1 Last week, we welcomed a new equine friend to the farm. My stable manager, Betsy, was at the gate to meet the trailer and the handsome animal inside.
2 Meet Shetland pony, Harrison Ford. He was a little unsure about the new surroundings at first, but Dr. Faulkner's mother, Kate, who helped care for Ford and who drove him down, calmly assured him all was okay.
3 Ford met Betsy first. At under 11.2 hands tall, Ford is much smaller than my Friesians. Shetland ponies average about 500-600 pounds, which is less than half of what one of my big boys weigh.
4 Ford looked very handsome with his flowing tail and mane. Shetland ponies originated from the Shetland Isles of Scotland. They developed full tails, manes and dense coats to protect them during the harsh winters.
5 Betsy walked Ford to the stable slowly and gently to ensure it was a positive experience for him from the start. Today, Shetland ponies are popular ponies for children to ride, but they are also used as driving ponies, and as show ponies.
6 Shetland ponies come in a variety of colors, but the most common are black, bay, brown, chestnut, gray and parti-colored.
7 Ford didn't mind the camera one bit. As you can see, the Shetland pony has a small, broad head, sloping shoulders, and a short back and legs. For their small size, they are very strong animals.
8 As Ford walked closer to the stable doors, the Friesians sensed something new and different right away. Ford wasn't ready to get too close to them, but he was definitely curious.
9 Shetland ponies are generally gentle, good-tempered and very intelligent; however, they can also be head-strong if not well-trained.
10 Shetland ponies also tend to be long-lived. It is not unusual for a Shetland pony to reach and surpass 30-years of age if they are cared for properly.
11 Ford met the Fell pony, Ban Chunch. In fact, they even touched noses. I hope this is a good sign they'll be great friends.
12 Just like most horses, Ford was very interested in treats. He took one from Betsy right away.
13 Ban Chunch looked on with great curiosity - I think he also wanted some of those treats from Betsy.
14 Ford took to Dolma quickly too, which was not surprising - all the animals adore Dolma. Ford allowed Dolma to wipe his face a bit.
15 Here is Ford as he was introduced to his new stall. The white box to the left is a step, so Ford could reach his automatic waterer. He didn't use a step at his previous barn, but he should figure it out pretty quickly.
16 Dolma, Sarah and Betsy will spend a lot of time with Ford as he gets more acquainted with the farm.
17 Ford started to eat a little hay in his stall, which was a strong indicator he was settling in comfortably.
18 Relative to its size, Shetland ponies are recognized as the strongest of the horse breeds. In the 1800s, Shetlands were imported to Britain in large numbers to work as pit ponies hauling coal cars in the mines.
19 Sasa, one of my Friesians, wanted to meet Ford too. His stall is across and one over from Ford's.
20 Billie, Rufus and Clive are in the stall right next door to Ford. They were very interested in the new pony, and very curious, as you can see by their forward facing ears.
21 The Friesians on the other side of the stable were wondering what all the fuss was about -- after all, it was for a horse half their size.
22 On this day, all the horses wanted a little more attention for themselves. Not unusual - Friesians are described as gentle, docile and very affectionate.
23 After the big meet and greet with Ford, it was calm and quiet at the stable. Welcome to the farm, Ford.