Horse or pony

The new resident across the road displays all the characteristics of a horse, including the size, but I am told he is a pony. Somebody will have to explain to me the finer points of equine differentiation; for the time being I call him indistinctly horse or pony when I greet him.

Unlike the long-standing local dwellers of his species, he keeps his own counsel, avoiding contact with man or dog when we pass by and staying so still in his hut that you have to look carefully to believe he has not been taken away. We haven’t yet brought him one of our apples, but his behaviour to date is such that I am not sure he will trust us enough to accept it.

For a horse, or pony, he also boasts an uncommonly varied wardrobe. The mesh mask he wears most days would look sinister on him if he were not such a reclusive character. I take it to be a protection against biting insects. In this fluctuating weather, he reacts swiftly to temperature changes and on wetter days more often than not he is seen with a coat on first thing in the morning. His handlers must be early risers and quiet workers.