The life of a pony horse

I answer to Perry, but my real name s Devil’s Passion (kinda makes you go shivery all over doesn’t it!).

Sadly, my racing career was not as devilishly successful as one could hope for; however, in the end I landed solidly on my feet. During those early days I heard the words bandied about such as “good temperament”, “solid disposition:, “willing”, etc…., and that paved the way to my future career as a “pony horse”.

If you ever go to the horse races, or watch them on tv, you’ve probably noticed that each racehorse is escorted to the starting gate by another horse whose sole role is to provide a buffer of calm equilibrium surrounding the contestant. Just imagine the barn on racing days – the air becomes electric – adrenaline infuses every horse, trainer, jockey, groomer – whoever is present. And what are you going to do to control all that energy – why, you want to focus it on the racehorse, of course. And that’s where I come in. Every horse entering the starting gate understands what is expected of him or her – only one thing – win, win, win. You think that creates pressure – you betcha your sweet boots it does! My job is to help contain all that energy and excitement and focus on the job at hand; the goal being to get these kids (and they are kids) into the starting gate without falling apart and losing confidence. I liked my job – I was good at it and would have kept going; however, the years take their toll and by the age of 20 I was ready for retirement.

Enter Brook Hill Farm and was I ever amazed!!! In all my years of ponying for Laurel Racetrack, my job was to help train racehorses, and then I returned to the barn for rest and relaxation. I never went “to pasture”. I didn’t even know what to do, for heaven’s sake. Here’s a photo of me the first day at my new digs with my new pasture buddies – do I look happy or not! Now, I’m beginning to consider what my next job may be. Perhaps a therapy horse, or project horse foe one of our programs – I’m a good teacher. The point is: Don’t ever let anyone tell your life is over at retirement.

Come visit me at Brook Hill!

Perry

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