Honey is a real pony. For most of her life she was a very-much-loved pony. We first met her when she was a lesson pony at Riverhurst Farm in Kennebunk, Maine. Everyone at the farm was madly in love with her! She had this giant tousle of blond forelock and mane that the little girls in the barn spent hours brushing and braiding. She occupied a corner stall toward the front of barn and would rest her little chin on the stall door, begging for treats in the cutest way possible.
Eventually, Honey was purchased by a wonderful family for their 3-year-old daughter. She spent winters enjoying easy pony rides on the beach and summers performing in leadline classes at local shows. Her “Honey Bee and Flower” costume was a huge favorite! While owned by this family, Honey contracted Lyme Disease and later developed Cushing’s Disease as well. Her family took good care of her and provided her with all of the necessary medications and treatments.
Over time, the little girl outgrew Honey, and in an attempt to give her a brief respite before their son was old enough to ride, Honey was sent to a farm a few hours away to relax and enjoy a year or two off. That’s when the trouble started. For some reason, her foster family did not care for her as promised. They did not treat her Cushing’s Disease with the medication that had been provided, they fed her improperly (or possibly not at all) and left her in a field to fend for herself. This went on for over a year before her family heard news of the pony’s distress and instantly went to her rescue. She came back to Riverhurst filthy, emaciated and with completely rotted hoof tissue due to an advanced thrush infection. Her feet hurt so much she could hardly move. Her beautiful mane and tail were matted and filled with burrs, and her once gleaming coat was dull and sand-colored. Everyone at the farm rallied around her to provide 24/7 care. Her owners soaked her sore feet 3x/day, she was put back on medication and supplements and fed a proper diet. There was a time when we thought we might lose her, but her spirit and body rallied and she slowly began to regain her health.
After a few months, Honey’s family realized they could not keep her and began looking for a home for her. We brought her home in May of 2011 and our young boys took to her instantly. We spent a lot of time brushing and loving her while caring for her many ailments, and she reached out to us with her sweet personality, bringing so much light and love into our lives. She gave our son Brady, who has Aspergers Disorder, a grounding influence and was even sound enough one summer for him to have therapeutic riding lessons on her. Our younger son, Michael, was safe around her even at the tender age of 2, and would delight in bringing Honey her special diet of chopped hay and in filling her pony-sized water bucket.
In the spring of 2013 after a difficult winter, Honey let us know that she was too uncomfortable to go on. At 22 years old, her Cushing’s and Lyme Diseases as well as her 18 months of neglect had left the fragile bones in her feet so damaged that she could no longer stand comfortably. When she refused to get up to eat we knew it was time to let her go. As sad as it was for all of us, we knew we had done everything we could for Honey and provided her with a safe and comfortable retirement. She went quickly and peacefully and her ashes are sprinkled in special places where she spent so many happy hours.
The Honey Pony book series is a tribute to this wonderful pony and all the love and joy she gave so many children and families over the years. We will never forget her, and now she will live on for other children, teaching them about gentleness and kindness through her stories.