17 hands (in his shoes)
Ferdy, our stallion, may conjure images of a prancing, challenging handful, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s an intelligent boy and instinctively knows the pace he needs to set for his rider. He’s so trustworthy and steady that he can make a total beginner feel like they have riding ability, (though he can look a little cheated if he doesn’t get a canter, but he excepts it like a gentleman). He enjoys a relaxing walk but also relishes a good canter and is a master at both! He’s also our resident expert on opening and closing the farm gates (so we don’t have to get off every time, as getting back on is sometimes a little tricky!).
Ferdy often chooses to bring up the rear but if a trots on offer, and if asked, he’ll change up a gear and take the lead with his super trot. He chunters and talks to his riders when out on a hack and will often stop just to admire the view.
He’s a real personality, calm and gentle but ever so cheeky, he can never resist the opportunity to roll when tempted with a fresh bed of shavings (a little frustrating if he’s just been shampooed!) and has learnt to wipe the sun cream off his nose on hot days by using the other horses bottoms!
17.2 hands (in his shoes)
Otto truly is our gentle giant, he oozes patience and affection with his humans and his fellow friends on the yard. He happily takes things at a leisurely pace and will plod, sure footed, across the fields, picking his own way down the slopes and across marshes. He likes to stop for a breather on the steeper slopes and admire the view whilst he cools down, but he has the heart of a hunter, once his blood is up and with a twinkle in his eye he can morph into a completely different horse and loves nothing more than a good canter with his friends.
He’s not totally comfortable taking the lead on hacks, he constantly worries that the horses behind may play a horrid trick and disappear so as long as he can see a tail in front all is well in his world.
He enjoys being groomed, particularly around his face, it triggers an extravagant series of yawns, then he shuts his eyes, relaxes with the expectation of a thorough pampering. Otto heaven.
17.3 hands (in bare feet)
Sam is our tallest and king pin on the yard with the other horses aiming to please, but he’s a big softy with his human friends, accepting kisses and loves with patience. With his huge stride he’s the perfect lead horse, he out paces the others in walk easily and often finds himself having to pause to allow the others to catch up. Not that he minds, he quite likes it that way (but in trot Ferdy’s amazing super trot can keep up with his pace with ease).
He enjoys looking over the hedgerows on the lanes, he loves the fells and is happy picking his way through the woods, in fact, he just loves being out. Walk, trot or canter, Sam just loves life.
When Sam first arrived at Whasdyke we were told he didn’t like water (which we have a lot of in the Lake District!) and it’s true a paddle in the tarn isn’t for him, but we soon discovered that this huge, giant of a horse loves a ‘bubble bath’ – warm water and a soapy wash after a hot trek are relished.
His most striking feature are his enormous expressive soulful eyes.
17.2 hands (and growing!)
Paddy and mischief go hand in hand. He can’t resist untying his lead rope or that of any other horse for that matter, if a grooming kit is within reach it will be launched just because he can! As he’s the youngster that is to be expected.
However, to handle and ride he is a total joy. For two years he has stood and wistfully watched at the gate as his friends hacked out. Now he’s all grown up he’s no longer left behind! He’s proved to be a little star, happy to lead, happy to follow, very steady and keen to please.
He’s grown up in so many ways but he still looks like a puppy, with feet a little bit too big for his long legs, his huge, inquisitive eyes and his big ears constantly twitching. He’s still got some growing to do but it won’t be long before Sam is no longer the tallest on the yard but with Paddy’s soft nature Sam will still be king pin.