Sunday, 1 May 2011

9. Tracking Tam and Todd

Tracking Down Tam and Todd

It was a glorious spring morning at EA Equestrian. The sun was shining, birds were singing and for a change it was warm enough for Tamarind to go out in the field without a rug on. He didn’t really need one but he got himself all worked up if it was even a little bit cold so they usually humoured him and let him wear one anyway. Since it was such a nice day, Abigail had instructed David to put both Tam and Todd - the new Donkey - out in the field together. Since he had arrived, Todd had formed a very close bond with Tam and one was rarely seen without the other. David tightened his grip on Tam’s leadrope as they stepped onto the road. He had a very annoying habit of spooking at traffic (even when he knew there was nothing to fear) and the last thing he wanted was for a renegade Lusitano to be let loose on the transport system.

Todd was wearing a bridle as (a) they hadn’t bought him a headcollar yet and (b) he was still a little nervous of his new surroundings and the bit helped to keep him in check.

Once safely in the field, David unclipped Tamarind’s leadrope and took off Todd’s bridle. He left the headcollar on as he could tell that Tamarind was a bit hyper and would probably be hard to catch later on.

He gave them each a pat and a polo before trudging back to the yard in search of a cup of tea. The horses might like it outside but he wanted to watch Bargain Hunt with a cup of tea and a rich tea biscuit. After he had disappeared from view, Tamarind threw himself to the ground and shook himself all over, waving his legs in the air like an upside down fly. He LOVED rolling - especially after a grooming session.

Todd munched on some grass and let the balmy sunshine flow over his scruffy coat in a wave of warmth.

After a few hours of quiet grazing, they headed to the pond for a drink.

Todd spooked at his reflection and bolted, sending Tamarind into a panicked canter after him. They stopped by the old barn and Tam quickly reasserted himself as the brave and unfazeable stallion. He held his tail high and pranced about, doing his very best to appear Arab-like. (which, as you can probably tell, failed rather spectacularly)

Todd snorted and started sunbathing again.

Bored with trotting, Tamarind made the transition into a beautifully flowing canter.

He loved showing off in front of everyone so he jumped off the concrete and onto the path, trying his best to look like a puissance showjumper.

Todd watched him, amused by his increasingly daft attempts to show him up. Suddenly they heard a voice in the distance calling their names. Tam pricked his ears and bolted into the undergrowth, Todd following closely behind him.

He was having fun – he didn’t want to go back home yet! All of a sudden he skidded to a stop in front of a large tree that was covered in purple flowers.

He nickered softly. He had a plan.

Meanwhile, back in the field… “Taaaaaaaaaaaaamarind! Todd! Come on lads, time to go home!” Silence. David scratched his head in puzzlement. Where were they?

He called on them for another couple of minutes until, with a heavy heart, he set off in search of the two deserters. They weren’t in the main part of the field and there was no sign of them on the hill so he decided to try beside the pond. He knew that it was a popular spot on hot days but they weren’t there.

He searched in amongst the bushes and plants but still nothing.

A noise from behind alerted him to one of the missing equids. Todd caught easily and David was relieved. “THERE you are! I was getting worried about you.” Todd snorted and wolfed down the polo that David held out to him.

He smiled. Only one to go.


Tamarind pawed at the ground excitedly.

His disguise was perfect. No one would be able to see him; he was so well camouflaged. He froze as he heard David approach. Now was the moment of truth. Should he jump out at him and scare him or wait it out?

Decisions, decisions…

“Tamarind, get out of there!” David said, tutting. “What are you like?” The Lusitano snorted in indignation as David clipped the leadrope to his headcollar and started to lead him away. He tossed his head, making the purple flower he held between his teeth bob around like a flag in the wind.

Pfft, some disguise that was.

David rolled his eyes and laughed. “You daft horse, you probably thought that you’d blend into the scenery with a matching headcollar didn’t you?” He untied Todd and led the two of them back to the stables. “Honestly, I can’t take you anywhere!”

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