I missed the pony rider stage, I was close to 5’7” when I started riding and now stand 5’10”. I’ve hacked some ponies, schooled naughty show ponies, and leased the fabulous short in stature Dee. But like I’ve mentioned before, I spent most of my riding career riding larger horses.
Well people, I may be a convert. This weekend we helped work some cattle at my in-laws cattle ranch. My usual ranch mount had a stone bruise, so we were scrambling to find something for me to move cattle on. The best option available was my nephew’s Shetland/Quarter Horse pony cross. So I stole their pony for the day.
And she is the coolest thing ever.
After an initial test moment where she tried to dump me in the driveway, we got along like peas and carrots. My husband was on a big grey gelding who coasts right along, and this little mare had no problem keeping right up. And we aren’t talking flat fields; we climbed massive hills, crossed roads, and rode through grass as tall as her body. She didn’t give a fig, and spent half the initial ride to the herd begging for more rein. My shoulders are feeling it today, and thats from holding her back.
The cattle were pretty easy to gather, but the few we did have to pursue had a tricky moment or two. Little mare dug in and as soon as I let her, she’d spring after the cows. My biggest job was remembering how to steer (neck reining) and not to fall off during the terrain changes.
The horses were high on their driving success, but little mare still let my daughter ride her around before we turned for home. I was way more comfortable on the way back, and let her stretch out and get her gallop on a bit. There’s a lot more movement, smaller steps, but she was so catty and careful I felt really safe on her. Not to mention it was like driving a sport car.
Once we made it home I made her pose for a picture (with me to provide scale) to demonstrate exactly adorable and small she is. And now I’m on a mission to convince my trainer to let me buy a sport pony.
I need way more ponies in my life. Who else is with me!?