Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together?Emery Allen
Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences.”
Picking up where I left off…
As it turned out, I would only be able to move Winston if I did have another horse, as the vet student who had planned to return after a summer away decided what was best for her and her horse would be to be at a barn that had an indoor arena space to continue riding.
I started to put out feelers with the farm owner and other horse people I know, search online, follow horse rescues on social media. After a couple of weeks, I came across a 5 year old mini named Stumpy who had been a 4H miniature horse, and was purchased at an auction by a (fairly) local Horse Rescue. I thought “why not” and decided to put in an application, and keep looking, as I assumed that rescues get many applications for each of their horses, especially a sweet mini like him.
Approximately 2 weeks, and no news later, I saw a new post from the rescue – Stumpy had found a new friend! And…it would be best for them to find a home together. Stumpy’s new friend’s name was Joker, and here is their story – as shared by Stoneridge Horse Rescue on their Facebook Page:
We had no idea when pairing Stumpy and Joker together, we would be creating the most adorable love story ever.
Stumpy is a bit of a loner (with a case of Little Man Sydrome!) and he was definitely the odd one out in the mini herd, always standing alone while the other ponies groomed each other. We thought he would be the same with Joker, but after a few warning screams, he was totally smitten with Joker (who is the most gentle and patient pony ever!) and now follows him around like a shadow—and Joker seems very okay with it! So If anyone wants to adopt Stumpy along with his emotional support pony Joker, there may be quite a package deal for the pair.”StoneRidge Horse Rescue
That story!! I knew when I read it that this pair was meant to become members of my herd, as we embark on our purpose of supporting children and families through the challenges of growing up. Without further adieu, I direct messaged the rescue (no more waiting around) and asked for more information, and an opportunity to meet them.
That weekend my partner and I would be travelling to Goderich as a getaway to celebrate my 40th (yes, 40!!) birthday. After speaking to the rescue – I was able to book time to visit Stumpy and Joker on Sunday morning at their foster home, which was, conveniently on the way home from the cottage. You should have seen the look on Aaron’s face when I shared that we had the opportunity to meet, not one pony – but too – priceless 😉
Once the initial shock of TWO ponies wore off, he was also excited to meet them, and, despite Joker feeling nervous around men, they got on right away. He knew that we were bringing this pair home.
I wasn’t the only person who applied for Stumpy and Joker, their story had made them “internet famous” and there was many applicants — but I knew in my heart they were meant to be with us, so I confidently let go of any thoughts to the contrary, and took each step in the adoption process one day at a time.
After speaking to several references, including the owner of the barn they would be living at, Jane – to ensure the farm was set up as a safe space, my mentor Mena, to share more about the type of work we do, and who I am as a horse caretaker, and the trainer we are working with, Brie Simpson of Path Equestrian – we got the call, you’ve been successful – let’s arrange trailering next week!
Meet ‘Stumpy’ & ‘Joker’
Joker is very sweet natured, loves attention and is generally just a very nice pony that will thrive in the right hands.
He is a fancy Haflinger/Cob-type (looks like a Gypsy Vanner cross!) He is 14hh and around 5 years old. He was bought back from his adopter because he developed a bucking habit while at training, which he could overcome this in the right situation with a slow and gentle restart. Joker responds to a kind and experienced hand, as he is a sensitive and very smart pony.
Stumpy (he came with that name!) is an approximately 5 year old Miniature Horse gelding. His name comes from the fact that his legs are very short for his body and he’s just an extremely compact little fella (with big hair!) that somewhat resembles one of those ‘fell-well’ ponies. Stumpy is a very sweet fella, loves attention, good to handle and overall is just a nice pony.
Although they came with the names Stumpy and Joker, we didn’t feel that those names did them justice. After getting to know them for a few weeks, we chose the name ‘Drummer’ for Joker – a name to grow into as a steady fellow who is grounded and confident. We chose ‘Teddy’ for Stumpy – because he is a real snuggly little guy. One of the sweet things he goes is that he grooms you as you give him attention.
Our time with Drummer and Teddy is just beginning, we are getting to know them, and are working with positive reinforcement training to support the gentle re-start that Drummer needs. I cannot wait to bring Winston, Drummer and Teddy together as a herd – together, I know they will make a great team, and be in service to others who want to experience joy, connection and growth.