Monday, October 29, 2012

Of the equine variety, that is.

Meet Fritz.

Thanks to all of you who contributed name suggestions! After picking this little guy out I contemplated a wide array of name ideas with much indecision.

This fall I finally came to the decision that I was in the market for another little lesson pony - to take some of the pressure off of Sackett, in his old age, and to eventually be a complete replacement for him when he needs full retirement, whenever that is. My initial desire was to get another fuzzy Sackett-type pony and name it Fritz, from Fritz and the Beautiful Horses by Jan Brett.

When I chose "Big Red", as he was formerly called, my first impression was that he was not a "Fritz" type of pony. We spent about 20 minutes with him, fell in love, and went home with this memory of a thin, non-fuzzy, little red head.  With that image in mind I started experimenting with names of vikings, errant knights, red-bearded dwarfs, notorious cowboys, red-headed Scots and such. Below is a list of some of the higher contenders in the name game:

Gimli (dwarf from LOTR)
Duffle or Trumpkin (red dwarves from Chronicles of Narnia)
Bingo Little (from P.G. Wodehouse... Margaret was vying for this one)
Rory or Rob Roy (meaning "Red" in Gaelic)

And then I thought I had finally decided on Finnegan, after the Irish tune/ballad "Finnegan's Wake". Inspired by the idea of him being our little Irish lad, Wee Finn. The temptation was great, since then I would have an excuse to talk in a fake Irish accent whenever I was around him. However, on Sunday evening I went out to play with him and get to know our new acquisition a bit better and it struck me that he did, after all, look like a Fritz. 

He might not fit the fuzzy, furry stereotype quite as well as, say, Sackett. But his dainty, sweet little face, big brown eyes, fluff of forelock, and complete popularity with all three kids made it all fit together. So, Fritz it is. 

We may occasionally refer to him as Big Red, in nickname form. (There's a resemblance between him and the original Big Red - Secretariat - ...right?)

And I may still talk to him in an irish or scotch accent, just for good measure. 

At any rate we are all smitten with him. Even Chico.

He is a tick smaller than Sackett but his big heart makes up for his diminutive stature. He welcomes us with a robust nicker and comes over to say hello, all of the kids can climb on him, brush him, lead him around and generally lavish an over abundance of attention on him while he remains perfectly still and gentle. He appears to be completely bombproof. 
We still need to get to know all of his character and quirks, he needs some work with lunging and softening up to rein pressure, and he needs to gain thirty pounds or so (shouldn't be a problem on our farm). Clay trimmed his feet last night, with all of the kids helping, and he is now Clay's favorite horse to work with. 


Little is known about his background or pedigree. He arrived safely on Saturday - a horse filled day, including my last riding lesson for the year and the perusal of some attractive Halflingers.... but, um, more on that later. 

The most I could find out was that he is supposedly 5 years old, amish raised and trained, owned by some unknown family for three years, and then purchased by the family that we bought him from who used him for their 6 year old boy for a while before deciding to pare down again. He already seems to be worth the interminable drive out to the middle of nowhere in the ozark mountains. And he is supposedly already broke to drive a cart. Another item to add to my horsey wish list.

Margaret has nominated herself as my training assistant and has been leading him around and working with him several times a day. She is already trying to convince me to let her show him next summer. 


  1. Yes, I believe Secretariat was Big Red, though Clara would argue it was Man o'War. Fritz is a darling--I can't wait to come down to see him! (And you too of course..)