Sometimes it’s the little things in my interactions with my ponies that make my day. Here are a few moments recently that brought smiles to my face and understanding to my stewardship.
I went down to the pony pasture Friday morning just as dawn overtook moonlight. It was just before 5am, not a time I normally go out to see the ponies, and I was curious to see whether they would come to greet me. I had vitamin buckets with me, though, so I should have been free of doubt. In the distance I could just barely make out black humps above the grass in the dim light. I rattled the buckets and gradually I could see the black humps begin to move. I was surprised how long it took for me to be able to discern heads and necks and ears. It was truly gratifying to have all six of these Fell Ponies trot in to see what I’d brought them.
The ponies are currently in the pasture I call the North 40. This week we finished a major fence repair job there. Sleddale Rose Beauty, my 24-year-old mare, has been watching our progress from an adjacent pasture. The North 40 is her favorite pasture, perhaps because it has the best access to western breezes to knock down insects. We finished up late in the day three days ago, but it was time to take the ponies home, despite my husband’s insistence that we let them out on the new pasture for a few minutes. Beauty made it quite clear that she agreed with my husband’s idea, as she avoided my attempts to halter her, pointing her nose prominently in the direction of the North 40. She made me laugh!
A few mornings ago we headed out with a trailer-load of ponies for pasture, and we waved to Mya Torrin, and Lily in their paddock as we went by. They were all standing at the gate, hoping they were the anointed ones to be loaded up. When we returned about a half hour later, these three ponies were on the wrong side of their gate, with the mesh electric fence gate lying on the ground. I had not installed the recharged battery, and once again Miss Lily knew this fact. I could just imagine Mya and Torrin saying to Lily, ‘Do something; there’s green grass out there to be eaten,’ knowing that she had freed them several times before. Lily complied once again by lipping the gate handle out of its loop and freeing them for breakfast. Needless to say, I installed the freshly charged battery after I returned them to their paddock and fed them.
On two occasions this week while hauling ponies early in the morning, there was an unusual amount of ruckus in the trailer while we were on the road. Normally this time of year I would assume that some annoying insect had gotten in a more annoying place, but no insects were abuzz at that time. What we did figure out, though, is that the ponies were getting ‘rained on’ in the trailer. Water had condensed on the underside of the roof overnight, and the heat of the ponies’ bodies combined with the movement of the trailer was causing large drops of water to fall and hit the ponies. The ponies stand out in rainstorms all the time, but getting ‘rained on’ the in the trailer was sufficiently unusual for the ponies to be agitated by it.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2011