A Very Special Mare

Tor looked lovely in the snow the other day.

She acquired a certain je ne sais quoi and I tried to capture it in photo.

We all adore Tor.  She is the perfect step-mother to Albie and Newt.

She is gently guiding her boys, though they are nothing biologically to do with her, through their first year with great care and concern.  They need her.


I know that we would not be where we are with both Newt, but especially Albie, if it hadn’t been for Tor.

She is the perfect role model.

Every morning Albie and Newt have a bucket of hard feed, plus Albie has his diluted milk and every morning, Tor stands back from them both to eat and waits patiently.

She never pushes past the little ones to grab their bowls – just stands back and knows what is expected.

For this, she is rewarded with a secret handful of hard feed and a hug of appreciation and gratitude.

When folk say the Shetland ponies they know bite and kick, I just wonder why, how and who made that happen.

Tor would rather fly than do that.  She just doesn’t have it in her.

We all have a lot of time for Tor.

Although not ours, she is very much part of our family.

A huge thank you to this dignified lady of very small stature but huge heart.

Tor of Berry belongs to Bergli Stud and they have very kindly lent her to us.

14 thoughts on “A Very Special Mare

  1. Lizzy

    Fabulous photos, my two Shetlands are adorable too, neither bite or kick and the mare always looks out for her son

  2. Judith Garbutt

    Lovely photographs, as usual, Frances. I can’t imagine that Tor will want to leave you. Hope that she can stay as part of your family.

  3. Margaret Robinson

    What a beautiful and loving tribute! Tor is just what “the boys” need right now and on top of all that – she beautiful on the outside too.

    I just so enjoy your blog. Thank you, thank you! MMR

  4. Linda

    Oh, beautiful, kind and generous Tor!

    P.S. I think just about any animal that misbehaves has been or is being abused (it doesn’t need to be physical, either.)

  5. Terri

    These are beautiful photos of Tor, a very special Shetland pony — a huge thank you to Bergli Stud for lending her to you.
    Anecdote: many years ago, a friend and I visited, with our two young daughters, a rural and rustic petting zoo in Switzerland. Once we got inside, we noticed there was little, if any, supervision of the different animals. As my friend and I entered the tiny pen containing at least 8 Shetland ponies, the ponies immediately converged on us and firmly pressed into us, and one of them bit my friend’s daughter in the behind (which left bite marks, still visible that evening!). This was totally without provocation, as we were calm, and the children were quiet and well-behaved. Not being educated about equine behavior, we nevertheless sensed danger, and quickly made our way through the herd to the exit gate on the other side of the pen. In retrospect, those poor ponies were unhappy and over-crowded, and probably saw us as intruders into their already small world. Shameful. How animals are treated makes all the difference.

  6. Nancy

    I think a lot of small horses and ponies have a bad reputation.
    But after following your blog for awhile, I could not fathom any of yours doing any harmful biting or kicking!
    They all seem so lovely! You are a wonderful Mom to them all!
    Tor is also very beautiful, inside and out. =)

  7. Sam

    Badly behaved animals have had bad leadership from their guardians. And everyone needs and Auntie Tor in their life! That guiding light of good manners and polite behaviors.

  8. Louise Stopford

    Wonderful photo’s of Tor in the snow. I to have heard the rumours about Shetland Ponies, but after seeing yours, I believe it is the way that they are treated (which, I believe, is the case with so many animals). I had a pony before I got married (many moons ago) and everyone at the stables was afraid of him as he would not think twice about biting or kicking. I certainly had a few unpleasant experiences with him in the beginning. I persevered with love, kindness and calmness and we eventually got a lovely bond. He did not like men so I believe he was cruelly treated previously. Sometimes mankind has a lot to answer for.


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