The day was bookended by phone calls about working ponies. It was interesting to see how Fell Ponies came up in conversation. In both cases I got new perspectives on the breed.
Both callers were from the southeastern United States and were working pony enthusiasts. The first had contacted me after reading about The Partnered Pony™, and the second was a friend of the first.
I had spoken to the first before, a few years prior when he’d seen an article I’d written in Rural Heritage magazine. This time he shared with me that he’d seen a Fell Pony this summer for the first time in his life. He said he liked the mare because she was so different-looking than the ponies he typically saw. That’s an interesting perspective, I thought. Given that my herd is dominated by Fells, their appearance is pretty ordinary to me. I had to laugh, though, since I also have a Norwegian Fjord, and that breed is pretty unusual-looking, too. I guess I don’t know what ordinary ponies look like!
The second caller had also seen the Fell mare, and his reaction was more practical. He’d like to see her bred to something bigger, he said, like a draft, to give her some more heft for work. I’ve been researching an article for The Partnered Pony™ Inquirer, and it turns out that his view of the ideal size for working equines – 14.2hh or a little bigger – is pretty common in American agricultural history. I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures he’s sending of his working ponies.
It’s always a good day when I get to talk about ponies, and these callers and I shared an appreciation for the heart, stamina, and easy-keeping of working ponies. Hearing new perspectives on Fell Ponies, too, made the day even better than usual.
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© Jenifer Morrissey, 2013