Photo & Poem: Bond


He said show her who’s boss. Standing with her head
in the corner and hooves nervous on the straw, a wild-eyed,
pregnant pinto pony, no taller than the quiet girl in a boy’s
t-shirt. The dad said she has to respect you, setting them

up for a fight. He goaded the girl forward, her dream of a
pony shot with dread. She took a small step, longing to touch
the mare’s mane but the mare swung her hips over, a hoof
took to the air grazing the girl’s cheek. His angry yell, no

time for foolish weakness, the stall door slammed trapping
the red-faced girl in her father’s anger and the mare’s fear.
When the barn was silent, tears brought gasping sobs, the girl
slumped in the opposite corner, hand to her face, shamed and

defeated. The mare watched through her forelock, shifting her
hind for a better view, one unseen step toward the wild girl, and
then another. The mare pushed breath slowly, the girl frozen
as the mare’s pink muzzle touched the scrape on the girl’s cheek.

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm

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43 thoughts on “Photo & Poem: Bond”

  1. I read this three times. Powerful! Cruel, misguided father. But . . . this little girl and her pony will bond and the happy ending is that she will grow up to be an amazing woman who will be a voice for “ponies” of all sizes.. She will make a huge, positive difference in many, many lives – equine and human. I love happy endings!

  2. what took so long to discover my long-lost soul sister? Just grateful we found each other. Give that damn dog a hug, please. Pinto ponies everywhere are grateful to know you, too.

      • The story of life in so few words. Isn’t it funny how it’s always the non- human animals who are able to bridge the gap when the human animals fail. Are you certain you are human Anna? You appear to be too able at communicating, too able to speak across species… a very rare breed at least – Thank you

        • Very flattering, Anneke. Thank you. (And I am nowhere near certain what species I am, but try as I do, I’m no horse. Sigh.)

  3. This caused me to physically feel the squeeze of my heart in my chest and the inability to fill my lungs. But then, I felt the air rush in because hope is the breath of life. Powerful writing Anna; thank you so much.

  4. Oh geez. Tears for all the kids who have been bullied into ignoring what their hearts told them. Tears for all the bullied ponies. Cheers for all the riders who ignored the “advice”. Cheers for our beloved ponies who forgive us.

  5. This happened to me! I was an adult with no angry parent yelling at me, but I had rescued an American Show Horse yearling from a dark stall so full of manure I had to dig him out. At home, two weeks later, he still wouldn’t let me touch him and I cracked. I slid down the wall, sobbing, and only a couple of minutes later felt the tickle of whiskers and warm breath on my neck. Magic. <3

  6. As usual, a stunning piece of writing ! While walking with my mentor this morning, I said I’d like to write about my horse journey but Anna Blake already does it so well and essentially speaks my truth, why bother? …. We were talking about how challenging it is to write about powerful encounters with Nature, as such experiences are beyond words, and yet as humans, it is out nature to want to find words and talk about the experiences !!!

    • I can’t agree. I just can’t, each of our voices is needed. And my writing, along with everything of value in my life, took some practice. Please start now!!(And thanks, Sarah.)

  7. What a wonderful gift you have, Anna. Your words create the most amazing picture, and a story that comes alive in my mind and connects me so deeply to the beings you portray…even the dad…

    • I’ve wanted to write this out for the longest time, who would have thought it would be in a poem… Thank you, Susan. I work hard at writing.

  8. When two terrified beings unite. Extremely touching. Strength from adversity, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I am sure they can read our intentions. I once watched, in horror, a 5 yo boy child team penning on a green broke 2 yo about 14 hands. All the kid had was balance, a loose rein in each wildly high hand, neither knowing anything much, but he was too tiny to hurt the horse which took care not to drop him, carefully going where indicated, while all else about was chaos. I dislike team penning. Years prior, at some outback horse event, a loose horse jogged past me, and horror to see a baby clinging to its bare back, a baby which probably wasn’t yet walking????!!!! Deliberate or unintended, no-one knew, everyone froze and assumed the horse would take care.
    And I wonder what it is that drives some parents. Thank you once again Anna.

  9. Anna…you made me cry…again. We must find the strength to forgive our fathers. There were terrible things which made them, but we at least gained the strength not to become them.

  10. Wow. Thanks for sharing. Been there, felt that pressure (and that sadness, fear and defeat). And felt that forgiveness.

  11. Oh my goodness Anna. Sometimes there are no words to describe the beautiful words you find to capture things….beautiful. Thank you.


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