In search of ponies: Some choices worth risk

Sharna Johnson

My life wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have my Sancha.

She was the first I saw when I began my search, and no matter what, I always went back to her. As a matter of fact, the night after I met her, I couldn’t sleep. I paced and fretted, telling myself to stuff it and move on.

But I couldn’t.

My thoughts for three months were consumed with her before I made a move.

I asked myself how I would integrate her into my life, put her up in a nice pad and find pockets of time to sneak away to be with her.

Could I afford her? Would I have time? Did I know enough to care for her? Would I be able to foster a long-term, positive relationship with her? Could I teach her what she needed to know?

I placed so much pressure on myself in making the decision, the commitment…

I tested others, read the classified ads, plumb wore myself out, but I kept going back to her.

Finally, after a ton of reading, seeking advice from friends and acquaintances (I’ll admit, listening mostly to what I wanted to hear), sleepless nights, visits to see her, and finally a clean bill of health from the Doc, the deal was done.

I took the plunge.

I think with every major decision in life, at least in my experience, you bog yourself down with research, make lists of pros and cons, toil and contemplate and then in the end you cross your fingers close your eyes and jump.

Doing what you probably wanted to do all along anyway, only slightly more educated and as a result, totally responsible for the outcome.

It was a cold day in January, 2009. As I watched them snake the ropes around her, tugging her head and pulling her rear end at the same time, I had second thoughts.

“What the heck am I doing?” “Am I out of my mind?”

As she set back on her hindquarters, nose stretched forward as far as it would go against the ropes with a wild look in her eyes, I looked away and told myself to stay the course.

And again, when we arrived at her new home and I heard the crazed stomping, snorting and whinnies coming from the trailer like a violent thunder storm trapped in a tin can, I told myself it was too late, she was mine, good bad or indifferent.

Commitment made, I waited for the explosion as the door opened.

But it never came.

Standing there with a little blood on her bottom lip from her harrowing trip, she looked out, calmed by the sight of sunlight.

In those early days I juggled a gazillion emotions. Pride and joy often gave way to discouragement, frustration and fear only to be replaced with love and adoration and then back around again in a vicious circle.

A year and a half later she is still happy to see me when I arrive, but often reminds me that she wants more of this or that, alternating between being playful to turning her back on me, to begging for touch and comfort.

And I have watched her grow from pudgy to a sleek, eye-catching young lady with a swanky step.

Even with her sometimes-rotten attitude and the effort it takes to love her some days, I am still plagued with thoughts of her and look forward to the feel of her warm breath on my cheek and brushing her red-tipped, silky black hair from her eyes.

The decision to share my life with her was so difficult and yet as time passes those concerns have eased and I now know the choice was the right one.

In fact it was my love and appreciation of her finer qualities that led me to bring her brother to live with us.

Much has changed since those first months and she is now the youngest of my little herd of three.

But she is special, and one thing’s for certain, my Sancha’s still got my heart.