Unexpected Returns

One of the big projects I have undertaken since my husband’s death is an auction of our business’s assets.  With the auction over, the items are now being dispersed to their new owners.  Due to my need to move and lighten my load, some of the items in the auction were pony-related, and I feared that when they went, it would be difficult for me to watch.  While there will be financial returns from the auction to offset the loss of these items, there have been returns in other forms that were unexpected and equally valuable.

Willowtrail Mountain Honey and her foal in the paddock my late husband built for me just a year ago.  The paddock fencing has now been sold and removed.

Willowtrail Mountain Honey and her foal in the paddock my late husband built for me just a year ago. The paddock fencing has now been sold and removed.

The first pony-related item to leave was a fence in one of the stallion pens that my husband had completed for me just a year ago.  It was the pen that my beloved stallion Guards Apollo occupied for nearly all of his fourteen years here and is shown in the picture.  When the purchaser of the fencing was due to arrive, I was concerned I would burst into tears.  Instead, when I learned that the purchaser ran an equine-assisted therapy program, our conversation was so inspiring that the expected sadness was replaced with excitement that the fencing would be helping facilitate such important work.

Another pony-related item to leave was a very large box of electric fence supplies.  I didn’t have the same emotional attachment to these items, so it was relatively easy to help the purchasers load them into their trailer.  I asked what they planned to do with the fencing, they replied that they too had horses.  I of course asked what kind, and they replied Friesians and Friesian sport horses.  It was easy to get them talking about their more-than-thirty-years as breeders of sport horses, and since I know nothing about that market, I learned a lot.  As they were about to leave, they asked what sort of horses I had.  When I answered, the response was, repeatedly, “You breed Fell Ponies!”  After three or four of these choruses, they said of course they’d like to meet my ponies, and we had fun meeting the whole herd in two different locations.  They were sufficiently appreciative of my stock to ask for a business card, a reminder to me of something else I must revise before I move!

A local rancher came to pick up some items for a friend, and they saw my ponies in a nearby paddock.  They shared that they feed with Percherons, including a Percheron-Friesian cross.  I enjoyed hearing their perspective on the conformation, temperament, and action of their drafts and draft-crosses.  The unexpected return from that visit, though, was hearing about the movie they’d just watched.  It was about pit ponies, so I shared about my first pony who was similar in conformation to pit ponies and about my first Fell Pony mentor who trained pit ponies when he was young.  You won’t be surprised to learn that I immediately came inside and ordered the movie!

One lot and its purchaser gave me a chuckle.  The lot contained a bunch of heavy duty free-standing fence panels.  I bought them nearly two decades ago when I purchased my first Fell Ponies.  Then I moved the panels here with me seventeen years ago.  And now I will see them at my new home after I move.  My hosts at Scotty Springs Ranch have purchased them!

Another purchaser wasn’t at all horsey, but I enjoyed their question about the ponies, who were watching us load timbers that my husband had milled.  They said, “Aren’t they too tall for ponies?”  I explained how tall ponies can be and how I appreciated their height when lifting harness and packs.  That was all they said, and we went on about our work. 

While it is still possible that I will be brought to tears by an auction item leaving, I now know that the visits by purchasers are bringing me unexpected returns, and for that I am exceedingly grateful.

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2019

More stories like this one can be found in my book What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here or on the book cover.