It was a day to get reacquainted with my ponies. Two long days of business meetings followed nearly a week of extremely frigid weather. I felt like it had been ages since I’d been able to do more than throw hay and protect my hands from frostbite. The sun finally had some warmth to it, and all the ponies were in good humor as a result.
Fence repair was high on the list, as I heard a rail crack when I fed after dark the night before from a pony pushing into it. Fence repair is always a good time to talk to my friends; they like to ‘help’ if they can. The two youngest, a half brother and half sister, were the first to greet me when I arrived with my tools, and they took all the attention I would give them until an older mare pushed them aside asking for her share. It was a thrill for me to watch my most stand-offish mare come to the fence when my husband appeared to help; she is picky about what she shows interest in.
As the last of the sun’s light was disappearing, I decided to squeeze in a quick ride down the driveway. Torrin met me at the gate, which made me look forward even more to the ride because he obviously was. We successfully took a few trail rides before the arctic cold settled in, but a foot of snow has fallen since then, so our loop trail through the woods is likely unrideable until spring, so we ventured down the driveway for the first time all year.
Since Torrin had last been down the driveway, we’ve made some structural changes to it. We installed a gate and took out a cattle guard/grate. Before these changes came into view, I told Torrin about them, intending to ease him into the change since he’s always watchful of our surroundings. The first of the changes we came to was the gate, and sure enough he noticed a difference. He looked from side to side noting the new fence leading up to the two metal gates. We rode on further to the second change. For the past eleven years we’ve had to ride around the cattle guard, and Torrin obviously remembered this as he suggested several times that he needed to veer off the road rather than continue down it. After several confirmations from me that it was indeed okay to continue on the road, Torrin resumed his steady fast walk, and I felt the thrill of being out with my old friend doing a familiar thing that we both enjoy.
While sitting in a vehicle for six hours a day going to and from our meetings, I pondered what it is about ponies that so enriches my life. I have yet to be able to put the feeling down in words, but getting reacquainted with my ponies today and riding Torrin as evening began confirmed that indeed the feeling is real. I am blessed to have them all in my life.
(c) Jenifer Morrissey, 2013