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.
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.
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?
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.