Good Morning :)
Just wanted to share. Yesterday John, myself, our daughter Ainsley and our awesome friends Carrie, Ron & Kayla Waltemire spent the entire day-9 am to 5 pm, sharing our most amazing ponies-Sammy, Rikki & Duncan with crowds of people at the 53rd Ligonier Highland Games! This is Sammy & Rikki's 8th year as "honored guests" and Duncan's first trip. Duncan was simply amazing!! i believe he "asked" me if he could come along..I "heard it loud and clear in my heart..on friday night while Sammy & Rikki were being bathed,Duncan WOULD NOT step away from the gate and was very persistent that he be let out as well.
This is a challenging outing...lots of prep work, predawn loading the trailer, an hours drive, set up PPL/shetland exhibit, bagpipes, drums, "gunfire", balloons, crowds, dogs of all kinds, a HUGE LONG HIGH wooden bridge that must be crossed on foot to reach the parade grounds...Would Duncan(never been on an outing-previously a stallion) be able to handle it??
On a wing and prayer...and trusting in God for his guidance...
We had a wonderful time and met so many great people and heard sooo many stories of "when i was little, i had a shetland..." or "i always wanted a pony..."
All were super, but Duncan was the star. He was simply wonderful on his first outing...he would whinny at large dogs as if expecting them to answer back...Great Danes and mastiffs...people who did not know we were there would come in search of....ponies???? i laughed and told them he was announcing his presence as any good Scottish Clan chieftain does at the "Gathering" they are to YELL "the ____ clan is here!"
These 3 pony boys are simply amazing on so many levels.....
it keeps me awestruck that they are able to spend a whole day happily meeting & greeting adoring fans at our exhibit and mingling with the crowds of thousands as we walk thru the park, golf carts zooming about, sharing space with a lovely Highland Coo (Cow)...they patiently stop and allow reaching hands to pat and hug,patiently listen to a lovely elderly scottish lady in a wheelchair reminisce about the pony she had as a child and stand quietly as she ruffles a mane with an arthritic hand, as her eyes mist over, clearly lost in memory.
they pose for countless photo ops,calmly and happily oblige a dog owner that wants to pose their Danes,Mastiffs,Deerhounds, Wolfhounds beside the ponies to marvel at the size comparison, and never lose their composure. I believe they truly enjoy their "jobs"..so much so that they turn to allow people to pet them and are a bit deflated if someone passes by without stopping.
They join in the Opening Ceremony Parade of Clans-complete with 20 massed bagpipe and drum bands, 20+ "clans"-hundreds of people marching,50-60 scottish dogs and handlers,and a crowd of hundreds watching, cheering & waving flags...
Our ponies gleefully trot the parade route loving every single minute!
I think the sound of the pipes n drums stirs their souls just as they do mine :)
Yes, this outing takes quite a lot of preparation and work..sometimes i think "maybe not this year" when i open the invitation from the Executive director... and then, something always prods me in the right direction...I begin to recall how many smiles, laughs we shared, and yes, a few hearts touched, and I gratefully accept the invite :) This is an outing close to my heart. As a child/adult i have wonderful memories of attending the games with family- my Nana right off the boat from Cambuslang, Scotland-
My Dad was a wonderful man with always a smile on his face,a strong respect for his heritage & his feet dancing a highland reel, always singing a silly Scottish song-He's been gone for 2 years, but this is his legacy to me :))))
I have a favorite memory from each and every year, but one thing remains constant...always... and that is the smile on my face and the joyful tears running freely down my cheeks at the pounding of the drums,the call of the pipes to "gather",and over it all, the glorious sound of 12 pony hooves pounding across that scary wooden bridge to bring joy to several thousand people.
my family's(MacLachlan) Clan Crest Badge has the words "Fortis et Fidu" on it...brave and loyal....that is surely also the words to describe our little pony lads :)
We are so very blessed!!
I have attached a picture of my psychic-pony sammy who is my "Anam Cara"-soul friend in gaelic-patiently visiting with a little friend & in his Highland Regalia and American flag-paying tribute to our
Celtic ancestry & THIS year, in remembrance of those fallen during the 9/11 terror attacks.