The reason for the “road trip” was to look at a POA (Pony of the Americas — appaloosa pony) my sister found advertised on Craigslist. You’ll remember our granddaughter, Ava, loves horses and really wants one of her own. I talked to the owner yesterday and today I was super surprised when Will said he’d drive over with me today. I mean, he never goes anywhere! Of course, the two-hour drive passed through the small town of Effie, where our favorite little family café is located. We hadn’t eaten there for years. So this morning, after chores, we took our drive. It was pleasant to just go for a nice ride and take a break from our frantic spring planting. And, of course, on the way home, we ate a late lunch at the Effie Café!

Whinny was a very calm 12-hand pony and gentle in every way. It didn’t take me long to write out a check! Now my son, Bill, just has to drive up on one of his days off, pick up our new stock trailer, and go pick up the little mare. We’ll house her here at our place until he gets facilities built for her at home. I know of one little girl who will be thrilled beyond words!

Today we made granddaughter, Ava’s, dream come true with her own pony, Whinny.
Whinny is a sweet, gentle 14-year-old little girl and may even come with a foal later on this summer.

Yesterday, Alisha came over for a trailer load of rotted manure for her garden. We’d loaned one of our small rototillers to her, and a friend’s son, who is a stout young man, tilled up a much bigger spot for a garden than she’d planned. After apprenticing with us and seeing, firsthand, the value of manure, she wants to add some, till it in, then get her garden planted. While she was here, we planted a nice big plot of Glass Gem popcorn, which I’d started indoors three weeks ago. It was very nice, about 4 inches tall when we set it out. I’d also set out the Hopi Pale Grey and San Filipe pumpkin plants that were started indoors. (Hopi is a C. maxima and San Filipe is a C. pepo so they don’t cross.)

Today I’ll get started planting corn in the Main garden and more in what we call Pinky’s Pen (where Pinky the pig used to live). But after a five hour’s drive, maybe I’ll join Will for a little nap first! I think we both ate too much. — Jackie


  1. Even the most “homebody-est” of us like a change of scenery every once in a while. And nice to have something else cook and clean-up!
    Been hot here too and hoping the predicted rain happens.

  2. OH My Goodness!! I am so so excited for you and Ava! What a perfect pony! My first, pony was a P.O.A. we named Rosi. We got her when she was 18 and I was 8. She lived to be 36! She taught so many children how to ride. She gave us so many crazy memories and amazing adventures. I was just talking to a friend about her today! Whinny looks like she is in foal! I really hope to see pony baby pictures at the end of Summer! Congratulations!!! Mia

    • Bill’s first pony was Sprite, a Welsh. He rode her in diapers, then on to 4-H and horse shows, often beating adults on high powered horses! She went with us to Montana finally, and died at 42 after having an unplanned-for foal at 41! Ponies have a bad name for being brats but when well trained, they are gems. I think we are expecting; the stud was a registered Shetland and a very gorgeous guy with good manners too.

      • The barn where our girls ride had a Welsh pony named Sprite who taught many children to ride. They also learned that a certain little Welsh pony who didn’t like to walk through mud puddles could dip her shoulder and have you sitting in the same mud puddle quick, fast, and in a hurry. LOL

  3. I’m very sure she will. And will also just love brushing and petting Whinny. I can’t wait! I was a “horse nut kid” and my mother always said I’d grow out of it. I’m 74 and still have two horses. So much for that, huh???

  4. I just love the Effie Cafe. Whenever Jim and I go north, we will drive out of our way to go there. Of course the scenery along the drive makes it worth it as well! Congrats on the pony!

    • With COVID, we missed our occasional trips to Effie. It’s a 40 mile drive for us but well worth the trip!

    • He has 40 acres and several buildings on it. He has chickens. But he was raised on a horse, showed every weekend and helped train many along with foot trims, medicating etc. I have no worries.

    • Just see what you missed! You’ll have to come for a visit again, knowing where to stop for lunch.

  5. I am so excited for Ava! She will LOVE Whinny. Can’t wait to see her first meeting on your blog. Hope the end of your day was restful for you both. Try to stay cool — it’s blasted hot these day in MN.

    • It IS hot!!! Today it’s 91 and forecasted to get hotter tomorrow. So we quit planting tomatoes and are switching to seeds and squash, which are much shorter plants and less susceptible to heat stress. I can’t wait until Ava finds out she’s got a pony!!

  6. There’s more to enjoying horses than
    Just Sitting on them. I have 4 Mares
    One Peruvian Paso and 3 Quarter horses
    All rescues. 3 are over 20 yrs. they
    Get Nutrena brand Senior pellets in
    Their own bucket every evening, to
    Supplement the CRP grass bale.
    They are my Therapy. Brushing and
    Talking with my Girls. Sorting out
    The Daily Living in today’s world.
    Haven’t riden in 10 years or so.
    Don’t really miss it. Companion
    Horses are wonderful also. 😁😁💕

    • Yes they are. Definitely!!! With my bum knee, I don’t ride much anymore either but I sure enjoy spending time with our horses. Much more enjoyable than watching TV shows.

    • I totally agree. We are SO busy right now but we thought it was necessary to take time to find Ava a perfect pony. We enjoyed the road trip too; haven’t taken one for months!

  7. Naps are important. While the trip was a break from planting and other work, still your whole system needs the break.
    Hope your nap turned out great.

    • The naps were great. Both Will and I get more tired riding in a car than working in the garden. Go figure…..

  8. Jackie it seems mice and rats keep digging up my popcorn seed and eating the young plants. Do you have any suggestions to deal with them?

    • A good cat does wonders. But if they still bother, what we do is put piles of grain around the corn plot to “buy them off” until the plants are up about 6″ or more. We have trouble with Frederickson’s Ground Squirrels here, which do the same only they just eat the sprouted seed and leave the green part on the ground. So frustrating!!!

  9. Our two daughters have practically grown up on horseback. One of Brianna’s (our youngest) favorite mounts was a POA Serious Story (barn name – Seri). Julia’s POA mount was Pokey. Both girls are in their 30s and still ride weekly. They both teach riding as well. I hope your granddaughter thoroughly enjoys her time in the saddle!

    Winston S. Churchill had a great quote about the relationship between a horse and man. I’ve modified it a little here. ‘There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a girl.’

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