A one-horse town: Iluka has a new mare
THERE'S a new mare in town, and her name is Biscuit.
The 11-year-old horse, and the only one in Iluka, was introduced to her new paddock about seven weeks ago by new owner and local hairdresser Sarah Moerman.
Coming from an isolated property in Far North Queensland, it is the first time she has been around civilisation.
"The owner looked after her but she wasn't in a town like she is now so I've been trying to desensitise her to new noises," Ms Moerman said.
"The first time she saw a mobility scooter she looked at me like it was a UFO landing in the paddock."
Since then Biscuit, named such because she "looks like a peanut butter Oreo", has had an adventurous few weeks meeting new people, getting used to strange sounds, and escaping through her fence to go for swims in the river.
"She found one gap in the fence and took herself for a swim every day for three days in a row," Ms Moerman laughed.
"When I asked her how did you get out she'd walk up to the spot and show me. The first time she got out she was found out near sewerage works, and had obviously trimmed everyone's front yard on the way.
"By the third time I got to her just before she went into the water for a swim. Until I bought her she'd never seen the water before, and it's just like Christmas in the water. She just loves it."
While the mare's experience in her new home has mostly been an adventure, it hasn't all been positive.
Just over a week ago, Ms Moerman was notified by a neighbour that a group of young males had been chasing Biscuit around the paddock with torches.
It disappointed the local hairdresser so much she offered a reward for the identities of the offenders. She also thinks it has set back the progress Biscuit has made in adjusting to the 'city life'.
"They had her running which just makes me sad, for her and for them because they've got nothing better to do on Saturday night," she said.
"There are so many hazards for her to trip on and fall over, or the other thing that could happen is she kicks them and they get injured and I'm liable.
"I did ring police and report it and I've put a sign up. I'd like them not to do it again and realise it's affected her.
"An apology would be good and they can come pull some weeds even better. I daresay she won't be coming near the fence again now."