Thank goodness that's over. Now I can enjoy getting dry in the sun.

So this is my next door neighbour? Let me check her out. (Lily is on the right).

They don't call me Splash for nothing. Here I am splashing around in the muddy paddock.