one naughty pony

by Sharon Santoni
I had planned to leave you with a wonderful post for the weekend, full of architectural detail, elaborate text and fabulous photos.  I am afraid to say that a pony has changed my timetable this morning and I need to vent a little emotion here.
May I introduce you to Iris.    Iris is what you might call a free spirit, although this morning I called him quite a few other and less complimentary names.
girl riding a horse through a field
Iris has been part of our family for 6 years.  To begin with he had a certain amount of excess energy and regularly helped us to dismount at the most unexpected moments, but at the age of 10 he decided he was too cool for that game and became a model family pony, well almost.
black and white photo of a girl feeding a horse
The only problem Iris has today is that he’s rather bright.  Who says bright says easily bored, curious, eager to explore, always looking for a solution to a problem.   This morning his problem was that he didn’t want to stay in his field and he found a solution….. three times, and that was just before 11am.  Houdini on four legs.
For a while he was in livery at the local stables   where he was the only pony who needed a padlock on his stable door.  His endearing habit was to wait for everyone to go home at night, then unbolt his stable, choose a couple of pals and unbolt their doors too, then lead everyone to the cereal store where a midnight feast was just an easy-peasy door latch away.
He gets loads of affection, and he’s always pleased to see us
close up of a horse's face
He likes to make himself useful…
girl reading on a horse's back while the horse grazes
…and we wouldn’t swap him for the finest sports horse, but this morning, I promise you
he heard language from this blogger that I cannot put into print!
Wishing you a fine weekend!
May all your four-legged friends stay put![blank]


Pamela Terry and Edward September 17, 2010 - 12:39 pm

Ah, how can you be angry at that beautiful face!!

High Heeled Life September 17, 2010 - 2:18 pm

As a reader I'm in complete aww of such a beautiful creature …. and truly intelligent!!! As this marvelous creature's Mommy .. I'm certain at the time you were less then amused at his creativity..Smile… our four-legged babies big .. small and all sizes in between .. make our life a little more sweet.. HHL

cityfarmer September 17, 2010 - 3:01 pm

are you saying he was n.a.u.g.h.t.y.?
as in- he ran away???

this is better than an architectural post ….

Nancy September 17, 2010 - 3:06 pm

He looks like a real love.

a Broad September 17, 2010 - 3:10 pm

I never met a horse that I did not love. Iris looks like he is very easy to love.
Maybe you should change his name to Houdini ?
Happy Weekend to you all.

Bunny September 17, 2010 - 3:32 pm

Ohhh. I soooo know what you're going through. In April my husband and I adopted a retired service dog — 7-year-old black lab that we thought would be great company for our 6-year-old yellow lab who lost her buddy a year or so ago. It took him a couple of months to acclimate and get over his depression from losing his "person" (we know she died, but not much else). Then this super bright, super well-mannered guy just got incredibly bored and started finding the weak spots in our fence. We'd make one repair, then a few days later would get a call: "We have Brutus. Please come pick him up." Of course his "sister" would always escape with him. Does "too smart for his own good" strike a chord with you? In desperation, we consulted the trainer who had brought him to us. She told us that he hadn't really been ready to retire and that we should "put him to work" every chance we could. Since we're not disabled, it had never occured to us, but now Brutus picks up his toys, his dinner dish, gets the newspaper and the mail and (newest chore) the television remote. He carries plastic grocery bags in from the car. I'm running out of ideas. Got any?

Debra Phillips September 17, 2010 - 5:23 pm

this unintentional post put a huge grin on my face! thank you sharon, or should i say …..thank you iris

Cathi September 17, 2010 - 7:34 pm

Aw…how can you be mad at that gorgeous face? Happy weekend to you! xxoo 🙂

Acquired Objects September 17, 2010 - 7:50 pm

Awww, come on Mom he was simply playing, what a beautiful face. Loved this post!!! Look at it this way you got your exercise in for the day!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia September 17, 2010 - 8:54 pm

He is gorgeous!!! Does that make up for his bad behavior?


Pamela September 17, 2010 - 8:57 pm

Oh i can sooo relate to this endearing post!!! But my troubles are not from a pony but a highly intelligent hard headed "German" shepherd!!
We also have a very large black cat who torments us constantly with his daily antics!!
Animals…what would our human world be like without them?!
Pamela from French Buttons 🙂

French Spanish Online September 17, 2010 - 10:43 pm

did you know the word pony come from the old French then came back to France as an English name and the first meaning was little horse

bethsheba September 18, 2010 - 4:20 am

Your post today brought back many a memory of having the same problem
With our horses doing a walk about. And having to search the neborhood
For them. Iris is a very beautiful horse besides being very intelligent.

You are definitely blessed with Family, Home and Animals, your blog
puts a smile on my face, have a wonderful weekend !

Can't See Sheep September 18, 2010 - 5:27 am

What a stunning blog you have, I've been reading many back entries & such sensative photography, you really love what you photograph. France has always been a fascinating place to me & your blog really shows it off.

That Iris of yours looks like a lovely fellow, that star on his forehead & his eyes are so beautifully set, but that look, that glint he has to them, the one that says "I'm far, far too intelligent for my own good."

All that said, OMG thank you, thank you, thank you! You have given me the biggest smile today. Someone else knows the kind of stuff we went through with one of my grandpa's horses. There was nothing he could not unlock & get into. If you had put sweet feed in Fort Knox he would have found a way to get to it. We had to use two kinds of fencing, pagewire & electric & even then we had to walk all the fence lines a minimum of once a week, checking, because you'd watch & the horse would be out there checking. He was the one I grew up riding & always the ringleader when something was up.

That's what it is with these particular horses, dogs & others, they're so very intelligent & when they get bored, oh boy, you are in for Mr. Toad's wild ride! Grandpa called that horse everything, in both English & French, not for delicate ears. He was made many good offers on the horse, but refuesed them all. They do keep life interesting, sometimes a little more than we want, but they do make for good stories & our lives just wouldn't be the same without them.:)

Thank you for posting this & have a great weekend!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes September 18, 2010 - 5:38 am

Hello, this is my first visit to your blog, and it's lovely! Iris is very sweet looking! I'm new to blogging and having a great time. I can relate to having an animal with high energy! We have cockapoo (cocker spaniel & poodle mix) who is very intelligent, has high energy, and likes to be entertained – he rules the roost! Of course we love him and wouldn't trade him for all the tea in the world! If you'd like to visit my blog, I'm in New England! It's exciting to get new Followers! I enjoyed my visit today!

E. Charlotte September 18, 2010 - 7:05 pm

Oh I loved your Iris story! I hope you don't have to deal with too much nonsense from that horse, but the stories are at least entertaining! 🙂

Delana September 18, 2010 - 10:10 pm

Is he by any chance part Welsh pony? I had one (Justin) in one of my other lives. He was so full of "piss and vinegar" as we say, and though completely exasperating…his antics and intelligence were amazing!

Turquoise Diaries September 19, 2010 - 3:13 pm

As a newcomer to your blog, I love your photos and life…Beautiful….

Sarah September 19, 2010 - 5:03 pm

What a fun post! Beautiful photos. Love that last shot. 😉

lulumusing September 19, 2010 - 5:04 pm

This was a good substitute for your intended blog, most entertaining. Most of us have experienced a challenging animal from time to time and can guess at the language you didn't print! I do enjoy your blog and have on my list of things to do staying in your cottage. L

Fräulein Klein September 19, 2010 - 8:57 pm

Oh, what lovely ponys!!!!!!!!
Have a great new week,

Kerri September 20, 2010 - 8:29 am

Aw, he's just gorgeous! We have some miniature horses living next door, and one manages to wriggle on her belly under the fence into our back paddock. They are just too smart for our own good! K xx

knitttwittt October 7, 2010 - 5:18 pm

I love your blog the more I read it! Thanks for sharing your lovely story, which I am sure you thought it was nothing near lovely at the time!! I grew up with a very adventurous TB that I used for Pony Club and hunting named Shane, who on several occasions would escape from his stall, and go one by one down the barn isle letting EACH horse out of it's stall!! I have many memories of walking in the barn in the early morning to feed, with "missing ponies", which would be later found in the back pasture, grazing together. Thanks for always making me smile!!


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