I’m having a very pleasant feeling of déjà-vu right now. I’m riding my Norwegian Fjord gelding OH Torrin and ponying my stud colt Restar Lucky Joe. I’ve done a lot of ponying over the years: mares with castrated sons, stallions with castrated sons, moving ponies from pasture to trailer. This particular ponying, though, is more like the very first ponying I did.
Torrin is sixteen now, but when he first came into my life, he was just two. Like a Fell Pony, he was mentally interested in doing things but not physically mature enough for riding or other work. I was new to equines, so I was fortunate to learn about ponying from Patricia Burge of Lost Creek Ranch. My riding pony was Mya the Wonder Pony, and the three of us began many, many rides together. I believe Torrin was easy to start in harness in part because he’d learned a lot of voice commands (walk, trot, whoa) when he was ponied.
So recently when it looked like my stud colt Restar Lucky Joe was in need of some physical and mental stimulation, ponying was the first thing that came to mind. Since his paddock-mate is Torrin, it seemed natural to make us a three-some. Somehow it seems fitting the ‘T’ would do this duty given how he started out with me. In fact I’ve been surprised how easily these boys took to this routine. They even seem to be enjoying our daily outings.
So far we’ve just been up and down our half-mile driveway. We’ve taken short forays out onto the county road to accustom Lucky Joe to the scenery, but I’ve been cautious. Log trucks are on that road constantly during the week right now, and since we have snow, snow machines have also been roaring about. Yesterday we ‘passed’ our first vehicle when my husband was coming home for lunch and we met him on the driveway. I knew Torrin would be fine; he’s been around equipment for most of his life with us. I was pleased, though, with how well Lucky Joe took the experience. Perhaps we’ll try that county road soon!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2014
If you like stories like this one, you might also enjoy the books A Humbling Experience and What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here.