Sunday was supposed to be a rest day. When it became clear that rest wasn’t going to happen, though, I filled the day with ponies instead. I’m always surprised how much my day improves when I get to spend a little extra time with my ponies. On this day, I handled all eleven of them, and each one brought me joy in the process.
The handling of all my ponies included putting a halter on them. It was the first time that little Lady, at two weeks old, had accepted one. We’d been working on it for many days so that when she was finally ready, it was a good experience for all concerned. She is a real pleasure on any day because she makes a point to come say hello whenever she sees me.
Two ponies had their first training outing for a paid job they’ll be doing next month. Now I know where their minds are so that I can work with them regularly towards the job’s goal. I love it when an opportunity to include the ponies in my off-farm work life presents itself, in part because the required preparation means I have to spend more time with them!
My new stud colt Asi showed me his Fell Pony level-headedness. It was his first time back in a horse trailer since he arrived six weeks ago. He took the short trip to summer pasture. He loaded right up at both ends of the trip, and once immersed in the lush green grass, he didn’t move more than forty feet from the gate. Since this was a solo run, I stayed nearby on this first trip, and he seemed to appreciate my presence.
I’m once again riding a mare with a foal at foot, and it is such a pleasure. I have been putting Rose and Lady out to graze once or twice a day here at home. When I go to fetch them back in, I hop on Rose and she carries me in, fortunately very patient that my young dog wants to nip at my heels while I’m mounted. I like that Lady gets to see her mom working.
It seems a little unfair to say that one pony gave me a highlight more than the others, but it’s true. I was preparing to take three ponies to summer pasture, and when I led two of them out of the paddock to the horse trailer, I didn’t securely fasten the gate behind us. As I was loading the first two into the trailer, I heard the gate rattle and then hoof beats. When I looked up, the third pony, Madie, had let herself out and was coming towards the trailer at a deliberate walk. When I had her trailer stall ready, I suggested she load herself, which she did without hesitation. Only when she was standing calmly in her place in the trailer did I put her halter and lead rope on. She got a hug, too, for being so voluntarily cooperative!
Barring any serious changes in my health, I expect I’m about half way through my pony career. If the second half is as rich as the first, I have a lot to look forward to!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2017