Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers

The Beginning

The Digglers' Horse ~ TobiasDuring his spell at Fenns Farm, Whisky Mac made many friends with several other horses. There was Winston who belonged to another livery and of course, Martell. When we moved from Fenns there was Mirabelle and Brandy. Whisky (short for Whisky Mac) loved the company of other horses and he liked to play. He became sad and depressed when they left and I felt so sorry for him. This prompted me to buy him a companion. It wasn't long before I heard of an unwanted six month old colt. His owner had purchased a mare Topsy, and then discovered that she was in foal. I went round to see the colt and instantly fell in love with him but would Whisky? It was a risk I was going to take, so in September 1980, Toby (short for Tobias) arrived. At the time I was still on livery. Whisky I knew loved foals as he used to play with Colty at Fenns. As soon as Whisky spotted Toby, I knew they would bond. Whisky immediately became protective towards Toby and the owner of the yard expressed that seeing them in the field you would think they were mare and foal! Many times I observed them racing round the field together. When Toby became tired and lay down to have a rest, Whisky would stand over him keeping guard.

Young Tobias

The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias

Toby's Major Fault

Toby had one major fault he wind sucked and was also prone to crib biting. This was due to his previous owner allowing him to suck the end of his lead rope. Wind sucking meant that when he was crib biting he would take in a large gulp of air thus when he was ridden he would become broken winded and this would cause problems if he was worked. Fortunately, I had no intentions of riding Toby. He was only a small pony and I was too large. I would end up squashing him and it would be an RSPCA job!!!! However, the livery establishment had an outdoor school and I did some lunging with Toby and he responded very well. Whisky Mac would stand watching and I swear I could see him smile!

Lunging Toby

The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias

Protective Whisky Mac

It wasn't long before I called in the vet and had Toby castrated. Whisky was very proud and protective towards Toby and wouldn't let any of the other horses near him. This was quite a shame for Toby was quite a friendly little chap and wanted to play with the others. Whisky could be quite peevish at times and if Toby didn't want to do what he wanted to do, he would give him a nip, but if another horse tried to bite Toby, Whisky went ballistic and would attack them! On one occasion, there appeared for a short time, a beautiful shire horse. Toby was gob smacked as he had never seen anything as big! Off he went to have a closer look. Whisky was none too tickled with that idea and he went to 'sort it out'. He turned his rear end on the shire and lashed out with his back legs. All three of us, me, Toby and the shire were gob smacked! If the shire had retaliated, Whisky wouldn't have stood a chance! Fortunately, the shire just looked at him in disgust and ambled away! After that, Toby kept away from the shire, sensible horse.

Pals Together

The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias

Together At Diggle

When in 1985 Whisky and Toby were introduced to their new home, Toby proved to be the perfect companion for Whisky. Initially, they both had separate stables with a low dividing wall between the two but after three years I had it demolished and made into one for them to share.

Whisky Mac and Tobias Arrive at Diggle

Whisky Mac and Tobias Arrive at Diggle Whisky Mac and Tobias Arrive at Diggle

A Bit Cold in 1989

The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias


Poor Toby, however, was prone to Laminitus and on veterinary advice I tried to keep him stabled to restrict his grazing. Toby had other ideas and began kicking the stone wall of his stable to try and get out. I was concerned that he could damage his legs so I had no other alternative but to let him out. However, there is a devise which you can place over their mouth which looked like a small bucket with holes that allows both drinking and breathing but not grazing. Toby was none to please at having to wear one. Whisky was very puzzled and thankful that he did not have to wear one! He did try several times to remove it for Toby but he was unsuccessful.

Because of the Laminitus, Toby suffered problems with his hooves, but a superb blacksmith cured the problem by fitting special shoes and pads. As Toby grew older, his Laminitus receeded. It was a puzzle that with the grazing being poor and also several sheep on the land that he suffered from it.

Sheep To The Rescue

Seasons went past and the lads enjoyed the company and their life style. Clyde, my mad loveable ram was highly honoured as Whisky allowed him to play with Toby. When at last Whisky died, I was concerned regarding Toby's reaction. On the fateful day, Whisky lay on the floor unable to get up. Toby couldn't understand as he stood faithfully by his friend gently tapping him with his hoof trying to encourage him to get up. The next three days were spent by Toby running madly around the field looking and calling for Whisky. I was on the point of purchasing another horse for him when something remarkable happened. All the sheep rallied round and began to follow and play with Toby. He now had an entourage of sheep. Wherever he went they went. I left the stable door open at night and in the morning would find Toby lying down in the straw and the sheep curled up next to him. He had his own woolly duvet!

Toby was content but I'm sure like me he still missed Whisky. Sometimes I would see Toby in the field gazing into space and I'm sure he was thinking of the happy memories of our beloved Whisky. His spirit living on amongst us.

Toby With His Entourage

The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias The Digglers' Horse ~ Tobias

Everlasting Thoughts

Unfortunately, in 2005, Toby succumbed to a liver complaint. Now he was joining his Whisky once again. Just like Whisky, their ashes are together in my memory garden.

Alas, my horse days are over. Whisky and Toby were priceless and couldn't be replaced. Who got me over my sad loss? Yes, the sheep came to my rescue especially my beloved Clyde. What would I do without my beautiful, faithful animal friends? I am such a rich person having their companionship and love. To share my life, belongings and my money with them is a privilege.

Thanks Tobe, thanks Whiskers, you were great lads. The best!

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