My husband loves to tell people that he rode ponies as a kid, but that once he got on a motorbike around age 15, he never rode a horse again until only recently. When my son Zach grows up I suspect he’ll tell a similar tale, but in his case it will be pigs that lured him away from horses. When Zach was 7, his uncle Charlie got two rather large KuneKune pigs. Knowing that Zach had a bad fall off his pony the year before and had shied away from horse riding since, Charlie had it in his head that Zach would find it more fun to ride the pigs! I thought it was a silly idea and didn’t give it much thought until one afternoon when Charlie turned up in our garden.He was chasing the pigs who had escaped from captivity and come to our orchard to see what they could scavenge. He called Zach out of the house and told him this was his chance to have a go. That day, our family pig jockey was born.
Zach is now 12 and he has been riding the pigs ever since that day five years ago. Coco has her horses and Zach has his pigs. When guests come to visit, it’s the perfect party trick – “let’s go for a walk and watch Zach ride the pigs.” We all always end up crying with laughter.
About two years ago, the farm got three new pigs and we were intending to breed them. The subject of the two older ones came up and it was suggested they go to market to be made into sausages. Zach campaigned hard for those two pigs – tears and acquired family allies and all – and won his battle. They now belong to Zach and will live out their days in a field near our house. Ride on, Zach!