Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Visit with Frankie!

Carolyn is one of those little girls who has always loved anything to do with horses.  It started young.
She played with little horse figures and pretended she was caring for them.  She loved all the old horse movies including National Velvet, Furry and Black Beauty, even though they always made her cry.  She was overly excited anytime we came upon any pony rides at any festival or fair.
When she turned five years old, Tim and I decided to sign her up for ridding lessons.  She had a wonderful young instructor named Miss Meredith.  Miss Meridith owned a very gentle 16 hand horse as her lesson horse.  To see my extra tiny little Carolyn, up on him for lessons, was a bit intimidating for me!  But Carolyn was in pure happiness for each lesson.

Tim and I figured that if we provided lessons for Carolyn it would show if this was just a passing fancy or something she would love and stick with.  The riding lessons only made her more in love with anything to do with ponies or horses.

When Carolyn turned six we decided to buy her, her first pony.  I studied and tried to wrap my mind around horse care and how to purchase the right one for your child... but only knew a lot about goats, chickens and what we already had on our farm.  I had never owned a horse.  I thought you just take good care of them by providing water and pasture.  Get their hooves trimmed once in a while and in return they love you and let you ride them.  NOT.  There is a whole horse psychology thing with them, a leader follower type relationship that I had no idea about.  Something ingrained in every horse because of them being a herd animal that is preyed upon.  They like to have a leader or be the leader. 

So we bought a pony for Carolyn using my limited knowledge and ability.  He was a very beautiful 12.3 hand pony named Frankie.  An English sport pony, type of pony.
Miss. Merideth started coming to our farm to do Carolyn's lessons on Frankie right away.
Carolyn and Frankie did bond.
But he was dancy and with Carolyns timidity as a beginner, Frankie was unsure without a leader type personality on him.  
He was never dangerous and tried to please but him being dancy and unsure made Carolyn even more timid and feel unsafe.

On the ground Carolyn had full confidence around him and loved on him and he loved her.
She spent a lot of time out in the barn talking to him, reading to him and grooming him.    But in the saddle, she was very nervous and Frankie felt it.  After Frankie lived here for over a year we decided to get Carolyn something smaller to learn on and gain her confidence on.  We looked for a really good home for Frankie as Carolyn loved him dearly and worried where he would go.  We sold him to a wonderful family that lived about five minutes from us.  Frankie was purchased for their daughter "A".  Frankie and  their daughter "A" were a perfect match from the start.  That made us all happy and Carolyn could see Frankie if she wanted to. 

Soon Carolyn also got regular updates about Frankie because "A" became Carolyn's weekly riding instructor when Miss Meridith moved away.

After we sold Frankie, we bought Carolyn and Zeke each a mini pony to learn to ride on and how to care for.
Those two little ponies were just perfect for them.
Carolyn's pony was a black and white mini named Rocket.

Zekes was a white appaloosa named Smoky!
They were the best purchase for my children and my kids rode them for years.
It was with those two ponies that the children learned how to totally care for their ponies themselves.  They each have a stall for thier ponies and would get them out first thing in the morning.  Pick out hooves and groom them,  all the time showeing them with treats, kisses and hugs.  Then walk them down and turn them out in the field to eat for the day.  At 3:00 pm every day Carolyn and Zeke go out to the barn to muck their stalls, pack hay racks with hay and fill water buckets.  Then in the evening they walk down to the field, halter and walk their ponies back up to the barn.  They pick hooves again and groom them out and put them up for the night in their stalls.  It has been so good for the children to have this responsibility.  It has been their daily ritual for about six years now.

Zeke has autism and shows very little emotion and he used to show very little love.  But having a pony and his other animals has brought out such tender emotions from him.  I love to watch him with his animals so tender and sweet.  Talking softly to them as he works with them.  After Zeke out grew Smokey we purchased Dixie for him.  Dixie is 11 hands tall.   He recently out grew his pony Dixie.
Dixie is 20 years old now and Zeke is to heavy for her anymore.  I asked if he was ready to sell Dixie to a new home to be enjoyed by another little child and get him a larger pony that he could ride on and he said no.  He said he didn't care if he never rode again.  He loved Dixie and she was a good pony and he only wanted her.  So he just loves on her and takes good care of her.  I might try to teach her to pull a cart at some point in my spare time if I ever have any!  :)

Carolyn out grew Rocket when she was 9 and we went thru a few ponies that were not good matches for her at all.  Finally, about a year ago we found Millie.  Millie is a 12 hand 5 year old mare.  Carolyn and her bonded instantly.  They have a wonderful time together and are a good fit for each other.  After working together weekly for one whole year they are really getting to know and understand each other and what each other is saying.  God is so good.  I love seeing Carolyn so happy with Millie.

"A" Carolyn's riding instructor still owns Frankie and recently invited Carolyn over to her farm to spend an after noon with him.

Carolyn was thrilled.  Just so happy and thrilled.
I think they both enjoyed seeing each other again...What do you think????

Thank you and God bless you "A"  for taking the time to make Carolyn so happy.

Psalm 24:5  He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.




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