VICTOR, NEW YORK—It might have been the smell of leaves in the air, the sudden crispness of the wind, or the corn stalk and gourd displays popping up like a harvest-themed roadblocks outside the barn entranceway. 

But for cranky pony Marantha Jellybean (a.k.a. “Jelly”), there was no denying the coming of the season when his fall-crazy owner, Courtney Perkins, entered the barn that Saturday.

“She was dressed head-to-toe in rust breeches and a mustard-colored wool turtleneck sweater, and she’s prattling on, carrying a crockpot full of spiced apple cider for the entire barn. You could just see the unbridled joy welling behind her eyes,” griped cranky pony Jelly during his pre-scheduled, monthly visit with an animal communicator. 

“She gets like this every year. I think it gets a little worse every year, frankly. First, she’s complaining about her arms being sore from raking leaves—which she loves and does for hours—so, of course, she’s ‘Really struggling to clean stalls today.’ Then she wants to sign-up for every fall hunter pace this side of the Mason Dixon Line­. Never mind that I hate hunter paces, new places, wooden coops, and the crunch of leaves underfoot

Now I hear she was here until late last night, building a Halloween-themed jump course for her weekend lesson, complete with light-up spiders on hay bales, and coffin jumps with scarecrows falling out of them. And she wonders why I and every other horse in the barn are, ‘Just so fresh this time of year!’” cranky pony Jelly conveyed via medium. 

When asked if his bright orange wraps and matching fly bonnet, jack-o’-lantern-themed saddle pad, and spooky ghost design clipped onto his right flank was meant to coordinate with his owner’s own, suitably autumnal #RidingOutfitOfTheDay, cranky pony Jelly just sighed.

“I just can’t with this girl,” he lamented telepathically, pinning his cranky ears and gnashing his cranky teeth while Courtney Perkins lovingly affixed hand-picked mums to his braided mane while softly humming the “I Put a Spell On You” theme song from Hocus Pocus.

Oh, you silly, cranky pony!” Perkins cooed, lovingly, slipping a final flower into cranky pony Jelly’s forelock as she proffered a handful of Limited-Edition, Pumpkin Spice-flavored horse treats from a bag nearby.

“I swear,” cranky pony Jelly crunched whilst communicating. “If this blend of warming pie spices wasn’t so delightful….”