Living on a ranch, surrounded by animals on a quiet country road has always been a dream of mine. Thanks to the gentle nudging of a sweet pony named Maddox, my dream became a reality.
The story of Rogue Pony Ranch begins in the coastal fishing village of Chincoteague, Virginia. Famous for its wild pony inhabitants, Chincoteague has been a summer destination for my family for the past 15 years. Salt water, ocean breezes, crashing waves and the nickering of wild ponies are the sirens call that brings us beachside every July for the Annual Pony Swim and auction.
I was not initially planning to bid on a pony at the 2018 Pony Auction. However something about this year felt different. It felt transformative. The sirens call was stronger, urging me to be a participant, not just spectator in the events of the week. And so, on auction day, when the little pony that went rogue during the swim the day before was placed in the arena for bids, I didn’t hesitate to throw my hand high in the air. Before the auction was over, Maddox, the 2018 colt born in the wild to Maverick and Marguerite- was part of my family.
I was in love and in awe of this gentle creature. I wanted the best for him and took the advice of many horseman who urged to keep him boarded on the island with other wild foals for a few weeks. We had planned to transfer him to my boarding facility in late August. I visited him on the weekends, a 3 our drive one way, getting ever excited about Maddox’s move to my home.
Sadly, that move was not meant to be. Maddox started showing signs of distress and the amazing vets familiar with these ponies were called in to help. He was diagnosed with a fatal bowel disease and unfortunately passed away before ever having the chance to come home. I was heartbroken.
It took a few months for me to recover. I was offered another foal, but decided that I was still too sad over Maddox’s loss. There was something about Maddox, and the entire experience, that did not feel quite complete. His loss reminded me that time is short. Life is precious. Maddox nudged me to look at my own life, to make the changes I needed to nurture my soul. To embrace my dreams.
Thus Rogue Pony Ranch became a reality.
Rogue Pony Ranch is my safe haven, my dream in the making. It will be a special place for my family and my animals. Our respite. Maddox's memory lives on in the gently sloping hills of North Carolina. My ranch is dedicated to him, my Rogue Pony.
Maddox making history...
Maddox calling for his mom. If you listen carefully, his mom answers.