Posted by Stacy Bullock on April 08, 2014
In this article, I am going to introduce you to some of my riding buddies. Of course, my number one riding buddy was my younger sister, Wendy, whom was by far the craziest between the four of us girls. Wendy and I are 14 months apart and as kids, we were about the same size and both rode ponies. And boy did we ride! With 54 acres of fields and woods, we would chase deer, set up jumps with logs in the woods, and even pack a lunch in our saddle bags to enjoy in the soft grass of the woods' floor.
Another one of our riding buddies was a girl named Kacie Cramer. Kacie boarded her brown Morgan named Rocky at our farm and Wendy rode a pinto pony named Jack, while I rode Ziggy's Mom, Littlebit (Ziggy was still in the training process). We would spend literally as much as 6 or 8 hours riding all over our trails and in the woods! I guess you could say we were the ultimate pony pals.
The story I'm going to tell, is one of suspense. It takes place in the back woods of our farm, which at the time was vacant of any deer. We no longer were graced with the inevitable sight of a certain doe and her quadruplet fawns which we and our horses had made friends with from afar. Every time my sister and I rode out to the woods we had a strange feeling as if we were being followed. Our ponies would spook at what seemed to be nothing; which made us wonder, maybe a pack of coyotes had moved in? Or was someone spying on us?
We later told Kacie, who told us that a pack of coyotes big enough wouldn't pass up taking down a small horse for a meal. They work in teams, pushing their prey into hopeless situations and baiting them into exhaustion. They rip flesh, tear throats, and attack hindquarters, causing shock and loss of blood. The pursuit is marked by speed. They can run as fast as 43 mph, and striking leaps that reach up to 13 feet. (Of course, coyotes may contemplate taking down a pony, but would most likely stick to its diet of small deer, rabbits, ground hogs, etc. which are obviously much weaker than a pony.) However, with our imaginations as kids, this seemed terrifying and exciting all at the same time. We decided to go out into the woods to catch of glimpse of these elusive followers, whether animal or human.
We rode out back, pretending to be Indians and giving ourselves and our horses pretend Indian names, we then came up with special "code" colors we would yell through the woods depending on if we thought we saw something, or did see something, and what it was. We spread out into different ends of the woods and made our horses stand very still and quiet while we listened and kept our eyes peeled for subtle movements in the brush.
We spent hours yelling out colors and coming to each other's aid to chase noises and follow tracks. At one point, I was on the opposite end of the woods as Wendy and Kacie were, when all of the sudden, Kacie yelled "RED!" which meant that she saw a coyote! Wendy and Kacie both galloped out onto the lane which lead back to the barn. I galloped after them in a panic, being a little left behind due to Littlebit's short legs. When we all made it back, they both told me that they thought the coyote attempted to chase them.
Now as we look back at that experience, we can just laugh at how we allowed our imaginations to run away, and wouldn't trade our adventures for anything.
Did you have any Pony Pal Adventures? Share in the comments below!