Are ponies easier than horses..? No, before you read, the answer is no...
I mean I realise I'm possibly bias, having a pony and all, but god they are the best. Seriously, everyone needs a little pony in their life! But a lot of people say that they're "much easier" than having a "proper horse"... so I thought I'd set that straight :-D
So, a little story time for you... I have never really owned a horse*! My first pony was a 13.2hh cob, then moved on to an amazing 14.2hh connemara mare. Aero was my dream pony and my first youngster... I absolutely loved her but at the age of about 16 I fell off and fractured my spine, oops. Sadly, that put an end to my riding for 4 years, I took it back up at Uni in teams and continued from there, but because of the injury I didn't progress off ponies in the way most people do! After Uni I bought myself a pony for the first time but obviously didn't have a lot of money so got the (very cheap and not so) darling 13hh Brenda came into my life... and it all stayed little from there! I'm sure I'll do some kind of "my pony history" thing so more about this later.
(* This is a little bit of a lie, I had a 15.2hh cob, Milo, for a couple of months but only as a stop over before he went to his real mummy who had a broken leg at the time so doesn't really count!)
So, I love ponies... there are so many positives to them... but here's my little list of 5 pony negatives:
1. There's like, no horse?! Zarry spooks and basically disappears... no big broad shoulders or chunky neck to save you! I've broken three bones in my life, all off ponies. I've ridden 17.2hh 4 year olds that have just been backed, hunted big old Irish Sports Horses, jumped nutty Warmbloods... walked away unscathed every time. Give me a pony and a cross pole (or a hack?!) honestly, all I see is ground. And the balance... omg how hard it is to balance on the little buggers, especially when they're having a special moment of being an idiot. However, plus point is that it helps you to develop a very sticky seat, which is ideal because...
2. They're dickheads. Apologies, this is the first time I've sworn on here and it will not be the last. But they are, its true, even the good ones. I fully believe that every little pony, even the superstar good ones, has a tiny bit of the smiling devil emoji in their brain. Zarry's comes out when he randomly decides its fun to "forget" something we've done a billion times, like how to jump. Honestly, a 60cm warm up cross pole and he'll do a massive cat leap for NO REASON. Little bastard. Exmaple two, one of my lovely friends had a tiny pony called Nutty, the most lovely, safe and great kids pony but he reallllllyyyy finds it funny and enjoys shaking his whole body until they fell off. V funny for me too. However, my theory this is is because of their brains...
3. They are just too damn smart. I really mean this. When my friend complained to our vet that her 18.2hh horse wasn't very smart, he said that she had to remember that his brain is about the same size as Shetland pony brain, sooo with all that body to control it figures that he's not the brightest. However, reverse that you have a problem.With great power comes great responsibility and all that... But if you add in points one and two to this point... OMG they are a nightmare sometimes! Zarry has this in very much a worried way (aww, sad) but it's still so bloody annoying; you can give him a simple task that he can easily do (e.g. a 60cm grid with a bounce at the beginning - this exact one if you're interested), give him too long to think about it (e.g. a nice calm, balanced approach) aaaaand you end up with a broken little finger (true story.). However, again, reverse the above... you come round a corner in a gallop to a tricky combination of a massive downhill table to two skinnies, that you haven't walked, whilst schooling him around his first ever BE90 track (stupid me), he works it out in the nano second as we take off and flies through like a pro. Seriously, mind blowing! Weird little creatures.
4. They all believe they are 17.2hh - or maybe this is just mine?! I think it runs true for a lot of yards that the smallest pony rules the roost. You've either got a tiny and hilarious Shetland that no creature would cross, or a Dartmoor that won't be contained by fencing... everyone knows a sassy pony. Mine is more of the diva route. He fully believes he runs the yard, spends all his time in the field pacing the fence line and ensuring everyone is doing what they should be (grazing) and not what he believes they shouldn't be (having fun!). He walks into EVERY warm up ring like he's the biggest horse there, it's ALWAYS the opposite. He fully believes he needs the whole 18t lorry to himself. And god if you call him "cute" to his face then I pray for you. Seriously, the term small man syndrome exists for ponies.
5. Nothing. Ever. Fits.... unless its pink and sparkly?! Which I just am not into, sadly. All pony stuff is mainly kids stuff... obviously that figures and not all full grown adults buy tiny ponies (just stupid old me) but damn it's still annoying. Want a nice CC jump saddle, all flash looking and professional in 16.5"? Nope. Have one with "The Pony Club" stamped on the back, or buy made for measure at the same price as a bloody house! Want a saddle cloth to fit your extortionate saddle you had to buy? Here, we have S/M, its candy pink and has flowers on the rim! Want a rug? Great, pony is from 4'3" to 5'3", horse is from 6' to 7'6"... ohhh your pony is 5'6"? What a shame.
Thankfully, he has grown so we can now buy grown up looking stuff... but if someone wants to make a serious and professional looking brand for idiots (sorry I mean adults) that buy ponies then I would very much appreciate it! Gap in the market? I'll only take 20% of the profits for being the idea woman.
So there we have it. Clearly I've just done the old job interview technique of "oh my worst weakness is just working toooooo hard" because lets be honest I basically just said all bad points were actually good, there are no negatives. Ponies are amazing, particularly my one (#sorrynotsorry). They're clever, quick and oh so springy. They're challenging but so much fun. Plus, added bonus, if you drop something whilst out on a hack, you can just get off and on again?! It's amazing. And clearly point 5 is null because my XC colours have pink sparkly unicorns on them sooo... *shrug*. Maybe I'll do a reverse post for the 5 best things about them? Who knows. Hope it made you smile :-)
Laterz to any pony haterzzzz
V & Z xx