This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Jingle Came To Be Here..............

I love my little mini donkey! Not only does she keep my pony company but she has this lovely, serene demeanor that never fails to have a calming effect on everyone with whom she comes in contact.
"Asspirin Acres Joan of Arc" came to us on Christmas Eve day. The tag on her halter said simply "Joan." Well, THAT wasn't going to fly so we all tried to think up a more "Christmassy" name for her. "Dominic" was rejected right out of hand (my daughters think they're funny) and neither Noel, Holly, Carol (eek!), nor Mary seemed to fit, either. I finally said, "Let's call her Nellie." THAT set everyone back a bit because Nellie was my mother-in-law's name. When my family said, "Why Nellie?" I replied, "Because she's round, has brown hair, is cute and she seems very gentle." (All qualities possessed by my deceased mother-in-law.) WELL, to my surprise, everyone thought it was a great idea.....until we actually CALLED the little donkey "Nellie." Back to square one. I finally said, "Grandma loved Christmas. Let's think what Grandma loved best about it and see if that give us any ideas." My oldest daughter said, "She always used to hang that Jingle Bells banner across the mantle in the kitchen." And - BAM - that was it......"Jingle!"
I'd been looking for a companion for Split - who'd lived as a bachelor his first year here - and had always wanted a mini donkey. I finally wore my husband down - he gave in just to shut me up, I think - and began making calls. I was surprised at how expensive mini donks are and wasn't having any luck finding a rescue donkey. I contacted Asspirin Acres in Vergennes, VT but Marshlyn didn't have any geldings for sale at the time. She later called to tell me that a woman to whom she'd sold some donkeys several years ago wanted to sell them back and would I be interested in one of those geldings? The price was right and the deal was struck. But then the owner decided she couldn't part with the donkeys after all and I was right back to where I started from - donk-less. A few weeks later Marshlyn called to tell me that one of her mares who'd been sold several years previously was being shipped back because she was barren. Marshlyn is a very responsible breeder who honored her contract and replaced the mare but suddenly had a barren mare - obviously she wasn't going to fit into their breeding program and would I be interested? The only catch was that this donkey been running in a big herd out in Nebraska and had no training and very little socialization with humans. Not a problem for me - I was willing to take a chance.
Marshlyn's husband had to be in this area on Christmas Eve day so that's when we arranged to have Jingle delivered. The second she stepped hesitantly off the trailer, we were all in love with this little critter!! She followed Mike out to our pasture (reluctantly at times but she allowed herself to be led) and he recommended that we put Split in the paddock and turn Jingle out in the pasture so that they could sniff each other over the fence. Poor little Jingle looked so lost and all alone out there. She just stood and hung her head. However, if we were to approach her, she would take off in a panic so we took turns sitting in the paddock, all bundled up in winter clothing, hoping she would come to us. Finally my husband said, "It's getting dark. We can't leave her out there all alone and with no shelter. We've got to bring her into the paddock so she can at least get into the barn. You've got to let Split out into the pasture so that they can get acquainted." GULP! Split had been running around the paddock calling to Jingle all afternoon and when we opened that gate, he shot out of there like a thoroughbred at Saratoga! Jingle took one look, went, "GAH! I'm out of here!" and she, too, took off running! They raced around the pasture, Jingle dodging left and right to avoid Split, when suddenly she screeched to a halt. This surprised Split so he put on the brakes, too. He approached her very cautiously - head down, sniffing and snorting. He got right up to her rear end and quick as a wink her little hind feet flew out and landed 2 solid thumps on his left cheek! (He actually had muddy prints there for a day or 2!) He skittered backward and stared. Very slowly, Jingle turned and began walking back up toward the paddock. Split followed respectfully behind and they have been the best of friends ever since.
Jingle didn't warm up to her humans very quickly. She was quite afraid of "the two-leggeds" and any attempt to touch or pat her resulted in her running for her very life. My daughters would go out each day and sit in the snow (they weren't little kids then, either - they were in their early 20's and late teens) and wait and hope that Jingle would come to them. One day Colleen came rushing into the house with the announcement, "Mom! I got one finger on her!" What a break-through! ha ha Slowly, very slowly, Jingle came to accept that we were not going to hurt her and she began to come up to us to get her chest or butt scratched. By spring I could actually run a brush over her and put the halter on her but leading her was another matter entirely!!! We've all heard the expression "stubborn as a mule" but that could be changed very easily to "stubborn as a mini donkey!" Jingle had a lot to teach this "old gray mare" and that's where clicking came in handy!! But for now, I have to write..........
TO BE CONTINUED.............................. :0)

"To carry his load without resting, not to be bothered by heat or cold and always be content: these three things we can learn from a donkey."
Indian Proverb

Enjoy the day, friends!

1 comment:

  1. I love donkeys! There are two mammoth donkeys at the barn I board at. They are so neat. I love the name Jingle as well. Very cute.