Pony Antics at Nine Below

Matty at the fence in a conventional position at another time of the day

Matty at the fence in a conventional position at another time of the day

The first thing I did upon rising was check the temperature.  My window had been heavily frosted when I peeked out from my bed, and the thermometer confirmed what I’d guessed:  nine degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).  My agenda was set.  Before anything else, I was heading out to feed the ponies.

I had fed the first two ponies and was under the hay tarp in the next paddock when I heard the dogs barking loudly.  After extracting myself from the tarp, I saw Restar Lucky Joe running wildly around the paddock, which explained the dogs’ vocalizations.  Then I saw the explanation for Lucky Joe’s antics.  His paddock mate Torrin had let himself into the haystack yard and was taking bites out of the hay bales, getting his breakfast before Joe did, making Joe jealous.

After Lucky Joe and Torrin were fed, I headed towards the last paddock where all the mares were awaiting my arrival, Bowthorne Matty, the lead mare, met me at the fence.  She wasn’t, however, facing me in greeting.  Rather, she was standing sideways to the fence.  I couldn’t resist the invitation, so I climbed aboard.  Matty expressed her approval by tossing her head, and I expressed my appreciation by giving her a treat.  Normally I would then ask her to take me to the haystack, but I guessed that spirits might be a little high for a ride, so I dismounted.

As I’d suspected, while I walked on my own two feet to the haystack, two of the mares were putting on quite a display, bucking and running about.  That one of them was my senior mare, 24 year old Mya the Wonder Pony, made me especially happy.  Of course as soon as there was hay available, they all got down to the serious business of breakfast.

I went back inside to warm up and await the rising of the sun.  My day had started a little more vigorously than I’d wished, but the pony antics I witnessed left a smile on my face the rest of the day.

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2015

A Humbling ExperienceWhat an HonorIf you enjoy stories like this one, you’ll enjoy the books A Humbling Experience and What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here.


The Partnered PonyYou’ll also enjoy the book The Partnered Pony which includes part of this story as well as many more about the joys of life with ponies.  The Partnered Pony is available by clicking here.


About workponies

Breeder of Fell Ponies, teamster of work ponies, and author of Feather Notes, Fell Pony News, and A Humbling Experience: My First Few Years with Fell Ponies. Distributor of Dynamite Specialty Products for the health of our planet and the beings I share it with.
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