Girls Horse Club Blog

In the Dark

Published by • Aug 27th, 2007 • Category: Horse Work, Junior Blogger Archives

by Animalsrkool, age 12

It was so strange. The clang I’d only ever heard quietly, in the distance and early in the morning, was so close. I thought I was going up, although it was dark and I couldn’t see. That was normal, but today there was something over my eyes. One of the workers led me out. I smelled something I had not smelled for a year — grass. Although blindfolded, the sunlight coming through the dirty fabric hurt my eyes. Two weeks of the real life were coming…

mining-horse.gifToday I went to The Big Pit, a working mine in Wales, U.K. After sliding around, ducking and trying to keep up with my mates, I came to the stable. About twenty good-sized stables lined the walls with names like Star, Spotty, Victor and many more I’ve forgotten. All had individual stables and tack, with worn wooden feed boxes at the end of the stables and a low wall separating each stall from the other. You could tell this was my favourite place in the tour.

Our guide said most ponies live twenty or thirty years (although they can live longer), but underground they only lived fourteen to sixteen years, coming when they where three or four.

They worked (I think) six days a week, twelve hours a day. But two weeks each year, freedom arrived. The ponies would go on a lift, perhaps drugged so they where still, up to the surface, blindfolded so their eyes were protected from the sunlight. When their eyes where used to the light, the blindfolds would come off and it was time to live — playing in the field, grooming, and everything else ponies love — for two weeks! Then back to work pulling coal carts.

The guide told us about a pony who wouldn’t move at a certain part of the mine. The man who was with him was pulling and pulling, throwing lumps of coal at the pony, who still refused to move. They where there all day. It turned out that in certain places, the man who was usually with the pony would give him a peppermint, so the pony refused to move until he got a peppermint. Then he was happy to work, even for a year.

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  1. I forgot to say most ponies were Welsh Mountains, and in other places they had Shires. I’m pleased with this Blog :D

  2. Great blog, Animalsrkool!

  3. Thanks Ali!

  4. Good blog!!!

  5. I’m very pleased as well Animalsrkool! It was such a wonderful blog, great info. Great hearing your adventure!