Before the sun was fully up yesterday, we bid adieu to Willowtrail Spring Maiden. Madie (rhymes with shady) left to travel to her new home in Tennessee. I tried to make her last morning here somewhat routine, feeding her as usual before the rest of the herd, and giving her a bucket of supplements including immune system building nutrients in advance of her journey. When I went to halter and lead her, though, and we passed by the gate to the turnout, she knew something was different. Fortunately, she took it all in stride like she has all of life in her short five months so far, and she loaded on the strange horse trailer without a second thought.
Saying goodbye to Madie was unusually hard for me, I think for two reasons. First, she’s the youngest foal I’ve ever sent off to a new owner. She hadn’t fully integrated into the larger herd post-weaning, developing a new favorite pony to hang out with after leaving her mom’s side, so in my mind she hadn’t fully come into her own. To be fair to her, though, she was confident and calm about life despite being on her own.
The second reason that I think it was hard to say goodbye to Madie was that she taught me so much in just five and a half short months (see, for instance, Consistency and Predictability in Breeding and Early Foal Training). I am very happy to have her older brother, my young stallion Willowtrail Black Robin, still here, as I’m certain he has much to teach me, too. And of course I have Madie’s parents to continue to enjoy as well.
I don’t know what it is about Tennessee. Madie is the second Willowtrail pony to find a home in that state. In both cases, the owners fell in love with their respective ponies at first sight and worked diligently with me to bring Willowtrail ponies into their lives. I look forward to watching both Aaron and Madie continue to blossom with their loving owners.
Probably the memory of Madie that will last the longest is our last intimate time together. The night before she left, after I learned she’d be leaving very early the next morning, I spent some time scratching her in all her favorite places and telling her how special she is. Tears were streaming down my face, and like everything else, she took it all in stride, even moving to stay with me when I would step away, as if to offer me comfort. It’s no wonder that I miss her, even as I’m scooping up the last of her manure! Bon Voyage, Madie!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2011