On my way home this evening, my mind wandered back to thinking about my pony. Have you ever parted with a pet? Then maybe you know how I feel? Well, I think I've parted with a few too many.
Going back to that hot summer day... June 1993 (I think). Her mother, Frost, who looks exactly like her, spent what seemed like an eternity in labor with her. This was her first foal and it was obviously not a real easy delivery. I slept in the barn that night with a light hung over her stall so I could keep an eye on her. Once the time came, Rene'e was there with me. She helped me pull her out. WOW what a job! We shook her a little and then let Frost take a look. Frost wasn't a real happy first time mother - she was actually mean to her... but hey... it obviously wasn't a pleasant experience. In the moments that followed we took care of clean up and all that good stuff and then called just about everybody I knew! I was so excited!!!!
For months I had simply known that I would be having a filly. I contemplated names and settled on Belle Motela. I was going to call her Belle and El Motela was an ancestor of hers that had been on the front cover of Arabian Horse Magazine back in the 60's. That's who she was to be named for. So one day about a week later Rene'e and I had her out in the pasture admiring her and she was calling her Belle. I said "Stop calling her that. Her name is Penny." Uh, not sure where that came from except that she was copper colored when she was born. "Penny" stuck.
She grew into a fine pony. I showed her at the Fair a couple years. Her first trailer ride was trecherous, but she got much better after that. She was so pretty. Everyone said so. A friend of mine broke her and then her sister leased her for a few years... showed her and such. Years later she landed herself at Rene'e and Lee's farm. This is where her heart is... I say. She is in love with Duke! She did have one nasty accident there. She lost a battle with a door latch and ripped a gash in her side that was nasty. The vet sewed her up and put her on stall rest for pretty much the remainder of that summer. She didn't seem to mind.
So when Keith and I were leaving for Seminary, I had to let her go. I tried to sell her outright, but lacked any serious buyers. I decided to sell her on consignment. I visited this farm and it seemed descent, so I sent her off with the price tag that I wanted. A lady was quick to bid on her and thus... she was being sold. Rene'e delivered her with me that chilly morning. This was a really tough thing for me to do. I was really glad that Rene'e was with me, because I'm not sure I would have been able to go through with it if she wasn't. So we meet the lady and give her the paperwork and she says "Oh I just knew the moment I saw her that her name should be Dixie." I was in shock! Thinking to myself "She's been Penny for the past 12 years or so, but if you paid for her I guess you can call her whatever you'd like." (of course - not saying this out loud) So we kissed her goodbye, exchanged some contact information with the new owner, and headed off for home. I said to Rene'e "That's kind of like me marrying Keith and then calling his Mom to tell her that I think I'll call him Bob from now on!" Can you believe it!!?? Months went by and things weren't working out for the owner or the horse and by God's grace the woman gave her back. She went back to Rene'e's for a while... and eventually made her way to Kentucky.
Her old Kentucky home was behind an old plantation mansion. The president of the seminary was keeping her and had some students from the local equine program riding her. Many evenings I strolled up with handfuls of carrots to visit with her. Leaving her behind in Kentucky was probably harder than leaving her behind in Pennsylvania. I mean, I know that she was being well cared for... but I was going to be SO FAR away!
As it goes, the president and his family have moved on and she and her equine pals, Diet Coke and Bright Eyes, made their way to the Asbury Equine Center... where they currently reside. The program manager assures me of her well-being on a regular basis. I am now a monthly contributor to their programs in support of my dear pet. I understand that the students are using her in their programs and love her very much. They are even considering breeding her; although that has yet to be confirmed.
Most days I miss my pony. Some days more than others. If only I could see her and touch her and smell her... When I whistle, she squeals with delight and runs to me. I miss that today. I hope that someday I can have a home where she can live in my back yard. (and hopefully with Duke as her pal)
Maybe another time I will write about some of my other very much so missed pets of yester-year.