Educating Stella – Part 1: Dream Pony

With Sunny retired, it was time for me to start looking for a new horse. My plan was to begin my search this spring, knowing it could take up to a year to find the perfect horse. I’d barely even started looking when my friend Sarah said these five fateful words to me:

“There’s this pony for sale.”

That was on April 13th. On May 10th I met her, and it was love at first sight. On the first of June I sat on her for the first time. And on June 21st, I brought her home. Talk about a whirlwind romance!

Stella (or, more formally, “Mountain Spring’s Ariel”) is a six year old half Connemara mare by the gorgeous Connemara stallion Bantry Bay’s Aengus, out of a lovely Sport Pony mare, Arabella.

Yes, I said “pony”. Stella is 14.1 hands high. And yes, I am asked the question almost every time. Why would you buy a pony? Why not buy a horse?

Of course there are all the logical answers to that question. The answers that kind of make sense to most people. She’s nicely bred, and would be a great broodmare. Ponies are hardier, and live longer. Ponies are less expensive to feed. Ponies are…

But the truth is this. I just love ponies. I love how smart they are. I love how quick they are. I love… yes, I love how little they are. Now, you may not know me, but I’m not a tall person. I’m five-foot-three (and a half. On a good day. In shoes…). Large ponies are just my size. I feel like I do best on horses in the 14 to 15 hand range. And knowing that I wanted a young horse that I could bring along myself, i felt I’d feel safer on (and less intimidated by) a small one.

I’ve also always just wanted to see just how far I can take a pony in the dressage world. It’s my dream to show 4th level. But it’s my pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top dream to show 4th level… on a pony.

So here we go. It is now my job to bring this little gem along correctly. To make her a good dressage horse and an upstanding citizen. To teach her everything she needs to know to get through life happily and confidently. It’s a huge (HUGE) responsibility, and yes, I am appropriately overwhelmed. But this is my dream. Time to go do it.

 

Pony Hugs

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