Twenty Degrees Warmer

An off-balance snapshot of Mya skidding poles today

An off-balance snapshot of Mya skidding poles today

What a blessing warmer weather is. I spent most of the day outside today because it’s twenty degrees warmer. I’d forgotten what highs in the thirties feel like! I had a couple of pony chores that needed to be done, and the nice weather this morning inspired me to use pony power. Little did I know that snowflakes would be hitting Mya and me in the face before we got done!

When it’s been awhile since I’ve worked a pony, it takes awhile to get everything set up for an efficient working pony session. I had to dig poles out from under fourteen inches of snow to do some fence repair (my husband had been in the stack a month ago so they weren’t completely buried), and I had to dig Mya the Wonder Pony’s work cart out similarly so we could haul water.

Apparently it had been a long time since Mya had skid anything, as I had to make some adjustments to her harness that I had ‘unadjusted’ when we were just doing cart work (there will be more about harness adjustments for ponies in an upcoming issue of The Partnered Pony™ Inquirer.) Fortunately the singletree and chain for skidding were in my horse trailer, close by the pole pile. And fortunately the snow made the poles relatively easy to handle since I forgot my log tongs when it came time to drop a pole in one location and rehitch the rest to continue to their final destination.

Mya was terrific as usual, making the jobs feel more satisfying than if I’d accomplished them using some other sort of power. I got an email from a friend when I came back in who had also been out working his horses for the first time in awhile due to warmer temperatures. Just like me, he enjoyed it and his horses did great.

Rural Heritage magazine recently published my article “Ideas for the Off-Season.” The article is about things we can do when conditions aren’t appropriate for work that can improve our working relationship with our equine partners. While I sincerely believe that off-season ideas can benefit regular work, there’s nothing like engaging my ponies in work that has to be done to warm my heart and make that work more enjoyable.

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2013

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About workponies

Breeder of Fell Ponies, teamster of work ponies, and author of Feather Notes, Fell Pony News, and A Humbling Experience: My First Few Years with Fell Ponies. Distributor of Dynamite Specialty Products for the health of our planet and the beings I share it with.
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