This year I am once again thankful
For the ponies in my care.
And also for their broader world
And how they connect me there.
Of late I’ve been preoccupied
By the landscape Fell Ponies call home.
And the many and several dynamics
Shaping the place they traditionally roam.
I am thankful for the hill breeders
That I’ve met and gotten to know.
It’s a delight to see how conversations
About ponies start and then how they go.
These people keep their ponies
Where and how they’ve historically been
Despite pressures and complications
That would have made their ancestors’ heads spin!
Yet these people still keep their ponies.
Their passions run deep and strong.
They nurture land and relationships
To keep their ponies where they belong.
Similarly, a colleague has a passion of her own
That will uproot her life through and through.
But The Fell Pony Heritage Centre will undoubtedly bring
To the breed a focus that’s important and new.
Her Majesty has also given of herself
For these ponies we all admire.
A sizeable gift to our registry
Will certainly kindle some project’s fire.
Here at home I am also thankful
For how my own ponies enrich my days.
One-on-one or collectively,
Working, playing, or out to graze.
I am thankful for opportunities
To put my ponies to useful work.
This year it was packing gravel;
Any job gives them extra perk.
I am thankful for the lessons
That came from losing a four day old foal.
I am grateful for the few days we had
With his wise and wonderful soul.
I am thankful for two first-time mothers
Who took the delivery-thing in stride.
It wasn’t all easy sailing,
But together we got to the other side.
I am thankful for two hearty filly foals
Who resulted from breeding off-farm.
It was something I hadn’t done before.
The reward has been their charm.
I am thankful for the English pony
Who traveled here when not very old.
His grandmother is a special favorite of mine.
I hope he’s cast from that same great mold.
I am thankful for the rest of my ponies
Who make up the balance of the herd.
They speak and greet and joke and ask
Without ever uttering a word.
I am once again incredibly thankful
For how my ponies make the world seem small.
I need not leave them or the farm;
I know here’s the best place of all.
Yet I also know they’ve connected me
With stewards far from here
Whose dedication motivates, provokes and inspires
And expands my Fell Pony career.
Many have generations -
Both of ponies and of their own kin -
To which they’ve devoted themselves
To persevere through thick and thin.
I am thankful for these ponies
That inspire their people to do such great things.
It will be exciting, as time goes on
To see just what their future brings.
Thanksgiving poems from past years can be found in my many books on Fell Ponies, available internationally by clicking here or on the book covers.