For weeks the ponies had now been in their new, forever home, and had settled in nicely.

They explored every paddock and bush part, found their favorite shady places and declared one area as their go-to night quarter. Slowly they formed smaller herds, 6 to 8 animals at a time, and the first bachelor herd appeared too.

But still no news about our pony on the run, LAST.

Then, when we nearly lost hope to ever find him again, the ranger rang up and informed us that he got a call from a farmer who now had a white pony living amongst his sheep! We were told he was not happy and that he gave us one try to get this animal off his paddock before he was going to shoot it.

Two hours later, and we were at his place with the trailer, hoping so much it would be LAST and certain we would take any pony anyway, if it would only walk into the trailer 😟

And there he was, our white beautiful LAST, grazing peacefully amongst the sheep, easy recognizable by the old wound on his leg. The farmer was equipped and had his gun already on hand, showing that he was dead serious. Memory came back of how difficult it was each time to get LAST on a truck and now he was supposed to go on this trailer!

We hastefully grabbed some panels, built a small corridor between the fence gate and the trailer and ……… watched LAST running in there! To the day I am still amazed how he made it so easy for us, but I believe he knew exactly what it all was about.

So here we were, driving back in awe about what happened and understanding that this was the third time this amazing being has escaped the death sentence.

The sun had nearly set when we arrived back at our place, and we drove the trailer to the paddock where all our ponies had gathered, curious to find out who was neighing there from behind the car. We had observed before that the ponies had a clear job sharing: in case a new animal came close to herd, the males would form a line of defence to check out the “intruder”, and the females with their foals would stay far behind this line. So that was what happened this time again, only now the leading gelding (we named him ARNIE because he was one pack of muscles) walked out of the line and came right up to the open trailer.

LAST, still a bit hesitant about the new situation, slowly walked down the ramp, and then we were allowed to witness an amazing thing : both boys stood opposite each other, threw their head in the air and started to canter in a circle behind each other like in a beautiful dance!

Humans and ponies stood there watching this amazing conversation, until finally Last decided it was time to run over the paddock, only to be followed by the complete herd! And guess what: from this day on this wounded, isolated living gelding took over the leadership of all our ponies for years to come!

But the ponies’ story doesn’t end just there. There was one thing that had escaped our attention: right in the beginning, when we asked the vet to castrate all of the seven isolated stallions, nobody had noticed that there actually……. were 🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎….+🐎!

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