Horsy News, Views and Attitudes   Vol. 1 Number Number 31      February 18-24, 2008


Snow Ponies!

Sleigh ride in the snow --- Photo courtesy of



Local Trainer Attends

Stanford University --

Without Leaving Wiggins

    For two days Jane Crandal sat at her computer instead of helping ponies and riders. She went to school at "Metaverse U."  But she never left Wiggins!

        "I could see and hear classes at Stanford University. Some of the world's most famous experts on virtual worlds were there in California," said Crandal. " In the audience you can even see me as I listened."

      Jane Crandal in the audience at Metaverse U


      "As my online self, I talked with them as well.  I did all this without leaving my home in Wiggins," laughed the local horse trainer. " But my neck is sore from sitting and looking for so long!"

       For example, Crandal heard Beth Coleman, who teaches media studies.  She works at MIT in Boston. Ms. Coleman said, "People want more ways to connect with their friends by computer."


   See Virtual Conference on page 2

Photo courtesy of Ruth Warner


A Lost Dog!

Isabelle writes in about her adventure with  Brownie in

Pony Pals Letters on page 2.



Start Drawing! 

It's the Leap Year Art Contest!

Send in your drawing to the


Deadline February 29th


 Page 2

Horsy News, Views and Attitudes      Vol. 1 Number 31      February 18-24, 2008

Virtual Conference

Continued from page1

Looking at the stage during Metaverse U

     Crandal met many others who were with her in virtual form. Those people were at their computers in Europe, Asia, Canada, Britain and all parts of America. 
"It was exciting to learn just how fast virtual worlds are making contact easier between people who like the same things," said Crandal. "More than ever, I think that it's very important that my Wiggins virtual world be an online place that is safe for kids and their parents."
      Crandal did have a chance to try a horseback-riding trip in a virtual world. "I enjoyed it. But the ways to control the pony were hard. I want kids who ride their own virtual pony in Club Pony Pals to have more fun than the riding I did."

      Dr. Robert Crandal, a local veterinarian, ran Crandal Stables while Jane watched her computer.  "Pam helped me with Jack, Jill and Wooly while we fed and cleaned for the ponies and horses," Dr. Crandal noted.  "I am so glad Jane could take part in this meeting. She's going to use what she has learned."

       Pam Crandal told her parents that Stanford University has a barn full of horses for students. The man who started the college over a hundred years ago valued horses very highly. His name was Leland Stanford. Pam knows about this university because she hopes to get a riding scholarship at a college.

Pony Pals Letters


Hi Lulu

  We had a pony pal adventure today.

  We were babysitting a lost dog.   My mom was trying to find its owner. Then we found them! As we drove I sang Jingle Bells.  He loved it just like Snow White! His real name was Brownie. His owner was nice -- not like Rema.  Please pass this on. Your  pony pal,  Isabelle



Dear Pony Pal Isabelle  

      What a great story! Just like Pam wrote last week, it just takes thinking about adventures to have one! I'm so glad you found Brownie's owners. He's a cute dog!

     Singing to animals almost always works to calm them down.  Jingle Bells is good for winter. In summertime I sometimes sing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" because it makes me laugh.   ;-)

        To continue last weekend's Pony Pal adventure, we all went for a ride on the east side of Mt. Morris last Saturday.  There we saw some old machines that were all rusted. The were East of the Ranger Station at the very top of Mt. Morris. Pam, Anna and I all got off our ponies to investigate.

     Anna thought there might be an abandoned mine. I remembered falling in a snowy hole once when Snow White ran away, so I was afraid there might be a hidden hole from a mineshaft there. I didn't want to fall in again.

     We all looked everywhere but we didn't see any holes. It just looked like someone built this big metal wheel on the mountain and then left it there.

       That night when we got back we had a sleepover at Crandal's. We needed to have a Pony Pal meeting to decide what to do.

       Pony Pals Letters  continued on page 3



 Page 3

Horsy News, Views and Attitudes      Vol. 1 Number 31      February 18-24, 2008

Pony Pals Letters

Continued from Page 2

     By Sunday we each had an idea. We had our Pony Pal meeting over breakfast.

     Pam thought we might go by the Historical Society and talk to Ms. McGee. 

      I thought we should go talk to Mr. Shapiro the Town Clerk to find out what the Wiggins Planning Department records say. My Dad did that once to look for permits for my Grandmother's house. I thought that they would have permits for the old buildings on Mt. Morris.

       Then Anna showed us her drawing of the machine.



       Anna said that since the Ranger station and the abandoned big wheel are close together, we should go talk to the Ranger and ask him what it was.  That was the best idea, so we agreed to do that next Saturday.

      Then it was time for Anna and I to ride back home.  We took a short ride down Pony Pal trail and turned off at the three birches to check the coyote traps on the Wiggins Estate.

         There was an unhappy coyote in the third trap we checked! It had tried to bite its way out of the trap and it got really scared when we rode close to it.  We turned around and hurried home.

       At Anna's house we put the ponies in the corral and ran in to call Dr. Crandal about the coyote. He promised to go take care of it when he stopped for lunch.  

       So that was last Sunday. On Monday all the coyotes were put into a truck and driven up to the nature preserve by Ranger Stranton.  Everyone in Wiggins was really glad, especially my Grandma! Acorn and Snow White's cat finally went back out in the barn with our ponies and started chasing mice again.

     By Tuesday it was really snowing and we didn't go out riding much for the rest of the week. Anna and I took care of Acorn and Snow White every day but it was too snowy and icy to ride.

     Saturday was warmer, though and we all packed a lunch to ride off and talk to Ranger Stranton.  Pam met us at Badd Brook and we rode along our secret trail to Mt. Morris.

     When we got there Ranger Stranton came out and talked to us. We asked him about the big rusty wheel. He told us that it was over 60 years old! It was there when he first started working at the park a long time ago.

       The Ranger said he thought wheel might be part of an old factory. He said he didn't know but there was another one at the bottom of Mt. Morris on the same side. Then he told us that the Simpson family gave land to the park almost sixty years ago.

       After we talked with Ranger Stranton, we ate a snack then rode back home while we though about how we might be able to find out more. 

       Then Pam had a brainstorm. She said we know a Simpson! We visited her before, she's a very old history teacher named Lydia Simpson Eastman who lives at the Grand View Nursing home. 

       We want to visit her this week after school to find out more about the big steel wheels.

       How fun! Another adventure! More next week…. Pony Pals,                         


Pony Pals Power thought for the day - -

A good pony is never a bad color.