I reunited Mya the Wonder Pony with my Fjord gelding Torrin after Torrin’s paddock-mate of three years went off to a new life. Mya and Torrin were my first ponies and spent many years housed together, so I knew in time they’d get used to co-habiting again. For the first week they were in my mare paddock, but the evening before the mares came home from summer pasture, I moved them to my electric fence paddock where they had previously resided together.
The next morning, Mya greeted me at the house, loose. Moments later I heard Torrin’s frantic cries about being alone. Three years away from the electric fence paddock had apparently un-trained Mya to the fence! I put her back in, hoping that the shock she got while exiting would be enough to remind her where she belonged. It was not to be, though. While she stayed put for the day, the next morning she greeted me again at the house. Now I had to figure out what part of the fence she found worth risking.
I got home at dusk, and Mya was with Torrin where I had returned her that morning. She greeted me normally, and I filled a tub with hay and began distributing their evening feed around the edge of their paddock. When I returned to where I’d started, it seemed odd that Mya was still eating the hay there instead of following the circuit of food that I had laid out. Then I realized that she was on the other side of the gate eating dry grass. Ah ha! Now I knew what part of the fence she found worth risking.
I dropped the gate and motioned and commanded to her to get back where she belonged, which she willingly did. She did, however, also have a smug look on her face as though she had won the game again. And I had to give her credit; she could have run off rather than return to the paddock as I’d asked.
I replaced the gate and shooed her away from it and headed out to get remedying tools. Fortunately she stayed where she belonged while I was away. As moonlight overtook the light of the departing sun, I hung pieces of electric fence tape from the gate. When I was done, I confirmed that they were conducting electricity. I then headed off to end my day and await the morrow when I’d find out if I’d correctly interpreted what Mya had told me.
Come Thanksgiving in two months, I will have shared twenty years with this pony, more time than I’ve shared with any human. It’s clear at 27 years old she still has enough spunk to entertain me. She has stayed in the electric fence paddock since I adorned her gate with ‘fringe.’ And I still laugh at how smug she looked outside the gate that night, showing me where the weakness in my fence was. It was nice of her tell me!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2018
More stories like this one can be found in my book The Partnered Pony, available internationally by clicking here or on the book cover.