I needed to escape my desk, and the convenient excuse was to take my stallion Asi and his girlfriend Madie to pasture and to spend time writing while they grazed. It was a good thing I wasn’t as tired as I thought I was because I had one thing after another happen that kept it from being the relaxing time I had hoped for!
The first unexpected happening was when I arrived. The mares and foals were lining the fence and watching with great interest as I unloaded the two newcomers. Asi was reasonably well-behaved despite the mostly female audience, but I still had to modify where I was going to put he and his girlfriend because I didn’t want a lot of cavorting at the fence. I thought I had a good solution, but it depended on the mares and foals respecting the river as a barrier. That didn’t work! Calista climbed up the three foot nearly-vertical river bank to tease Asi. After trying to drive Calista back across the river, I realized I was faced with too many hormones, so I caught Asi and moved him to another pasture then I returned to the river bank to drive Calista across the river again.
My presence on the river bank had the opposite effect than I wanted, as all the mares and foals headed my way. It was incredibly flattering, but I really didn’t want pressure on that fence line. Claire created the second ‘event’ by climbing the river bank onto a narrow ledge where the fence was. Again it was incredibly flattering that Claire wanted my attention, but I didn’t like her being on that narrow ledge along the river. I realized the only way Claire was going to go back down into the river and not try to come through the fence to be with me was if I disappeared. So I went and hid in the shed and watched her. Eventually the rest of the herd went across the river and disappeared.
Claire, though, stayed at the fence and kept looking in my direction (she could tell I was close because she could see my dog Tika who was near me). But eventually when she realized the herd was gone, she scrambled down the river bank and crossed the river and called and ran to join them. Finally I could retreat to the trailer and sit and do some writing (and video production) while Asi and Madie grazed without company.
There was to be one more bit of excitement. Just before dark, Tika, who’d been laying near me, took off at a full run straight north. I saw in front of her a flash of orange which suggested it was a fox. They quickly disappeared. I hastily wrapped up what I was doing, and when Tika hadn’t returned, I started calling her. It was a long five minutes (and getting dark) before she came to me panting hard from behind me, from across the highway, and soaking wet. Obviously the chase had taken her through the river and across the paved road. I’m so thankful traffic was light and she wasn’t hit because she pays no attention to traffic when she’s on the scent of something.
After all that, I was glad Asi and Madie weren’t too full of themselves at departure time. They led and loaded easily to come home. The upside of all the commotion was some beautiful photographs at day’s end. And of course an improved attitude for dealing with my desk due to spending time with all my friends.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2019
You can read many more stories like this one about my life with Fell Ponies in my book What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here or on the book cover.