After 13 viewings of ponies on her hunt to find the perfect one for her daughter, Kate Flynn at last has some luck. But it turns out that owning a new pony has its challenges too...

Now, you may have detected a certain loss of my usual chirpiness in my last blog. And, it’s not at all coincidental that this links with the purchase of the new steed.

I don’t mind admitting that the mental burden of buying a new pony and taking full responsibility for all aspects of it, good and bad, were weighing down on me somewhat.

The carefree joys of borrowing a pony were not lost on me as we got to know the pony we had spent all our savings on! There was not going to be any easy “handing back if it doesn’t work” arrangement to fall back on now. We were in it for the long haul – and if he turned out to be a problem pony – we could kiss goodbye to our money. Gulp.

It’s easy to overload the brain with the tales of the “ne’er-do-wells” who love to recite the stories of unscrupulous sellers willing to say anything to shift an unsuitable pony on anyone daft enough to be fooled. Was I daft enough I asked myself, especially when Munch was displaying his particular party piece — bucking? Had I parted with my hard earned money and bought exactly the opposite of what I had spent the last year searching for?

Continued below…

What if he was in pain?

A small but pressing headmistress-like niggle prodded its cane the back of my mind informing me that this was a behavioural issue that required a firm hand. But then again, what if he was in pain? I would never forgive myself for getting tough with him only to find that there was a medical or equipment issue that was causing the problem.

So, we began our process of elimination with the back lady, formally the equine physio. Her healing hands were famous around our part of the world. Give her a dog, a cat, a horse, even a human, and her magic touch will instill deep waves of goodness and health through the layers of muscle and hide.

Munch dutifully lined up for a dose of her miraculous hands on energy.

It all started rather well as she smoothed and pressed along his spine and shoulders. A cursory backward glance and roll of the eyes from Munch showed he wasn’t too impressed, but was humouring us with a certain indifference to the whole proceedings.

As she worked her way down towards his back end however, the look on Munch’s face turned from one of indifference to alarm. Pressing her fingers deep into his rump, Munch responded with his trademark buck. In fact, not just one but a series of increasingly targeted and violent kicks.

‘I wasn’t expecting that’

“I wasn’t expecting that,” said the physio as she lurched quickly to one side. “I think that’s probably the most aggressive response I have ever encountered to my treatment.”

I was at a loss.

On the one hand I was hopeful that perhaps she had found the B-Spot (B for buck, obviously!) and we were on our way to a cure. On the other hand, “aggressive”? I looked on mystified, not sure whether to be pleased or gutted.

The physio explained that she had completely “re-set” his back and he would need a few days off. She also advised airily that there was nothing more she could do for him, and that if this didn’t cure it, she would refer us to a veterinary chiropractor.

I felt abandoned and more than a little downhearted as I watched her trundle off down the lane. Only time would tell if her threapy had fixed the problem.

A week later, we watched optimistically as Munch was gently put through his paces in the menage.

The minutes ticked by, and low fences were erected which he cleared admirably. I held my breath… and then, there it was. The notorious post-jump hump was back.

Next stop, the saddler…

Read Kate Flynn’s account of finding the perfect pony

Don’t miss the next instalment of Kate Flynn’s account of owning a new pony, on the Horse & Hound website next Monday (28 December 2015)