A Variation on the Bucket Ritual

Willowtrail Black RobinI’ve taught my five-year-old Fell Pony stallion Willowtrail Black Robin to pick up his feed bucket and hand it to me after he’s finished eating from it.  This has been a morning ritual for many months.  A few days ago I moved him to a larger paddock where I give him his bucket at one end and then feed him his hay at the other, so we haven’t been engaging in the feed bucket ritual.

This morning when I entered the paddock to feed him his hay, he took off for the far end of the paddock.  I went into the hay shed, then looked up, and here comes Robin, carrying his feed bucket all the way from the other end of the paddock to me.  I was stopped in my tracks by him voluntarily retrieving the bucket and bringing it to me.

When I realized what Robin was offering and I was over my surprise, I stopped what I was doing and went out and gave him a big hug.  His variation on the bucket ritual, I thought, was quite creative and amazing!  You never know what benefits partnering with ponies will bring!

(c) Jenifer Morrissey, 2013


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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