Do you ever just look at someone, or something and just get overwhelmed with love? Just look at them whilst they’re oblivious to the effect they have on you and how much you mean to them?
That’s Peanut. That’s the way she makes me feel every time I look at her. Whether she’s yamming grass down her gob, or standing sweetly waiting for me, observing things around her or giving the yard goats a chase – I am just in awe of this little pony and all she has achieved in 5 years.
Peanut came to me in 2018, under tragic circumstances when I had to put my mare to sleep. I’d owned and loved her for 26 years and I was heartbroken but needed to put the needs of my other horse needing company as a priority. I remember ringing Cobh Rescue Horses and telling them I’d take anything – even something they couldn’t rehome, to which the offered me Peanut. I’d never seen her until I arrived down to collect her and I can remember it clear as day – the smallest pony I’d ever seen, scruffy, with a badly cut forelock in a blue rug. She made no effort to greet me, just looked listless – like oh here we go again. Cobh Rescue told me how she had gone out to a few homes but was returned over her attitude and assured me they’d take her back if I changed my mind. But I knew as I loaded her up, that she’d never be back, because even though she was as cold as ice toward me, I already loved her.
Over the weeks, we worked on her attitude, handling and behaviour issues and soon she started to come out of her shell, showing a cheeky side, but also an incredibly sweet side. Often, she’d catch herself having fallen asleep on my shoulder and almost check herself, like it wasn’t ok to do it – but I let her grow at her own pace and bit by bit, that coldness disappeared, until the most beautiful, cheeky, friendly and loving little Peanut had her rebirth.
But it wasn’t just me seeing it – sharing photos to my own social media – friends started asking for her to have a page of her own – so I did it and was shocked by how many people, unknown to me, started following. When we ventured into the world of shows, people always gravitated towards her – many knew who she was on sight from social media and it was then it really hit me, it wasn’t just me that knew this pony was special.
Peanut had become the pony that no one wanted to the pony everyone wanted.
Big companies started to see her potential – I think her cheeky side is what drew attention to her – always making a face or doing something goofy – she just made people smile.
Peanut is the face of second chances. Redemption. How to forgive and how to be happy and love life. She has held her own in the world of horses… still as popular now as she was five years ago – in fact this year, we have sponsorship from huge companies, which isn’t just the best feeling for me as her owner, but more importantly keeps her Rescue centre relevant as it’s what she is known for – the Rescue pony that evolved into one of the most loved Shetland ponies on social media.
Recently a photo I shared of her being a goofball, jumping trotting poles in one went viral. Thousands and thousands of likes – hundreds of shares to massive known equine pages and publications – hundreds of comments saying how cute she was – christening her “The Flying Shetland”, making memes of her – and I read every single one – bursting with pride because even more people got to see the pony that I am blessed to call MINE.
She might wreck my head when she’s got her head stuck in my handbag, robbing my phone out of my back pocket or choking me when she plays with my coat zippers, but I wouldn’t change her for the world. I wouldn’t part with her for all the money in the world. Sometimes we get a pony – but if we’re really blessed, we get a soulmate.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Peanut – she has ticked off more boxes that I could ever have even imagined – SHE has brough me opportunities and experiences that I could never have even dreamed of.