Problem Solving, Pony-Style

Turkey Trot Sand Lily enjoying summer pasture

When I got to pasture today to pick up Mya, Torrin, and Lily to bring them home, I was presented with two problems.  I solved them with pony assistance and was quite pleased with myself! 

First, Mya was in the same spot she’s been the last two days when I’ve arrived at pasture.  Between her location and mine is a bunch of irrigation water which means I have to take off my work boots and don irrigation boots in order to halter her and load her in the trailer.  Then I have to reverse the footwear process.  Except if I try to solve this problem pony-style.  For some reason, today I had the good sense to do that!

Today I had the brilliant idea to ride Torrin over to where Mya was and then pony one of them back.  Torrin could have wet feet, and it would save me time since I had to halter Torrin anyway (and he has the good grace to come to me when I show up 🙂 )  Plus it was fun to ride Torrin for the first time in awhile.  Mya didn’t seem too thrilled with this solution since I did indeed get there more quickly, and her preference would be to stay on green grass as long as possible.

The second problem was presented by strong winds that were blowing the trailer door shut as I was trying to load the ponies.  For Mya, I was able to hold the door ajar and send her under my arm into the trailer.  I then followed, tying her and closing the divider.  Torrin was the second to be loaded, but he’s too big to go under my arm, so I loaded him from the off-side, tossing the lead rope on his back as he went in, then I followed him to tie him in place.  The wind grew even stronger as I was tying Torrin, and the door was just ajar enough for Lily to stick her head in to check my progress.  That gave me the idea for loading her.  I hadn’t haltered her yet, but she’s awfully good at liberty, so I held the door open wide and suggested that she load herself.  In true pony style, she made no move but was thinking about it, so I gave her further encouragement, and she hopped into her place.  I shut the door behind her, then fetched the halter and went into the trailer to halter her and tie her in place.

I’m reading The Soul of the Horse by Joe Camp right now, recommended by and on loan from my dear friend Judith Bean-Calhoun.  Camp stresses \that equines offer us relationships that have depth and quality, if we will only accept them.  It was a thrill today to find that my relationships with these ponies had sufficient quality to solve some small problems with their assistance, pony-style!

©  Jenifer Morrissey, 2011

About workponies

Breeder of Fell Ponies, teamster of work ponies, and author of Feather Notes, Fell Pony News, and A Humbling Experience: My First Few Years with Fell Ponies. Distributor of Dynamite Specialty Products for the health of our planet and the beings I share it with.
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