Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sienna...The Cheetos Eating Pony!

My kidlets recently asked why I never blog about Sienna anymore. Huh??? I think that I always include her (when applicable), but they said that they felt that she was not on enough...ho hum!!! Well we can't have that now, can we?? So, I told them that I would do a quick post about Sienna, and how much she has always been loved and treasured. Sienna was born during a 4-H meeting at my parents farm on May 25, 1993, and as you can see from the above picture (yes, that is me!), I was right there to dry her off!
The story goes like this...
Amber had a little pony by the name of Red, who had recently been rescued by his original breeder/owner. Red had been kept, unbeknown to anyone, in a 10x10 dog kennel his whole life, and when his owner passed away, he was discovered. His owners' family contacted Isabelle (his breeder) who quickly came and took him back. Did I mention that Red was about 25??? Shortly after his rescue, he came to live at our house, and he was so debilitated that he could hardly walk. This was not from a lack of food, but from a lack of muscle tone due to his confinement. He was not the best looking, or the best acting little pony, but he quickly won a place in all of our hearts ...especially Amber's. (Below is a picture of Red and Amber)Right about the time Red was rescued, we had bred our little American Shetland mare, Star, to Isabelle's American Shetland stallion, Commander, in hopes of having a young pony foal for Amber to raise as her own. (Amber has always ridden horses, but she also has a love for driving them as well) My mom has all of the good pictures of Star (she was shown by all three of my sisters in riding and driving classes), but I found this one of her and Sienna to show you what she looked like. (Her tail was really long and thick, so I am thinking that the wind was blowing in this picture.!)CD's Commander, Sienna's sire (pictured below at age 22). Not hard to tell who she took after, is!!??Unfortunately, Red colicked that first winter out of captivity, and had to be put down, but at least he had seven months of knowing what love was, and learning how to be a horse. Amber was devastated (we all were), and we began to anticipate the arrival of Star's foal even more.
When Sienna was born, we were all amazed at how much she resembled Red, and we didn't think that it was just a coincidence either. She was Red's little replacement, and she would lead the life that Red, and every other mistreated pony, should have led. (The End)Please don't get all Fugly on me about the above picture (with Sienna standing on the picnic blanket with my sisters). I put it up to show you just how darn cute she was! Sienna has always been such a character, and she used to frequently come in our house when she was out grazing in the yard. Below is a picture we took of her, when she was two, eating corn off of our plates...and don't worry, she never pottied in the!!!
Now for a little PSA ( Hi Mrs. Mom!!) about ponies...
A lot of people detest ponies and say that they are nasty, hateful, and mean, but I will not hesitate to tell them that they are wrong. Ponies are not born nasty, hateful, or mean, rather they are made that way by being mistreated by children their whole lives. For some reason, a lot of parents think that ponies are like baby sitters, and let their children do whatever they like to them. Trust me, even the most mild mannered horse would have its patience tested by a bunch of snot nosed brats climbing all over it. (Sorry! Not all kids are awful, and it is really the parents' fault for not monitoring/teaching their kids to respect ponies). We have bred and raised several ponies in the past, and not one of them ever had a horrible disposition...not one!!
The disposition of most ponies, before they are ruined by adults who don't manage their children, resembles that of a big dog, or a goat. They are friendly, inquisitive, and just ask that you treat them with respect. (ADDENDUM...I was just reading this on Sunday morning, and realized that I forgot to mention that as a result of all of their years of surviving on their own in harsh conditions, ponies can be rather stubborn and tenacious.That is why they are not always suitable for children...because kids tend to have the same!!! Honestly, some children are better suited for horses than ponies, because horses will tend to take a lot more flak from a pushy child than a pony will. Ponies are creative and have learned how to shove children off of their backs by running under low-lying tree branches, or scraping them off on an arena post. Seriously!!!)
The other unfortunate thing that happens to ponies, is that people let them founder, often repeatedly. Ponies evolved in very harsh conditions, with very little food sources, so now that they live in the 21st century, they face the risk of over-eating all of the time. Despite what many people think, ponies only need about two hours of grazing per day, or about 1/4 to 1/2 a flake of hay twice a day. This may be adjusted according to the ponies weight and size, but even larger ponies that may look more horse-like, will founder. Ponies have the magic capability of getting fat just by looking at!!! Gee...I do too, so does that mean I am a pony???
So...if you want a great little pony, you may try to rehabilitate one that has been mistreated, or you may buy a younger one that still has a shot at being raised right. Either way, ponies make great children's mounts...just don't let your child abuse them by pulling on their mouths, kicking their sides, or dragging them around.
What kind of life do you think Sienna has had???


Pony Girl said...

Great post and pictures, Mel! That is such a sad story about Red. It makes me mad when I hear of people that do that to horses. At least he was fed, but to be confined his whole life? I am glad he spent his final months with your family!
Sienna is so cute and looks a lot like her daddy! Pony foals are just too precious.
I agree with you about ponies. After all, I am "pony girl!" :) I rode ponies up until I was 17 when got my first "horse." I mostly had good luck with my ponies except for one. My first pony was a gorgeous little black Shetland. He was a good pony, a driving and riding pony but we just rode him.
I do hope to have a pony again someday!

Gail said...

A bitter sweet story about Red. At least he had an opportunity to know heaven before he went.
I agree, ponies and pit bulls have a bad reputation. It is not the animal but the owner!
All my minature horses were doll babies. The only trouble I ever had was the older, poorly trained that I had purchased. After a short time, they were not a problem.
Sienna is beautiful!

Mrs Mom said...

Awwww... What a great story Mel!! And that PSA? ROCKIN!!! Excellent!! Ponies are incredible little creatures, and SO intelligent. They have the patience of Job, and I am lucky that Graham is here to teach us all and spoil my sons.

Sienna is a really beautiful little lady!! Love the shot of her in the house...hehehe

Fantastyk Voyager said...

What a wonderful story about Sienna and her family. Poor Red, but at least he had a good home at the end.

I guess I am prejudiced. A few years back, I had a pony, Nelson, that I had to retrain. He was incredibly fun to be around, but I always think you should buy a small horse for your kids, so that they can grow with it. I've known some very spoiled ponies!

How great to see the birth! I have my fingers and toes crossed...

Grey Horse Matters said...

Adorable! I think Sienna has probably had the most wonderful life a pony could have with loving people who treat her right.
I must say I agree with you about ponies and their behavior towards children. They are just protecting themselves from kids who aren't taught the proper way to treat an animal. Good post, great pictures.

Adventures Of A Horse Crazed Mind said...

Great post! Ponies are such hardy little creatures!!! I have to agree that the owners tend to be the ones that make them mean. It is a little like people with little dogs that dont think it is any big deal that their dogs bite or are not trained!!! I HATE that! Just because they are little doesnt mean that they dont need just as much, if not more, training than a larger dog/horse!

You ponies were soooo cute! I love the one with the silver tail.

PS- I left you a comment over on my blog. Shhh! Dont tell anyone but the pic is...

Andrea said...

Okay, I thought she was cute staning on the blanket wanting in on some picnic fun!! Sienna was a cutie!! I love that she went in the house!! LOL!!

And I love ponies. We have had a few here and I have loved them. I always had my kids ride the ponies with hackamores until they got better at riding with quieter hands. Ponies do take a lot of abouse. And I think it's because they are so small, the "big" people take advantage of that.

Breathe said...

So ponies kind of sound like little dogs. Most little dog breeds are terrible with children because they aren't up to the rough play kids can dish out - even when they don't mean to.

That said you can find lots of little dogs that do great with kids, I guess the same can be said of ponies? I've heard something similar about minis - but the one that was out at the stables was so good with kids I couldn't believe minis were anything other than big love bunnies. :)

Glad Red had some time with you, sometimes that's all we can give our rescues in life. Wonderful post...

Stephanie said...

Awww I like your post on ponies - I grew up with one, a nice well mannered mister, that knew a heck of a lot more about showing than I did and he never hesitated to point that out.

I think ponies short end of the deal all the time, I think you have heard me refer to ponies - as the poor shit upon ponies. And I still think that's true for the reason you listed above and for the cuteness factor - like with minis people think that they are soooo kuuuutee so they buy one or two or three of them not knowing a dang thing about them.

Natarojo said...

Love the story, and the pictures! My heart goes out to Red. He was likely happy, not knowing it should have been any other way. *sniff

Melanie said...

To all-
Glad you enjoyed the pony post! I have always loved ponies, and will probably always have one. :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I LOVED this psot, Melanie and learned so much about ponies and about beautiful, and charming Sienna...the wonder pony with a bit of handsome and special Red within her little pony heart.
What a bittersweet story about Red. I'm glad you shared that.

Oh, and I would have totally had Sienna enjoying a picnic with me, too. What a sweet little thing and a great way to socialize her, I think.
I think it's great that you even invited Sienna into your home. What fun!

I SO wish you lived closer to me, so you could help me find a suitable pony for my 5 yr old daughter, Jenna. She is too terrified to sit on a full-size horse. She has sat on a friend's pony before and just adored the experience.
She doesn't ride, though. She's happy just sitting or being led, slowly, around. She's very loving and gentle with Baby Doll, so I know she'd do well with a pony, but it must be gentle and calm, too.
With her Aspergers, any scary situation or a fall would set her way back, but I would like to help her build up her self-confidance.

I wish I could find a therapy pony. One that's been used as a therapy pony for very young children.
Sure wish you lived closer to help me find the perfect pony. :)

New Mexico

Melanie said...

You know that I would move to NM in a!!!
She definitely needs a kind, gentle, old soul, or a calm, new, young one. Wish that I could help you out there too! :)

One thing to keep in mind with a lot of ponies, is that you get whay you pay for. A gentle-natured pony that has been raised, trained, and treated right, often costs a pretty penny. It's the little ruined ones that people give away for dirt cheap. (By ruined I mean foundered as well as mentally)