Partnered Pony Blog

So Impressed with These Two!

Paula Torrin by Mike Snigg.jpg

Norwegian Fjord Horse gelding OH Torrin was my pony partner for 19 years.  We skid logs, packed fencing material, drove on occasion, and rode trails wherever we lived.  Rarely did we have an audience besides my dog or maybe a moose or deer.

When my friend Paula decided to buy Torrin this winter, she said she had a goal of him being a pack pony for trash pickup on Earth Day in April.  That sounded like a realistic goal, and I was thrilled to know Torrin’s versatility would continue to be appreciated.  Paula also said, though, that she had a goal of riding him in the Fourth of July parade in her little town.  This objective I felt was a stretch for Mr. T.  Chainsaws and heavy equipment he was used to, but given how little audience he’d had, I wasn’t so sure about the many other stimuli that come in a parade environment:  crowds, sirens, bicycles, etc.

Torrin and Paula started getting acquainted when Paula visited for several days in February.  Torrin left here in April, and it was a teary farewell.  Then his trip caused more tears when the transporter took him to Ukiah, California instead of Ukiah, Oregon.  Torrin was on the road two days longer than he needed to be, but he seemed to survive the journey fine.

Then began Torrin and Paula’s new life together.  Mr. T got green grass much earlier in the year than the equine friends he left behind here.  He and Paula began experimenting with tack that they would both be comfortable with.  Paula trimmed up Torrin’s mane in true Norwegian Fjord fashion, more stylishly than ever before. And they tried some trail rides, where Torrin expressed his likes and dislikes that sometimes differed from Paula’s agenda.  I knew they would work it out in time, but I wasn’t sure they’d make it by Fourth of July, especially since just a few days before, Mr. T was spooky while being led down Main Street. 

On the other hand, it was clear from one story Paula shared that T had bonded with her.  One evening Paula was leading T back from pasture to his home paddock, holding hands on the other side with her significant other Mike.  As they were walking, Mr. T at one point slowed down, swerved behind Paula, came up between her and Mike and popped their hands apart with a toss of his (sizeable) head.  He then returned to his former position at Paula’s side.  Quite a statement about who he thought was Paula’s rightful partner!

I had lost track of time, so was somewhat unaware of the arrival of July 4.  Imagine my utter astonishment, then, when midday I received an email with the subject “The Equine Entries” and the photo shown here.  Paula says he was a rock star during the parade, waiting to act up (with his fellow equine entry) at the end.  I am so impressed with what these two have already accomplished together.  It’s going to be fun to see where this new partnership goes from here!

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2019

There are lots of stories about Torrin in my book The Partnered Pony, available internationally by clicking here or on the book cover.

Jenifer Morrissey