This morning was quieter here at Willowtrail Farm. Both my young Fell Pony boys are at their new homes, so their rambunctious energy is missing from feeding time. Last night we put Willowtrail Jonty on a transport truck. His first time off the farm was earlier in the week when he had blood drawn for a Coggins. The vet was impressed with how well he did getting poked. Last night Jonty took the two hour trailer ride to meet the transport truck, the longest of his life to-date, like a true pony gelding should: polishing off his hay!
When his owner purchased him last weekend, she asked how it would go to transfer Jonty from one trailer to another in a parking lot a long way from home. I take such things for granted, but an email this morning and talking to the transporter last night reminded me that my ponies are different than the average. Horse transporters always have stories to tell about loading horses. Sometimes they are late to meet me because an owner assured them that their horse would load right up, and two hours later the horse was finally on board ready to go. Like all my youngstock, Jonty has been trailering since he was a few days old, so loading him isn’t something I worried about.
I will admit that something the transporter told me last night gave me pause before we transferred Jonty. He said some horses that regularly load into trailers by stepping up and in can have trouble with the idea of a ramp. And of course, Jonty needed to walk up a ramp last night. The transporter let me load Jonty, so I took it slow, letting him put one foot on the ramp and then the next. Within sixty seconds he walked right up. It took me longer to figure out the tie-in mechanism!
Jonty’s new owner reported via email very early this morning that he walked off the trailer like a gentleman. Later in the morning she reported on leading him around the barn. Apparently he tried to eat the fake flowers in the jumps; I’m sure the idea of fake flowers gave his mind plenty to ponder! And he stood quietly in cross ties for the first time, as well as getting a bath (from a hose rather than a rain shower) for the first time.
Willowtrail Winter Lad’s new owner shared a cute story a few days ago. She looked up from doing chores to see that her six year old daughter had haltered Laddie and was lungeing him. Then she stopped him and threw the rope on his back and around his legs. Laddie stood still and watched her quietly. In just a few short days, Laddie has had more exposure to little people than he ever had here, so it warms my heart that he so readily accepted guidance from one.
While the rambunctious energy of my boys is now lacking from my daily routine, I’m thrilled to know they are in new homes with good owners. Even more, I’m thrilled that they have accepted their new experiences with equanimity. I’ve heard recently of other Fell Ponies of similar age that haven’t dealt with novelty quite as well. As a breeder, it’s good to get feedback that what I’m doing is satisfying my clients. Thank you Laddie and Jonty. I’m proud of you!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2012