My young Fell Pony stallion Willowtrail Black Robin lost his virginity a few weeks ago. I’ve noticed two marked changes in him since then. First he’s mellower around me. I can’t help but wonder if he realizes I play a different role in his herd than I used to. I used to be the only object of his affections and his play drive. Now he understands not only that there can be other objects of his affection but also that I’m the one that makes those girls available to him!
And second, he’s definitely aware of where the girls are. He’s lost interest in eating except when he has to. I’ve read about stallions who lose weight during breeding season, but I’ve never experienced it with my other stallions. I’m having to keep an eye on Robin to make sure he doesn’t get too thin.
Some neighbors dropped by the other day; Sue’s granddaughter took her first pony ride here a few years ago, and they came by to meet six-week-old Madie. Sue’s new partner once had quarter horses and seemed to have a good eye for equines. I appreciated his unsolicited ‘Nice!’ when he first saw Robin. Sue’s daughter’s partner had never been around draft ponies before and asked many good questions. In his early twenties, he got a good laugh out of my frustration with Robin’s fixation on ‘girls’ rather than food, seeming to take Robin’s side unquestionably!
Robin has been keeping an eye on opportunities. This morning when I brought him his first hay, he wasn’t at all interested in me. He was standing at the far fence of his paddock looking out. I was confused, since there weren’t any mares in that direction. Then I saw movement, and a cow moose moved off through the trees. I tried to explain to Robin that I didn’t think that was an appropriate object of his affection, but I’m not sure he understood. She’s the same height at her withers as Robin is at the eyes, for instance!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2011