A comment from a caller brought a smile to my face. We had been talking about Fell Ponies of course and in particular about the bloodlines of one they were considering purchasing. They had previously owned traditional Morgan Horses. I have seen just a few traditional Morgans, and they are amazingly different from modern Morgans, so I knew my caller was familiar with how type can change.
My caller had been reading my book about the breed and found it interesting enough that their spouse was asking if anything else was going to get done before reading the book was complete. I think that’s a compliment?! My caller expressed appreciation for all the information about the breed that I’ve written down to share with others. They concluded by saying, “You’re not bored yet!”
They are right of course, and I understand why the comment was worded in that way. In my relatively short (seventeen year) history with the breed, I’ve seen a number of people dive in with both feet and be enthusiastic only to leave the breed behind a few years later, on to some other breed or activity. While this is probably a natural progression for a person, I worry about the ponies, since I know Fells get to know their people if given a choice. I especially worry when several ponies are exported from England in the enthusiasm of the moment, only to be set aside when they’re no longer of interest, sometimes lost to the gene pool entirely.
No, I’m not bored yet. I’m still trying to breed something close to and eventually better than my first Fell Pony mare. There are fewer and fewer ponies like her in the breed, so the search for breeding stock to recreate her keeps me from being bored. I suspect rather than boredom I’ll either be frustrated because it’s too hard to do what I’m trying to do on this side of the pond, or I’ll find contentment from making progress with each succeeding generation that I breed. Regardless, I’m fairly certain one lifetime won’t be long enough. No, I’m not bored yet.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2017
Much of what I’ve learned about the Fell Pony breed can be found in my book Fell Ponies: Observations on the Breed, the Breed Standard, and Breeding, available internationally by clicking here or on the cover image.