Pony Express – Free Reins Farms

My last blog post introduced you to my rescue donkey Ears. And if you haven’t grown up on a farm, or done any research on donkeys, you might not know that they are heard animals. In other words, they like to have friends, most often horses to protect or ponies and sometimes even other donkeys. So after 10 weeks of Ears flying solo at the new farm I decided it was time to buy him a little brother… This brings us to Banjo.

Banjo is a 2 year old miniature pony who is the same height as one of my dogs. We found him at a local auction, spent more on him then we agreed on, and cancelled a celebration dinner in order to bring him home in the same day. In short, within 12 hours of deciding that Ears needed a brother, he got one.

I finished college on June 10th.
Banjo came home on June 11th.
And I started my summer job on June 13th.

This timeline didn’t allow a lot of down time after a full year at university and 6 weeks at college, but I was home and I had both a donkey and a pony in my backyard so I wasn’t complaining.

Granted by Friday, the only day I had to sleep in in what felt like months, I was looking forward to the lack of alarm and responsibilities. That was until 7 a.m. rolled around and I could hear my mom screaming and running full speed to my bedroom.


I think it was the quickest I have ever jumped out of bed. In fact, I might have even broke a world record because in 30 seconds flat I was awake, alert, dressed, and at the end of my driveway – where I was greeted by a very friendly stranger.

I know about stranger danger. It was drilled into my mind when I was a small vulnerable child. Which is why when an unknown man stopped at the end of my driveway to offer me a drive to my pony I politely declined. Granted I was also expecting my mom to be “right behind me with the car” like she claimed when I flew out of the house seconds earlier.

No sign of my parents. No cell-phone. No socks. And 1 pony who was quickly putting distance between himself and home. So I started walking.

This is where the nice man approached me again and offered me yet another drive. At this point I seriously weighed my options:

  • Option 1: listen to my parents and teachers and say no to the stranger in the car – especially since I didn’t even have my cell phone and my mom was still inside the house.
  • Option 2: trust the man I’ve never met and get to my pony in 1 minute instead of 10. Or if he did end up abducting me then at least I wouldn’t have to spend all morning chasing a pony who clearly did not want to be fenced in.

I picked option 2.

This lead me to meeting my closest neighbour – and the women who was about to loose several soybean crops because of an animal who I rescued days before.

I swear that as soon as Banjo saw me get out of the car he took off. And I mean he completely bolted – the complete opposite direction from home.

Which is when my family finally joined the scene.

Shawn and I took off through the farmers field in the direction that he ran. Kyle drove the roads in hopes of keeping him from jumping over to the next concession. And my mom, well, she drove home to collect cell phones…

I’m sure that her thoughts were helpful, but to this day I can’t figure out how she planned to get cellphones to everyone when we were scattered in different directions or why she thought cell phones were more helpful then looking for the pony – but to each their own.

After 30 minutes of aimlessly following hoof prints through soybean rows – Banjo came running full speed towards us. When he saw me, he slowed down to a trot, came right to me, and dropped his head. I have no idea why he turned around or why he ran away in the first place, but after a long walk back home he was put away safely – where he has stayed – with no further incidents to date.

In summary, the neighbours to the left know us by our escaping donkey, and the neighbours to the right know us from our devil pony who may or may not have stomped several soy beans that morning.

So far, they haven’t ganged together with a petition to get us kicked out the neighbourhood

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