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

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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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