The other day when he was visiting, my husband’s grandson asked how I remember the names of all my ponies. I told him it was like his mom remembering his name; they’re like members of my family and are dear to me.
As a small scale breeder I have a close relationship with every pony that enters my life. I remember the circumstances of each foal’s birth and what it was like to train them to accept a halter and to lead. I definitely have had my favorites and ones with whom I spent more time because they were here longer or I enjoyed them more. Yesterday I was sent this photo of Willowtrail Columbine. Seeing Collie as a mature mare brought memories flooding back of her first six months here at Willowtrail Farm in 2006. It’s a thrill for me to see such a beautiful pony and know that I had a hand in bringing her into this world.
Last night I opened the republished edition of A Lifetime with Ponies by Roy B. Charlton. I’ve just received the book as a gift from the author’s grandson, one of a long line of Charltons involved with Fell Ponies. The chapter I opened to was titled, “Early Environment Moulds Character,” and the first few paragraphs struck me: “When chatting a few days ago with my 90-year-old father, he remarked: ‘What a wonderful memory you have. You are naming ponies we possessed 55 years ago.’ I agreed that my memory for ponies was remarkably good. Father-like he went on to say, ‘It isn’t memory, it is interest. It is not that your memory is better than that of other people, it is that your life’s hobby has been ponies. We can all remember the things that really interest us.’” (1)
Like Grandpa Roy, my life’s hobby is definitely ponies. They have unquestionably interested me since they came into my life. It has been a remarkably rewarding journey so far, and I look forward to how the future unfolds, with many more pony names to remember!
1) Charlton, Roy B. A Lifetime with Ponies, Country Books, Little Longstone, Bakewell, Derbyshire, England, 2003, p. 1.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2012