Humans are capable of brilliant inventions, concepts and ideas, but giving an infant of one species to the infant of another isn’t generally considered one of them.
On Christmas of 2009, the hero of our tale, a pony colt of 8 months of age, left the ‘breeding farm’ where he was born, and travelled to a nearby home to be presented as just such a present, to a toddler girl. Santa was likely credited, and would dis-own such a bad concept surely, if asked. He would prefer the stuffed version. But our little colt was the flesh and blood version; and there he was, a breathtaking tri-color baby with bright blue eyes, and probably a big red bow. He was frightened, but handled it was best as he could, despite missing his mom and his herd. I am sure that the little girl was thrilled and she probably squealed with delight. And the parents were happy. But the little girl, only 4, certainly wasn’t going to be feeding, caring and training this baby horse. How soon afterwards, when the pony accidentally nipped her fingers or jumped when they tried to ride him, is debatable, and irrelevant. Neither the small girl or the small colt can be blamed for their lack of successful interaction. The novelty waned and with it, his care. Withouth much ado, soon the baby colt became forgotten.
For awhile there was another horse to keep him company, and for awhile there was food. As winter became spring and then summer, there plenty of grass to eat, so the colt was happy enough. As he passed his first birthday he tried to embrace being a horse; but, the seasons crept closer to the holidays again, and with it, his second winter. His care decreased, his hooves long and overgrown, his halter too tight, and resentment grew from the humans. He was becoming an annoyance. So it was the winter found the colt alone, with longer periods of time between hay, and he got thinner and hungrier. In desperation he began to get out of the fence. He would be found blocks away, searching for scraps of dried grass. The people really started to get angry, and one year after he was the ‘cherished gift’, he had become a burden. He didn’t know any of this directly, but he could feel it, and so, he tried again and again to leave.
On what was to be his last escape, he was found by a neighbor as he wandered aimlessly. She took pity on him, and altho’ she returned him, she determined to help him escape for good. Now he was tied inside a shed with no way out, and the most minimal of food. He was shrunken, far below a healthy weight or height. The year had taken it’s toll. He grew sadder.
The woman didn’t forget him, and wrote to friends, asking for help. She worked and worked to come up with a solution to help this poor little guy. Her letter finally was passed along to us at Rosemary Farm, and we agreed to welcome him. She approached her neighbors again, about taking the colt away, and they seemed happy to be rid of him. Within the week, he was here. The woman was a true friend to him and put herself out to help him; while I am sure that he didn’t know this directly, he can feel this as well. He is safe, he has another chance.
So welcome “Picasso” to the Rosemary Farm family, and health and long life to you little one..! Your story will have a happy ending.
(p.s. I feel the strong need to add a postscript; This story does NOT mean that youngsters cannot enjoy horses. I know of a very young boy who is very horse savvy, as is and his mother. She purchased a seasoned pony for him, and she still had that pony ridden by an older rider first, to set them both up for success. That’s a good plan and a happy story and I should tell that one as well. Alas, the stories that walk into our barns aren’t usually the happy versions.)