Keeping a stallion is a lot of work, and some make it easier than others. I’ve heard of Fell Pony stallions that have bit their handlers in an aggressive act, and I’ve personally seen one threaten. On the other hand, I also know that most of our stallions are pretty pleasant to be around. Now that I’m up to stallion number four, I’ve seen a range of well-tempered stallions and have come to appreciate where they fall on the fun-to-have-around spectrum. My newest, Restar Lucky Joe, definitely falls towards the top of that category.
The pictures here show one of our feeding time rituals. Lucky Joe meets me at the gate whenever he hears me coming, and he shows interest in getting a scratch. It was easy to find Lucky Joe’s favorite places to be scratched because he gives great feedback. As the photos show, he not only stands ready to be scratched but he expresses great pleasure in the experience by craning his neck to encourage me to continue more of the same.
I’ve been spending time with him nearly every day beyond our usual feeding time rituals. We’ve been ponying several times a week. Lucky Joe and his companion Torrin, whom I ride, seem to enjoy our outings. One day we had warm enough weather that I was able to give Lucky Joe a bath. I never would have believed I’d manage bathing in February, but we’ve had some incredibly nice weather. I felt a little guilty because I knew friends on the East Coast were getting hammered by yet another snow storm at the same time.
Because Lucky Joe is still young, much of our time together is spent doing mundane things. Even these, though, Lucky Joe makes enjoyable. I never thought I’d say that about hoof trimming, but he was so good recently, standing quietly tied to a fence – for a stallion, for a two-year-old – that I was on a definite high when I got done with the job. Of course Lucky Joe got lots of scratches in his favorite places!
The other day, after we had a few inches of new snow, finally, to improve the footing, Lucky Joe and I did a little dancing together – in this case me leading and him following, forward, backward, around a tree, trotting and stopping. I’d forgotten that we did that quite often last summer, and he seemed to enjoy dancing again as much as I did.
I brought Lucky Joe here from Cumbria for many reasons that had nothing to do with him personally. I like his mom Restar Lucky, for instance. I admire his breeder Joe Langcake. I was honored when June Langcake, shortly before she died, told Joe that Lucky Joe should come to me. Now that he’s been here a year, though, I can honestly say I’m lovin’ Lucky Joe for who he is personally. He’s really fun to have around.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2015
If you enjoy stories like this one, you might also enjoy the books A Humbling Experience and What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here.