Originally Posted by Susan Crumrine
the only time the kid's here get hurt, it's a pony.
We gave up on them. My kid's like our 16 hand TWH.
We are lucky in the UK that we have a diversity of ponies to start children riding. I was very shocked when I saw small children riding horses. I had to think about why and realised that there were not the natural resources for selecting a pony for them to ride.
Ponies are clever, they will get away with blue murder if they can take advantage of their small riders. When the child has the strength to sort them out they are usually outgrown!
Over here show classes are divided into heights and riders age. There are some classes for adults riding ponies but they are all Native Pony show classes.
I love ponies, good and bad. They are tough and smart and know when someone means what they say.
A friend of mine would buy ponies for slaughter. Many times they were laminitic and he would send them to me at the riding school. Management got them sound and most went on to live happy lives.
I arrived back with a ride to find a pony tied in the yard. I knew where it had come from although there was no note! He was about 12 hands, grey, Welsh, pretty pony with no sign of laminitis.
I was called later and told it was a 5 year old and 'unbreakable'
This pony lunged and long reined, never minded the tack and seemed a nice nature. I asked one of the children a girl called Mickey, (Michelle) if she wanted to try and ride him. Mickey never had her own pony, she was only 8 but tough as old boots and game for anything. She sat on the pony and one step with me holding his head, she went flying past me. Brother, could that pony buck with his head up. Three times he dropped her! Bigger child four times, bigger still four times!
I had to take a ride out, so issued orders to the children that they were to keep getting on the toe rag until it stopped bucking.
An hour later I returned to find he was still dropping the kids.
"You lot are darn useless!" I hollered at them as I parted two brothers who were fighting over who was going to have the next go. "I told you to keep him moving, not to be pratting around at a walk! Bring him here!"
I (5'9" and weighing 140) stepped onto him. (I wasn't stupid I could see he was tired) Immediately I whacked him both sides and drove him into a canter, he couldn't get his back up because I sat heavy and was driving him fast around the arena. Took him half a circuit to realise that it wasn't going to work so at a corner he threw himself on the ground. I was surprised by this and he was on his feet before me. I got back on and told the kids to be ready to pile in when he did it again, which he did! When he went down I held him down and all the children piled in on top of him so he couldn't even be seen. When I let him up I was straight on him and he was rideable after that!
Within three weeks I was using him for Riding for the Disabled.
I sold him but he was always kept at the riding school. I left and was working away. When I came home, driving to my parents place I saw there was a show so stopped to catch up with some friends.
I was chatting at the ringside when a pony came in the minimus jumping class. He cantered to the first jump and deliberately dropped his small rider into the wing of the fence. The child got up and tried again with the same results. This time she was crying. I remarked on what a ****ty little pony it was. I was told I should know as it was Breeze!
I marched into the arena and took him. I could not give him a thump but I could growl at him and pinched his nostril. His head went up and he rolled his eyes knowing that I meant business. I plonked the kiddy back in the saddle and ran with them over a few fences and then let her finish on her own. He never put a foot wrong and on completion trotted straight back to me.
I arranged for him to be ridden occasionally by a bigger child to keep him in shape. A couple of years later his rider, now 10 and big on him, were winning affiliated 13.2 jumping over fences 3' first round and going up to 3'6" in the jump off.
This is typical of ponies! Not all are like it but most will take advantage if they can.
I have a little Welsh mare here. She is 12 this time and has never been ridden. She ran wild on the hills until 7. Bought, tamed and used as a brood mare. Sold again and the woman who bought her was going to use her for her nieces but they moved away so she was just a pet. She gave her to me for the children who come here so, she has now been sat on and ridden about. She really doesn't like people much in that she frightens herself over them - crowd her with two people and she acts as if she was regularly beaten - which she has never been - so, she gets crowded and no one moves away until she relaxes. She will be fine, I will use her for pony rides at the church fetes and that will soon settle her!
I love ponies if you hadn't guessed.