Rattler Of Berry At 35

Ratty came to Pat’s as an unbroken stallion in 1990 and came to us not long afterwards after being gelded. I was only about 6 months old and he was my first pony, who I’d sat on before I could walk. My mother broke him in when she was pregnant with my younger brother in 1991. I’ve done all Pony Club activities with him which he loved, though we used to have a bit of difficulty with eating grass mid dressage test – there was nothing a 4 year old me could do...! In fact, we frequently stopped to eat grass in the middle of anything we did, particularly funny mid gallop when I’d end up on the floor in front of him on my hands and knees – I’m sure he used to laugh at me! That was his little trick, and he’s had everyone off like this on numerous occasions, ever my mother! His favourite thing to do was gymkhana, which he really excelled at, and we were often in the ribbons at the local show. He was so quick and small we had the bending race and the potato race covered!

He also loved his fancy dress, and has gone dressed as all sorts, from a bull, Donkey (from Shrek), a war horse, a Victorian horse pulling a hay cart and Cowboys and Indians, which he also often won, possibly due to his quirky personality. He is widely known among all our family friends, most of whom have ridden him at some stage and have very fond memories of our little man! He used to take us sledging or skiing in the winter, pulling us along with a harness. One particularly funny moment occurred when he was pulling me along our quiet lane on roller blades (I was about 10) and he saw a very attractive field with the gate open – before I knew it I was going down the field, on roller blades very, very quickly!

He certainly adapted to family life very well, and loves to come into the house (on a regular basis!) for apples/toast/cups of tea/anything else available. If he’s wandering the yard, getting up to mischief, he’ll come to the house door and rattle his feet on the grate to tell everyone he’s there and wants to come in! He’s such a little character and has given us nearly 22 years of fun (and counting), teaching many young people how to ride!

My oldest and best friend, Rattler of Berry – now enjoying a happy retirement with us, aged 35!