The horses seemed to acclimate fairly quickly to their newer, much smaller digs. They had been on a couple acres of pasture, next to a river (that was hardly a barricade for intelligent ponies). When I first realized that the place I was living was not going to work for the duration I had anticipated, I started coming up with alternate plans. As much as I hated to divide my herd again, I felt that sending the mares back into a long-term breeding lease was the best thing for them. I knew the people who would be caring for them, and I would have fewer horses to figure out what I was going to do with.

Additionally, both these mares are such good broodmares and have such great bloodlines, that they should be producing, as the Fell Pony still has a very small gene pool, particularly in this country. So, I sent a message to Bonnie’s breeder, Cheryl Dutton of Braeberry Farm in Oregon, was happy to throw around some ideas where Bonnie and Yelena are out there in their breeding program. By the time the stuff had hit the fan that morning, I already had made arrangements with Cheryl to come get the mares. This made moving them all to that very small area easier, as I knew it was only for a couple days. Once we were all out of the bad situation, my emotions started to level off… but I did make a mental note that I was somewhat of a basket case and clearly my fitness levels needed work.

On that note, I started making notes. How could this have been better? What if this happens again? As I do not own my own place yet, and am at the mercy of others… it could happen at any time.  So, how would I be different? Was there anything I could do now that would alleviate the stress of that moment?

Part of that answer came as I thought about what had happened and that we were all safe. Our living situations were far from ideal, but we were safe and nobody was threatening our lives. Basically, once you make it through something, you can look back and say, “phew… I made it.” And that feeling helped me let go of the “Oh my God, what if this happens again?!”  I knew my horses would cope with whatever I threw at them. They were not crazy about their tiny pen, but they got along well enough and they were laid back.

My dogs were probably use to moving as much as I was, and the key for them was always taking their dog beds.

And my key?  Well, I think a key for me was to know I would make it. The world is full of kind-hearted people, like the neighbor with the horse trailer who came over right after dinner and allowed me and my horses to do our thing without question. I still had a good friend and family nearby who would help me and we all would land on our feet, eventually. Once you know that… I mean really KNOW that, all the what-ifs are easily shrugged off.