Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #38

February 7, 2013: Pony Grrrl

There was a time, not so long ago, when I felt fearful about going riding. All was fine once I got going, but beforehand, I’d get butterflies in my stomach. Actually, I’d get moths in my stomach; that is, the ones that eat wool. Chomp, chomp, chomp, they would chew away like it was nobody’s business. And it was nobody’s business. This was why I didn’t speak to anyone about this, not even Pete.

I got over this by riding routinely. Not just once or twice a week, but every day in which I didn’t have something else going on. Riding six or seven days a week became routine. The increase in herd size

also prompted me to ride more. I’m a responsible horse owner, and as knew I had to get the horses out, otherwise, they’d get bored.

Now I’m going out for rides routinely while riding one horse and ponying the other. I like the word pony, that is both the noun and the verb. Noun: I own five ponies. Verb: I pony five horses. This alone is a good argument for taking horses out with other horses. The alterative, tying them to an ATV, does not sound so good. I own five ponies and an ATV: I ATV five horses?

I’m getting increasingly more comfortable taking two horses out at a time. This is saving me time I don’t have, and the horses are all getting more exercise than they would if say, I took them out alone. I’m now (to coin a phrase of Martha Stewart) mixing and matching; that is, attempting to figure out who works well with who. My current goal is to train all five horses to pony and be ponied.

This is yet another challenge for me. I’m working with two minds now, instead of just one. For example, I have to mediate between the two if one horse wants to go and one wants to stop. All have to learn to listen to me, and as well, to the other horse. This isn’t easy for any of us.

I have been mulling over the various pony and being ponied combinations. Here they are:

Ride Raudi & pony Signy: Works well when Raudi is able to trot.
Ride Raudi & pony Tinni: Worked well today. Hasn’t in the past.
Ride Raudi & pony Siggi Have yet to try this. Might work.

Ride Tinni & pony Signy: Will work just fine
Ride Tinni & pony Siggi: Difficult, but will work
Ride Tinni & pony Raudi: Somewhat difficult, but getting easier

Ride Signy & pony Raudi: Now works really well. My favorite combo
Ride Signy & pony Tinni: Have yet to try this. Will work.
Ride Signy & pony Siggi: Have yet to try this. Will work.

Ride Siggi & pony Raudi: Have yet to try this. Will work.
Ride Siggi & pony Tinni: Have yet to try this. Will work
Ride Siggi & pony Signy: Works just fine

Here we have 24 interactions. These 24 interactions are 12 differing rides, since no two horses ever act the same when being ponied. For instance, today I rode Signy and ponied Siggi. This did not go well at first – but by the end we were all working in unison. I also rode Signy and ponied Raudi. From the very beginning everything went quite well. And I rode Tinni and ponied Raudi. In the past, Tinni has not liked being ponied. Today he very much enjoyed the outing.

Ponying the horses makes for a more varied daily schedule. Plus the horses also like the slight change in routine. Like people, horses like having variety in their lives. Either the route or immediate environment has to differ, or what you are doing has to differ. The trails are (right now) impassable, so we are on the road, which is a route that isn’t very varied. So what I’m doing differs. And for me too, this is way more fun than would be doing the ATV thing, and dragging horses hither and yon. Hither and Yon – great name for two matching horses.

Next: 39. 2/8/13: While Pete’s Away. . .