Yesterday Mya the Wonder Pony and I went on a ride into one of the timber sales our company is currently logging. We are very fortunate because this particular sale is right next door; it’s a nice commute! All Mya and I had to do was head off down the driveway and then take a right turn.
When I worked in industry, the company I worked for went through a period when it did intensive training of employees about diversity: gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. It was a great experience, in part because it encouraged us to look at life from a different perspective. The training could be pretty heavy at times, though, so we all appreciated a light-hearted lesson about politically correct language. One example: ‘short’ people are ‘vertically challenged.’
On our outing yesterday, Mya seemed very pleased at the start – perky walk, head up, ears alert – despite gusty winds. We hadn’t ridden in several days, and I got the sense she enjoyed the attention. After we took the right turn into the sale, though, I noticed Mya becoming a little agitated – her head was up higher, her pace was a little erratic, and she was looking anxiously from side to side. I thought it was the wind, but we’d had wind when we started, so that didn’t explain it. Then I noticed one thing that had indeed changed. The snow banks on either side of the road were higher. They were so high, in fact, that she couldn’t see over them; I’m sure she felt like she was in a tunnel. Sure enough, when we got to a more open area where the banks were lower, she didn’t seem as anxious anymore.
At 11.2hh, Mya is plenty of pony for me, though people comment that I look funny riding her with my long legs hanging way down. I only got larger ponies when eighteen inches of snow nearly immobilized Mya, and I couldn’t keep my feet up out of the snow when riding her. Yesterday from my perch on her back, I could see that the snow out in the harvested areas of the forest was nearly four feet deep, definitely higher than Mya’s back. Like the diversity training so many years ago, our ride helped me see the world from Mya’s perspective. It’s quite amazing, actually, that this is only the second time in our twelve years together that I can remember Mya being troubled by being vertically challenged. Her big heart makes her seem larger in all the ways that really matter.
© Jenifer Morrissey