Moving on

It has been a strange summer. Somehow I have not had much time for blogging, either reading or writing. But, as always, with the new school year routines return and I look forward to playing catch up. Here, we have done more work on our track, re-seeded various areas and most importantly been joined by a new pony.

Meet Cloud:

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He is 14.2, 15 years old and originally from Lithuania. He has come from a riding school not far from here that is closing down and is a quietly self-confident pony who has, in a most friendly manner, assumed leadership over Ben.

Ben’s welfare was my biggest concern with Rosie gone. Fortunately he had somewhere to go. He has stayed with Sandra before and knows her two mares (her three year old Kerry Bog pony gelding, Arrow, was new to him and was to provide a most persistent challenge). He stayed there for the last three weeks. I knew I could not bring him home until I had found another pony. Ben is a worrier and would not fare well alone. Word of mouth led us to Cloud and, while he is a few years older than I would like, my older daughter’s complete confidence while riding him, and her beaming smile afterwards made the decision easy.

We met him in the passageway of the school’s barn and his presence filled that barn and clearly indicated a pony in charge of his herd. He is friendly towards children, pushy regarding treats, accepting of boundaries consistently put in place and is every bit as good a doer as Ben. I will get through a lot of hay this winter.

He had two days here at home by himself for my daughter to spend time with him before her school started. He really does impress as being very comfortable in his own skin. He adapted to being here alone, chose a vantage point from which he could see horses in a nearby field and stayed near my daughter every time she was in the paddock.

I brought Ben home last night. I kept them both in their stables for the night as Ben had greeted Cloud with much angry squealing and posturing over a stable door and I was anxious as to what fireworks would ensue during the night. This morning we could see that Cloud had finished his hay and most of his water. Ben had not touched his. We opened the stable doors and stood back. Cloud came out of his stable and approached Ben’s. Ben squealed. Cloud put his head into the stable. More noise from Ben. Cloud withdrew, walked a small circle and put his head back in again. More Ben noise. Cloud walked into the stable. The next thing we saw was Ben leaving and Cloud quietly herding him along the track.

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It was very impressive. Quietly done, with minimum fuss, a friendly air and, soon, they were grazing together. As my husband remarked – how could you remain angry with someone that friendly?

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There has been a lot of movement on the track today, casual walking, stopping to graze and moving on again. Sometimes Ben seems to initiate it and Cloud follows, but mostly Cloud drives Ben. Ben has come up to me whenever he sees me and Cloud seems happy to let him do this. Ben seems at peace. Cloud reminds me of Mark Rashid’s description of a passive leader. I think he will be very good for Ben.

So we have a new pony at home and Ben has adapted. Life moves on. I miss Rosie, sometimes quite acutely, and will always be grateful for her gentle, grounded presence here and her quite incredible gift to me of absolute trust.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Moving on

  1. Cloud is beautiful and adorable at the same time. I’m so glad he’s such a grounded pony with a peaceful attitude. Given time I think he and Ben will be the best of friends.
    It’s so nice for your daughter that she found this jewel to ride. He seems to fit right in.
    Rosie will never be forgotten and missing her will always be a part of you. But memories will see you through and make you smile in your heart.

  2. Cloud looks perfect! What a lovely colour, too, it’s unusual to still have dapples at fifteen.
    I wouldn’t worry about his age, our Pepper stayed very, very active right up to his early twenties when arthritis & a laminitis attack slowed him down.
    Wishing you the very best of luck with your new herd!

    • Thanks Martine. I am hoping that he will do well so that younger daughter can have some time with him too. I love his dapples. It will be interesting to see what his winter coat is.

  3. Wow – he is handsome and snuggly at the same time! I am so happy things are going this well, this quickly, for Ben and his new companion. I sort of imagined Rosie whispering in Cloud’s ear, telling him how to approach Ben, and then whispering in Ben’s ear that it is easier to get along than to not get along. 🙂

    • Billie, he is a girl’s dream. He looks beautiful at dusk, glowing in the fading light. Having had two bays up there it still surprises me to see his colour. I am sure Rosie is somehow still involved there too.

  4. What a lovely pony Cloud is! Like Martine I would have expected him to be much more white at age 15. ‘Young’ in colour, young at heart ;-)?
    We bought one of our Icelandics at age 16; he turned 37 this year and is still alive and kicking! I hope you will have that many years ahead of you with Cloud :-).
    How great that Cloud and Ben are getting along so wonderfully!

  5. Maire- I’m so glad that you have found a friend for Ben and a new member of your family. I know you must miss Rosie. I am preparing myself for the day when I will face a similar difficult decision. Cloud brings good new energy to your barn. I hope he lives happily with you for many years.

    • Thank you Victoria. It was an incredibly difficult decision – or, rather, not making the decision, I just knew her time had come, but living through it. And the last day – Rosie followed me to the very end. Heartbreaking – for me and for Ben – not for Rosie who was so serene.

      What helped me was realizing how at peace Rosie was. Once I had a plan for looking after Ben, the agonizing was all mine.