In the past few years, when I’ve had visitors to Willowtrail Farm, my young Fell Pony gelding Willowtrail Winter Lad has charmed them. He has captured their hearts more than any other pony they meet. I haven’t quite understood how he does it. Over the weekend, he did it again. Yesterday I got first-hand experience, though, with how his charm works.
I went into the turnout with the intent to halter and work with Laddie’s brother Willowtrail Jonty. Jonty was napping and was decidedly uninterested in being disturbed. As I walked from the fence towards Jonty, Laddie greeted me very politely. I scratched him in several places then walked around him to see if I could get Jonty’s attention. Laddie then walked around me and inserted himself between me and Jonty, so I scratched him again and then extracted myself, trying to stay focused on Jonty. Laddie next tried nibbling my coat and then my pony-tail. He was very gentle. He also tried blowing in my ear and tried to put his head in the halter I had in my hand. He never leaned on me or pushed me or knocked my elbow with his nose as some of my other ponies do.
Since Jonty remained uninterested in my advances, it became pretty difficult to ignore Laddie’s polite and persistent attentions. How can you not like a pony who wants to be with you? How can you not like a pony who is polite about asking for attention? How can you not be captivated by a pony that looks deeply into your eyes? How can you not want to scratch a pony that is cute, hairy, and black?!
Laddie turned three today. I just ran across pictures of him when he was three weeks old giving a visitor a ‘kiss.’ That visitor was charmed, too. If Laddie lives to be as old as his mom, that means he has at least twenty-two more years to charm people. I think I may have found him a home where he can do just that. I can’t help but think the world will be a better place when Laddie has access to more people to work on.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2012