My pony Pickle really is my best friend in the world. I do have horsey friends who I hack out with sometimes, but most of the time I just like to go alone with Pickle.
Back in March, I moved Pickle to a new yard that had much better hacking and I was so excited about going out exploring with him. The first couple of times, we did go with one of the other liveries, Sally, so I could get to know my way around. She is nice and stuff, but I really wanted to just be out with Pickle on my own.
On our own
After a couple of weeks I decided to venture out alone, telling the yard owner I’d be gone for an hour. Sally had told me there was a trail ride that went round in a big circle on the common and if you followed the signs, you couldn’t go wrong. So that’s what I decided to do.
Pickle and I were having a lovely ride until I looked at my watch and was shocked to see that I’d been out for nearly an hour already – ooops!
I decided that we’d better hurry back so I gathered up my reins and pushed Pickle into trot, looking for the next sign. Only, it wasn’t there. I couldn’t see it around anywhere. All the others had been really easy to spot and follow, just like Sally said they would be, but now me and Pickle were in a bit of a pickle!
We continued up the path for another minute before we came to a clearing. “Thank goodness!” I thought, “The next sign must be here.” But it wasn’t! There were six different paths leading out of the clearing and I had no idea which one to take.
I could feel panic rising in my tummy but I tried to stay calm. After a bit of deliberation, I decided to peer down each of the tracks to see if I could see the next sign, but I couldn’t.
By this time I was all in a fluster and had completely forgotten which track I’d come into the clearing from. Now I was totally lost! I didn’t know which track to take, or which one to go back along to re-trace my steps! I burst into tears and collapsed onto Pickle’s neck, sobbing into his mane. I’d got us completely lost!
Trusting to instinct
I tried to calm down and think straight about what I should do, but I couldn’t. My head was swimming which just made me cry even more until I could barely even see the tracks in front of me – let alone choose one!
Then, all of a sudden, Pickle started walking towards one of the paths. I tried to pull him up to start with, thinking he’d just spied a tasty bit of grass, but he carried on going. I was drained and exhausted from all the crying and it’s not like I had any better ideas, so I decided to trust Pickle and let him lead the way.
I must say, it’s not the track I would have chosen. It was quite overgrown and didn’t look like anyone had ridden along it for some time, but Pickle seemed to know where he was going. After a while, we joined another path which definitely had been used recently as I could see hoof prints on the ground, then all of a sudden I saw a weird, twisted tree that I thought looked familiar.
I started to get the feeling that Pickle really did know where he was going and that he was taking us home. I looked out for more landmarks that I recognised, and slowly but surely, things started to look familiar until out of the blue we hit the main track heading back to the yard. Pickle had done it! I don’t know how, but he had managed to find our way home!
Just between Pickle and me
I decided not to tell anyone about what happened, partly because I didn’t want to get into trouble, but mainly because I didn’t think anyone would believe me when I said Pickle had got some sort of sixth sense.
But he must have, how else would he have got us home? We were totally lost but Pickle seemed to instinctively know the way home.
I always knew my pony was special, and to me this proves it. I will admit though, I decided it would be better if we didn’t hack out alone again for a while – at least not until I knew the common like the back of my hand!