Here in the mountains of Colorado, during our crazy-short busy summer season, I’ve learned to treasure brief moments with my ponies because longer periods are few and far between. July especially seems to be the month when pony moments are the highlight of my days. Here are some recent ones:
- A non-pony visitor met one of my ponies and remarked, “What big feet they have for such a small animal.” I’m never very good with quick comebacks. I should have said, “What small feet we expect bigger animals to work on…!” I also laughed to myself because the visitor was talking about my tallest Fell Pony, so not small at all by my standards, and she isn’t one of my ponies with Sleddale heritage and even bigger feet for their size!
- I put Restar Mountain Shelley out to graze the open areas here at first light. When I later finish all the other chores, I call to her, telling her it’s time to come in. She canters to the road from wherever she’s been grazing, continues up the driveway to her paddock and puts herself in. Management made easy!
- I have gotten very used to being greeted with a whinny any time I open the door to go outside. The door’s hinges apparently have a distinctive sound. Willowtrail Spring Maiden can’t see the door opening, so I know she’s responding to the sound with her greeting. I always try to answer, “Hello Madie!”
- A sixty-five mile-an-hour two lane highway passes by the summer pasture. Our pickup truck must have a distinctive sound when we slow down as the pasture comes into view. We intended to just take attendance as we drove past, delaying a longer visit for the end of the day. But as we came into view, the ponies confirmed it was us and started galloping towards the gate to say hello. How could we not stop when presented with such a greeting?!
- My husband’s grandsons were visiting. They are city boys with interests consistent with that locale, so they were throwing a baseball around. One got by the mitt of one of the boys and went zinging into Shelley’s pen. I’m not sure if she’d ever seen a baseball before, but she seemed hardly bothered by its sudden crash against her fence and subsequent careening before coming to a stop. Later another errant ball hit the outside of her fence, and again she barely lifted her head from her pile of hay. What a gift a calm temperament is!
I am feeling particularly blessed by my ponies right now. More than at any time in the past, I have a close and satisfying relationship with each of them, which makes caring for them and spending time with them even more enjoyable. These pony moments brighten long days and make me look forward to when we can spend more time together.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2015
If you enjoyed this story, you’ll also enjoy the books A Humbling Experience and What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here.