Written by Kylie Savidge – Owner, Southampton Station.
Considering that 12 months have gone past since I last wrote some things have changed.
Old friends have passed on and new ones have come along – two legged and four, so I thought I would introduce some of the new characters and touch on a few sad times as well.
Some of you will remember the red and white bitch, Zoe, who broke her leg last year and had to have it amputated. Zoe was spending quality time in the “bitch’s box” as she was in season and I had locked her back up . . . or so I thought. What I had really done was clip the chain up on itself and not actually included the door in the locking up part and as a result, Zoe spent a rather steamy night with Larso, a big red and white collie dog. Hmmm, what shall we do? I didn’t really want puppies and I gave them both a stern talking to about their responsibilities and decided that I would get Zoe needled at the vet to prevent puppies occurring. However, despite our best efforts, along came one fat, little red and white dog pup, who was promptly christened by our backpackers as “Sholly”. This is a combination of their names and they thought themselves rather brilliant and the name has stuck.
Sholly is half-brother to the nutso red trio that consists of Zach, Basil, and Ziggy and, if he is half as good as they are, I will be happy enough as they are handy dogs on cattle. I did hear a passing rumour that Jack, eldest son, was talking about turning Sholly into a pig chaser but I am hoping to put paid to that idea!
Zoe is very pleased with herself and seems very proud of her youngster.
Actress, the mare who is mother to Commodore, foaled in January; a gorgeous colt foal of indeterminate colour. Is he chestnut, bay, or will he go gray?? After much deliberation searching for a military themed name, Kokoda was chosen for him. Kokoda is the complete opposite of Commodore and is very curious and often gets himself into mischief by pulling rugs off fences, pinching halters, and in general removing anything that sparks his interest and is not nailed down.
Kokoda really brought our spirits up when he came along as we had not long lost Legionnaire, the foal we had last year and who was just ready to start. In a tragic accident in the yards he bumped his head on a rail and died immediately. I had walked over to him, he was tied up at the time, and in the way of young horses he pulled back, shook his head, hit the rail and dropped dead at my feet. I know it was an accident and nothing I could have done differently would have saved him but you still blame yourself and you grieve at the potential lost.
Still on horses, Meghan was delighted to acquire a pony that in her words is, “just the right size”.
Comet has joined our equine family and is part Welsh, part “who knows” and is a complete gem. Just naughty enough without being nasty to keep Meg on her toes because until now she has ridden one of the older horses who are all very well-mannered and do all they are asked to do. This way Meghan is learning to control her horse and become a good little rider. They spend hours together doing all sorts of things although a favourite past time is Meg sitting on him reading her book. It is just amazing to see them together.
Duke has also joined us and is Jack’s horse. He is a gentle giant and has fast become a favourite. Meg can ride him, I can cut a beast out on him, and Jack goes mustering with him. He has been, seen, and done it all and I feel very blessed that he has come to us.
Devy is a little orphan kid goat that I found out in the paddock whilst doing a water run to check dams for bogged stock. We heard this pathetic little maa-ing noise and found this little tiny goat looking rather sad and sorry for herself. Perhaps a wild dog had gotten the nanny goat and Devy had escaped. Who knows? I have to admit I am a softy and instead of perhaps humanely putting this little soul down I took her home and I gave her to our backpackers, Sian, Jenna, and Oliver (Oliver will be disgusted to be included in this but include him I will) to raise. Devy is quite the character and whilst living in the houseyard was ever present in all activities. Now that she is a grown and mature goat she runs with Mum’s milking goats and pretends not to know us anymore. Fickle creatures goats!
Every year brings new characters to our hearts and also leaves us with memories of those who have passed on, ones who you remember around the table at night over a beer or on dinner camp over a cuppa.