At about 8a EDT on Sunday, August 30 Gene and his friend Nina began their trip west to their new homes!
Gene’s luxury accommodations for his VERY long trip west! Pennsylvania really does look lovely this time of year, especially when compared to the inferno that is Texas in August.
We were SO very fortunate to connect with a fellow Chincoteague Pony owner who happens to live within 30 miles of me and already had a trip back east scheduled with an empty trailer! She offered to bring Gene back to Texas for us and another future Oklahoma resident joined the trip. It was probably good they were travel buddies, it would likely have been a much more stressful trip for a baby pony to make alone.
Gene’s drivers stopped many times along the way to allow the foals to stretch their road weary legs, drink water and grab a bite to eat. They evidently turned their hay into their bedding! Chincoteague Ponies are known to be good drinkers, which is SO good especially for foals on a long road trip. These kids drank lots of water and never went off their feed.
Gene napping at a stop. Nina never laid down the entire trip. Poor girl!
I can imagine how exhausted A and M were after 30 hours of traveling. They arrived at my gate at almost exactly 2p on Monday, nearly exactly 30 hours after leaving Pennsylvania!
The best site of August! Gene’s ride arrives at the farm! Too bad it was 101F. Yikes!
The ponies were very easy to unload and they happily went into their new stall. I was impressed because the very first thing they did was take a big long drink. Why don’t big horses do this better?!
Babies getting a good long drink of water, likely glad that the floor under their feet is solid and not moving!
Boot City made a makeshift barrier to prevent the foals from touching noses with their neighbour (a very grumpy Coco). They will be as isolated as possible for at least 10 days to prevent them and my horses from sharing cooties. Nina will probably go to her permanent home later this week or weekend. I think it was a huge help for both foals to make the biggest part of their trip with a friend. Nina is quite a bit more apprehensive about humans than Gene so his presence has given her some confidence with all the new things. She will even eat out of a feed pan held by a scary person with him.
They also eat like champs! Jaguar is teaching them to nicker every time the barn door slides open in hopes of more food. It’s pretty cute.
They laid down to sleep a LOT in their first 24 hours in a stall. Most foals lay down to sleep more than adult horses and it speaks a lot to their development from feral foals to domesticated ponies that they felt comfortable enough to lay down almost immediately. We are SO excited for our journey with Gene! I’m so glad I’ll have a long weekend coming up to just hang out and get to know him. His co-owner was here for his arrival and i’m sure will be back again VERY soon!
And now, we nap under our fans.
Our story left off with our pony being purchased and a semblance of a plan was coming together to get him home to Texas. It has been nearly two weeks now and Gene is currently hanging out at Stoney Creek Chincoteagues with a few of his island buddies. We are so grateful to have connected with Tipson and Allison to care for Gene and give him some time to mature a bit and acclimate to life not on the islands with his Mom.
A lovely photo of Gene with his Mom (Lefty’s Checkmark) at the Carnival site in Chincoteague from photographer Nicole Menta.
While he’s in the care of Stoney Creek Chincoteagues he will learn to wear a halter, eat commercial feed, socialise with humans and (hopefully) be taught to be led or halter trained. Right now he lives in a stall with a few other Chincoteague foals and it appears he’s one of the bigger foals right now. Gene’s co-owner has done some research and it turns out that Gene’s dam and his sire are two of the taller ponies on the islands, which we are VERY excited about since I’m 5’8′ and his co-owner is a bit taller than me so hopefully we will both be able to ride him when he’s full grown.
Gene with one of his stall buddies.
I purchased the book Your Chincoteague Pony Foal’s First Year to help prepare for Gene’s arrival in Texas, which is projected to be at the very end of August or beginning of September. I’ve brought along plenty of foals, but wanted to be sure I was prepared for a feral pony foal who will undoubtedly have some different needs than a domestic horse foal. One of the primary things is that Gene will need some pelleted milk based feed for a couple months. Since he was weaned from his dam at only three months he will need a bit of extra milk nutrition. When he gets closer to six months old he’ll start getting a commercial foal feed and phase out the milk based pellets.
We also plan to keep him isolated from my other horses (and pony and donkey) for at least 14 days. He will only have had one round of vaccinations due to his age and he will have been exposed to some bacteria/viruses that my Texas equids haven’t been exposed to so this should assist everyone in staying healthy during Gene’s transition to Texas.
Gene in his stall yesterday with his same palomino buddy.
Last, but not least, we HAVE to tell you about Gene’s OFFICIAL registered name! Gene is registered with the Chincoteague Pedigree group as Ginuwine Lefty II. We have long been obsessed with the song “Pony” by Ginuwine. Now that we actually own a PONY and we got to name him ourselves, this was really inevitable! The rest of his name is derived from his dam (Lefty’s Checkmark) and his sire (Don Leonard Stud II). Had we gotten a filly, her barn name would have been Winnie, but since it’s a colt his barn name is Gene!
He’s SUCH a ham and he has some large ears. Hopefully he grows into those ears!
Boot City and I are prepping the barn and getting things together to prepare for Gene’s arrival. His trip from Pennsylvania to Texas should take 2-3 days and he will have a travel buddy and a roommate in Texas for a few days as another foal was purchased by an Oklahoma resident and will be making the trip west with him.