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Discussion Starter #1
I can't keep putting off starting my journal, although my pony is still without her forever-name. So much happens every day that I don't want to keep missing the opportunity to share.

So, please officially meet my dream pony. 6yo, 13.3, bay paint (though her paint marks, as you can see, are subtle). Her breed and origins before about two years ago are unknown. But, she went through an auction and ended up being saddle-broke by a too-large man before being essentially rescued by the seller I bought her from, who trained her for about 8 months and brought out her stunning potential. She's been in one local rated show and placed top-3 in every class out of 12 (equitation, pleasure, multiple jumping classes).

She is greener than I meant to end up with. But after trying 8 other ponies that didn't pan out (she was my 9th, which also happens to be my lucky number), I felt a spark with her and my trainer felt she was the best match for me out of all of them. She's quite sensitive, extremely intelligent, willing, and really doesn't seem to have a mean bone in her body. I do realize not having a dead-broke horse will mean plenty of challenges, along with opportunities.

My long-term goals for now are humble - polishing her ground manners, a little low level dressage and jumping (no showing in the immediate future, but hopefully down the road), and helping her become confident with basic trail riding.

My short-term goals: decide on the perfect name for my little fairy princess and get a saddle that fits. (Saddle fitters were all booked for weeks/months out so I still haven't been able to ride her since bringing her home. I have one scheduled now in about a week and a half.)

An almost 30-year-old with a pony!? Well, I'm pony-sized myself at 4'10", and never had the opportunity to outgrow ponies since I only began riding as an adult about half a decade ago. (I never had the opportunity to be a Pony Clubber!) And, after trying out equines of all sizes, I realized I am most confident and comfortable on the little ones. I like that pony "sass" as well.

I leave you with some pictures. More to come.
 

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The name will come! I've found with all my pets that I typically start with some idea of what I want to call them, but when those don't pan out, eventually something appropriate just sort of "sticks." Often times, I feel they've found a way to name themselves. I have a cat named Ellie, short for elusive. It took forever to name her, and I tried every name for an orange, female cat I could think of. It wasn't until I was explaining to her vet that she was a very elusive personality that I realized how much that word really described her. For a while, that just served as her name, until we started shortening it to Ellie, and it stuck from there. We also adopted a stray (or the stray adopted us) orange tabby, who was probably in his 20s and had his tail broken in 3 places, 1 tooth and was blind in an eye, that we referred to as "orange cat" while he was living under the house. Once he moved in, his name became "OC" for a while, until watching "Oliver and Company," where the name "Oliver" took over. Your mare is beautiful, and there's nothing wrong with a pony size! I liked short horses too when I took lessons, and think I still would as an adult. Looking forward to reading!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll refer to her as PP for now (Princess Pony) until I've got her name down.

PP has adjusted to the barn so well in the week and a half I've had her. She's in 3 acre 24/7 turnout with 2 other mares. One of the other mares (the alpha, for sure) was pushy for a few days but now they are all the best of friends - it's adorable. They're almost always found munching away on some hay together.

She was a bit herd-bound and anxious for a few days last week as she settled in. She was very pacey on the cross-ties and reactive to sounds. I worked on this with her with some treats and so she can see it's a safe, relaxing place and she has improved almost completely. (The only trouble I've still had is her pawing due to flies, ugh - flies.) Last weekend my husband and I also introduced her to the wash-area. She didn't like it, but we took it slow and she was a really good girl. Not a full bath - just a little hosing to cool her down and wash the sweat off. I've also made an effort just to bring her to that area to graze nearby, so she doesn't equate walking that way with something she doesn't like.

PP had her first farrier appointment yesterday since being mine! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to be there due to the late notice (wanted to get her on the schedule with a farrier who already comes to the barn for other horses, so didn't have flexibility), so another horse's owner offered to hold her for me. She said PP was being pushy in the cross-ties and they had to do some groundwork with her to get her to calm down. It seems she reverted back with me not being there, so I'll have to work more on getting her to stand and let her feet be held. I will also definitely be there for her next appointment in 6 weeks.

I visit her daily to groom and love on her, and work her for about 30 minutes doing ground work and lunging (since I don't have a saddle, no riding). She has some attitude on the lunge that my trainer is helping with - she gets quick and will try to pull from the circle. Even that has improved though as she learns what I want.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you, all, for your kind comments.

Another nickname I have for her is actually "My Little Moon Fae", which is from one of my husband and I's favorite book series (The Kingkiller Chronicles). That nickname is given to a character named Auri, which is why I've kept considering the name Auri/Aurora, but still not sure.

But I do think of her as "faen" (of the fae). Someone pointed out in my other thread that her paint markings almost look like little wings (though on one side they it doesn't extend very far - almost like a clipped wing.) So I'd been searching for fairy related names.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We had a fantastic groundwork lesson yesterday (as we continue to wait for the saddle fitter appointment next week).

My trainer taught me to use a rope halter, lighter/shorter lead rope, and liberty stick to begin working with her at liberty. We practiced backing and turning on the forehand/haunches. She did amazing - you could see her mind working after each step. I learned that if she yawns/chews it means she is processing what we just did - so interesting. After we worked on those for about 15 minutes, she even walked and halted with me without a lead rope. I almost cried it was so sweet.

After that, I learned how to use a surcingle with her bridle for lunging. (I'm getting side reins, too, but they haven't come in yet.) It was like night and day how much better she behaved on the lunge line than when it was just attached to her halter. A lot easier to control, as before she would really pull on the line at canter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I *may* have figured out a perfect name for her that combines most elements of other names I have been considering. I just want my husband it give it a final okay since he has been bonding with her more and more. (He seems to be dragging his feet on giving the name the final okay, though, so maybe I shouldn't be so excited about it.)

PP did even better yesterday at liberty - she definitely remembered what we had been working on. She gave me some nearly flawless backing and was much more responsive to turning on the forehand(still needs work, but responded way better to touch). Turning on the haunches is a bit messier, but coming along. I then walked and halted with her even more.

I wanted to share some videos. To some, it may not look like much, but to us it is noticeable progress.


 

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Discussion Starter #15
Let me re-introduce my princess pony...Coralie! Like I said, I feel this name combines many elements of other names I was considering - Coral is both nature-y and gemstone-y. The name Coralie absolutely sounds rather mystical in a cute/sweet way - fitting for a fairy princess. It has plenty of meanings you can interpret, all of which I like - coral, obviously, but Cora has "heart" (like corazon), some websites say Coralie's name meaning is "little maiden", and it is linked to Persephone who was alternatively called Kore.

And, it has absolutely a plethora of cute two syllable nicknames - Cora, Ora/Aura, and Leelee are some I'm sure I'll use at some point.

I might just keep her show name, Lucky Charm, but that's for another day.

Today was a big day for Coralie! In addition to getting her new name, she had her first ride under saddle since being with me and I couldn't have asked for more. Another girl at the barn, who is a horse massage therapist, checked out the fit of my saddle and let me use her adjustable shim pad so I could get a few rides in before the saddle fitter comes on Tuesday. (IF that happens - we are supposed to be getting remnants of a hurricane that day...)

My trainer had a training ride first and I was so proud of Coralie that I teared up. She stood for mounting, didn't have any silly moments other than looking offended at her own poop pile (princess!), and gave pretty solid WTC in both directions - and then I got on and rode her for about 10 minutes walk and trot and had a blast. We just took it very easy - I gave her plenty of rein and didn't push her too hard, but I felt such an amazing bond with her. It was pure bliss.

And guess what? I found out that the seller and trainer of the first pony I almost bought and ended up heartbroken over when the seller pulled out, tried to sell her to a teen at that barn instead. The teen ended up missing so many payments she got kicked out of the barn and the sale fell through, and the trainer regretted not selling her to me, realizing the pony would have been so happy with me, and asked my trainer if I would still consider buying her. My trainer was like - lol nope she has her perfect pony. I got a laugh out of that. Funny how things come together...some karma and some serendipity.

Videos! Just a reminder 1) I was nervous, it being my first time on her in weeks and 2) I haven't ridden at all in weeks - so be kind, haha.

And a picture, because I think she looks so gorgeous.


 

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Discussion Starter #18
No fun videos or pictures this time, but I wanted to briefly share that our lovely ride on Sunday wasn't just some fluke. I rode her again yesterday - this time without my trainer, and she was a sweetheart. No naughty behavior *at all* despite occasionally being bothered by flies. I lunged her for 5-10 minutes to get a sense of her mood and to get out any sillies, and then got right on. She stood perfectly still at the mounting block. She was like, "all right, mom, I'll do this for you, if you're sure" in true mare form. We definitely need to work on her stamina (she slowed down quickly), and develop a nice walk - she likes to trot and whoa the most.

Of concern, she has had some stomach upset in the form of truly unpleasant loose stools that she just loves to do on the crossties. It had seemed to be getting better over time, but then yesterday was the worse I've seen yet. I'm talking to my trainer about potential reasons and solutions. We switched her very slowly to the farm's grain (over 2.5 weeks, I think), and it was a rather similar grain. The only thing I added was some flax, so maybe she's getting too much? She is also able to free graze on lots of green plant matter all day now, whereas she used to be stalled part of the day, so that could also contribute? She has constant hay and is usually found munching away on it.
 

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Adding the flax as well as grass all day can bring on looser stool. We sometimes see it when we switch hays from winter to summer grasses or the older to the just cut and baled. All the barn horses go through an adjustment when the winter grass has come in and they are turned out on it even if only for short times to start. If it keeps up then I'd consider having someone out to look at her.
 

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So, to deal with the digestion issues I've added electrolytes to make sure she isn't losing too much water and will be starting her on SmartGI as recommended by my trainer, along with dac Bloom as was the plan to build up her muscle. Fingers crossed.

The saddle fitting appointment yesterday was...a start. The saddle fitter is perfect - extremely professional and knowledgeable. Despite being the last appointment of an exhausting day (her travel from PA to my area took an extra 2 hours due to downed trees, pushing everything back late), she gave Coralie and I her full attention the entire time and was so friendly. She had brought one saddle to try, but ended up ruling it out as not a good fit for either of us. Unfortunately, we are encountering an issue where Coralie is so short backed that a 16 would be more suited for her length-wise, but my femur length demands a 16.5, so we are going to have to find a 16.5 saddle that balances that.

She tried to make my saddle fit with some shimming in the meantime, but at 17, it's just too long and she has asked me not to ride in it while we search. So...back to groundwork (with maybe some bareback romps) it is. The saddle fitter will be sending out the sizing with a bunch of saddle fitters so we can look at other options.

Between getting Coralie ready and working her a little before my appointment, waiting for my appointment (the one before me ended up going almost an hour longer), and my appointment, she ended up being out for about 3 hours. She was mostly very good, though did end up tired and frustrated by the end. She also has very little under saddle stamina right now so she really didn't want to move under saddle after the first time we stopped and then went back out. But given we were all getting tired, I think she was wonderful.
 

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