So a few months ago, my half-sister announced that she was leaving Florida, and moving back home to Iowa. She has two young kids, a boy and a girl. Unfortunately the boy decided to move to New Jersey with his Dad, and the Dad (my sister and he are divorced) is trying to entice the little girl into moving there as well. This is what cemented my sister's decision to move back home, as she wants her 11-year-old daughter to put down roots and make lifelong friends, and where better than small town Iowa?
It's going to be a big change for my niece, as she's finally going to have a house with a big yard. She's only ever lived in an apartment before. I should also mention that she LOVES horses!
So my mother steps in an announces that my niece shall have a pony! And not just any pony- but a super duper, well-broke pony! I was, to say the least, pretty p.o.'ed. I told her, "We already have too many horses! Why can't she use _insert horse's name here_
?" Mother just growled at me, and told me none of them were kid friendly (which is sort of true, but with some work on my niece's part, she could probably ride them just fine). I huffed and gave up.
Weeks go by, and I'm crossing my fingers that my Mom has forgotten all about the "Great Pony Search." Decently priced, well-broke ponies are hard to find around here. (Probably anywhere, really!) Unfortunately, she didn't forget, and had me check out a horse near my university. I took my cousin along (who's a vet). Light palpitations of the inner right hock induced a quick, sharp cow-kick towards my cousin (luckily it didn't make contact), and the horse had a slight stifle on that leg as well. And although that horse was dealing with three VERY young, energetic boys dancing around him at 9 p.m., he obviously wasn't enjoying their attention as much as I would have liked. A definite no, in my book. Needless to say, I was overjoyed. Money saved!
Then my mother decides to visit, and announces that she'd really love to go look at another pony "nearby." (She gave me the puppy eyes.) I said, "Alright. Fine." Of course, "nearby" is obviously a relative term, as we drove 2 & 1/2 hours. When we get there, we meet a young girl about my age (early 20s), who just seems a little flaky, but nice. She was selling a 12 year old, 13hh chocolate dapple gelding (looks like a Rocky Mountain Horse/pony cross). Said pony was alone, and eating in his pen, but whinnied and came up to the gate when she started walking down the hill towards him. She got him out, saddled him up and bridled him without any problems, then just swung on and rode around. She said she'd been trying to teach him to neck rein, but he was mainly direct rein. He responded pretty decently to leg cues, but was a bit hard-mouthed with the bit she was using (medium shank, split bit). I asked if he minded adult riders, and she said she'd never had a problem with him. He was completely sound, with good feet (people around here almost always neglect pony feet, so this was a big plus!), and carried my weight well. My niece is pretty small for 11, so I think she'll be fine. I felt a tad big on him, but my mother told me I actually fit him quite well.
The owner admitted that she usually flips horses, and intended to do the same with him. But she said he was so cute, and so well-behaved that she kept him for 2 years. She's only selling now because she needs the money to fix her car. She called him her "party pony", because she will ride him into town to go to parties, get drunk, and he will take her back home without any issues.
She said his height was a big turn on for her, because, "if I fall off, I can get right back on again!" Since the pony gave me absolutely no indication that he'd buck, rear, or spook, I'm going to assume this applies to her partying pony rides, lol!
Yes, I did ride him. He needs to be worked in a snaffle to bring back some sensitivity in his mouth, but he was actually quite a nice pony! I was surprised, to say the least! I rode like a beginner would, just to see how he'd react, and he didn't bat an eye! He really wanted to go down the road on a trail ride, but I made him ride around the back of their property. When he saw a truck zooming by in the distance, he just stopped and stared, then walked calmly on. I'm going to be working with him a LOT before my niece ever gets on him, but I think I'll enjoy it! Eventually he'll be moving over to my sister's new place, as my Dad has a barn and pasture area there that he could use.
I told my Mom that if my niece doesn't want him, I'm taking him, lol!
Here are some pictures of him. These pics were all taken at the former owner's place. 10268722_10152441642572835_6244845138826652957_n.jpg 10277598_10152441642192835_2938713536877018987_n.jpg 10273422_10152441642797835_5992228956775175531_n.jpg 10336651_10152441642962835_7441994202607438472_n.jpg 1237529_1429512130637412_2310463673495715711_n.jpg
Isn't he just the cutest thing you've ever seen?!
She mainly rode him bareback because she didn't want to dinker with a saddle.