Tag Archive for: Horses

Hello again!

Well, dear Reader (or possibly Readers, but I don’t want to sound overly optimistic), I must apologise for not gracing your computing devices with my writing for a while – simply put, I’ve not been quite myself.

You may recall from my last blog post that TOERAG (that’s an acronym for my male human) took me to the vet.  Unbeknownst to me, he and TOTCA (my female human) had been hatching a plan to take me back there again – reference my teeth!  Can you believe it?! I’ve been on this planet for over 12 years and now’s the time to start talking TEETH!!

Ralph The Brave One…

Perhaps you’re not aware that for a long time I’ve been known in my family as ‘Ralph The Brave One’.  This worthy title dates back some years, and I have earned it on many occasions.  For example, the picture at the top of the page shows me confronting a toad in Kent – as you can see, I’m the model of bravery-under-pressure here (albeit TOERAG himself eventually removed the toad from the tarpaulin whilst I ate his sandwiches for him).

On another occasion, TOERAG invited an entire pack of foxhounds to visit my farm in Kent.  He hadn’t given me prior warning of this invitation, so I was a little surprised to discover this large crew suddenly outside the tack room.  Somewhat taken aback at all the well-deserved attention I received from these tall chaps, my pelvic floor didn’t quite cope with the situation.  Possibly not my bravest encounter, but it still shows that I’m prepared to go where others fear to tread.  I have shared with you above a rather nice picture of the West Kent Foxhounds taken in 1931 (apparently before even TOERAG was born) – the most interesting canine being the one in charge: a brave Jack Russell Terrier of course!

Always being stoic…

Here at Stockham Farm on Exmoor, there are numerous incidents of my stoic behaviour to recount – regularly greeting the new dog friends that arrive here to stay in the Victorian Wing cottage and bring their humans with them; working hard on the digger to get the large pond ready for next year’s guests; and of course trying to get ahead with the renovation of the Piggery cottage so that more friends can come and stay in 2019.

As usual TOERAG wasn’t brave enough to investigate the contents of this dumpy bag, so I was sent it to have a look…

A second visit to the Vet…

However, a second visit to the vet in under a month is altogether another test of one’s bravery!  On arrival at the vet emporium I heard TOTCA chatting to someone about my teeth AND my gentleman’s cough (I can assure you I’ve never smoked).  Suddenly all the humans started faffing about and before I knew what was happening, I found myself waking up in a cage with a bandage on my leg (featuring cartoon pigs – seriously, not lions, but PIGS!!) and there was TOTCA standing there with water coming out of her eyes telling me I was brave and she loved me.  Obviously she looked ridiculous like that, so I had to lick her face clean to make her feel better.  Embarrassingly my tongue also went up her nose, but she was polite enough not to say anything.

Sometime later, I learned from Mother (when she reluctantly came to sit with me beside the Aga), that nothing had actually happened with my teeth but that I’d had what is called “an X-ray under General Anna’s thetic” and evidently General Anna had discovered I have “a heart condition”.  Well, I know of the Colonel who features in 101 Dalmatians, but I wasn’t aware of there being a General called Anna who’s also a Vet. Extraordinary!  Mother didn’t seem hugely bothered by my “heart condition” because apparently she has one too and what it means is that we get to have a pill every day which TOERAG tries to hide in a piece of cheese.  He thinks we don’t like the pill and just eat the cheese around it, so he has to give us more cheese to make us eat the pills.  Clearly he has no idea that we’re one step ahead and just enjoy seeing him getting fractious dispensing loads of cheese!

At the end of the day, dear Reader, you’ll be pleased to hear I was feeling much better and spent the next few days on the sofa recuperating.  Every cloud and all that…

Thanks for reading.  Do please follow me on Instagram if you’d like to: Ralph, Exmoor Jack Russell



Hello again!

Well I have to begin by saying that it’s not been an entirely jolly week for me at Stockham Farm – despite spending an enjoyable couple of days ascertaining the quality of the new hay and straw bales in the top barn (no mice whatsoever – most disappointing), this was also the week when I had to bid farewell to my best friend, Toffee.

Toffee is a Shetland Pony.  Like me he is incredibly charming and good looking, and I’ve genuinely seen humans that haven’t given a second glance towards the big horses, go all gooey and unnecessary when they see Toffee.  We had some great dogs that brought their humans to stay at the farm during the summer and they all loved Toffee – rushing back inside the cottage to find carrots and picking apples from the orchard to give to him.  This picture is of a grown man stroking Toffee – I do get it, but enough now!

Toffee’s Two Big Issues…

But let’s be frank, Toffee does have two really big issues… firstly, he’s not very tall.  TOERAG (one of my humans – The One Earnestly helping me Renovate Ancient Granaries etc) has helped me create a lot of nice stables for all the horses and ponies that visit Stockham Farm – we’re hoping to become an official British Horse Society ‘Horses Welcome’ destination soon.  But no-one was prepared for the smallness of Toffee – here he is trying to look over the stable doors when he came indoors the other evening.  Not ideal, I’d say.

The second issue is… well, he looks like a girl.  Be honest, you thought so too, didn’t you?  Everyone always refers to him as ‘she’ – even the big horses when they first met him.  He coped with it surprisingly well and wasn’t at all perturbed when Bailey laughed out loud when Jack told him that Toffee is actually a boy.

When Jack was depressed…

Jack and Bailey are also sad that Toffee has left us – especially Jack.  He was rather depressed and lonely in the summer of 2017 and that’s when Toffee came to Stockham Farm to cheer him up.  A bromance blossomed and he made Jack feel a lot better and brought lots of fun to the farm – chasing rainbows and rolling in the snow.

He even hung out with Jack in his stable during the big snow last winter – practically twins they were, as you can see below.  But I was worried that he wouldn’t want to spend another winter here – now that Jack has Bailey to chat to and share jokes with, Toffee was feeling a bit like an equestrian third wheel.  So I suggested he might want to move on.

As you can imagine, Mother doesn’t really care that Toffee’s gone; she couldn’t really see him very well, what with her dodgy eyesight and everything, and I don’t think she cares that I’m upset either.  He left on Thursday morning and I was at least glad I got to say a proper goodbye (there’s a video on my Instagram page @exmoor_jack_russell_ralph).

A tiny brave human called Wilfred…

TOERAG told me that Toffee’s going to be really happy in his new home – there are two big horses that aren’t rude and won’t laugh at him, and a very small human that’s going to ride him.  He said that the small human is 7 months old and called Wilfred, which is a very cool name, and I imagine he’s very brave too as that’s really quite young to be riding.  As you know I rarely believe anything TOERAG says, so I’m not sure this can possibly be true – but if I can get a picture of Wilfred riding Toffee then I’ll definitely post it on my blog or on my Instagram page.  Wilfred’s mother has already sent me this picture of Toffee with his new big horse friends – I think he looks pretty chilled (if rather upside down), so I guess it’s all going to be OK.

I think I’ll now go and sit by the Aga and wear my very sad face – that usually elicits a commiseratory lump of Cheddar.  Definitely worth a try…

Thanks for reading.  Do follow me on Instagram if you’d care to: Ralph, Exmoor Jack Russell