Following my post on the horses and ponies who changed my life as a rider, I put some similar questions to my sister.
Emma has ridden since she was five years old, and throughout our childhood we had lessons together. However, we both see things through our own lens, and we generally rode different horses and ponies (although we are sisters, there is a significant height discrepancy! And we look for different things in our mounts), so I was keen to get her memories. Here, Emma shares the ponies who were important to her.
My first favourite pony… was my loan pony, Chocy. I developed much more of a bond with him than any other pony. I knew him.
The pony I didn’t get on with… having always been quite small, there have been a lot of times where I haven’t really felt in control of a pony. Katya was a pretty smart pony, because she took full advantage of the fact that I wasn’t in control. She ran off with me once during a hack. I didn’t fall off or get hurt, it just upset me that I couldn’t seem to communicate with her.
The pony I wanted to ride and couldn’t… I watched in frustration when my friend was bought a pony for her birthday. They were poorly matched – sometimes bringing together an inexperienced horse and rider works, but on this occasion it didn’t. I was desperate for the chance to work with a younger pony and develop together, and I was disappointed that my friend wasn’t able to take advantage of the opportunity, as her knowledge and skills weren’t at a level where she could do that yet, plus she wasn’t offered the necessary support. In hindsight, I’d have been little better – I wasn’t sensible or experienced enough, and I don’t consider myself a strong technical rider, so I think the horse would’ve learned a lot of bad habits from me. But at the time, I envied my friend her chance, and wished it could have been me.
The horse of my dreams… is probably a bit Quarter Horse or similar. Not very tall – more pony than horse – and light on her feet. In my mind, we go riding all over the place, a lot of trails and exploring, and especially adventures because I’d like to do things like ride the Oregon Trail. She likes to go fast, but is equally at home taking her time and enjoying the scenery. We spend a lot of time together, roaming the countryside, and though she can be a bit crotchety, we understand each other and she doesn’t snap at me all that often.
I’d like to thank Emma for her contribution – I knew two of these ponies, and it’s interesting to view them from someone else’s perspective. I’d love to hear similar stories from my readers – whether it was the first horse you owned or the one you’ve ridden most recently, which animals have made the greatest impression on you?