Pony Be Good – Why Ponies Rock For Adults

They look definitely good on pictures

As a kid, I rode ponies. And I was – let’s say, not always the one deciding where to go. When this tiny Haflinger mare decided not to jump more than three fences in a course then she DID not jump more than three fences in a course. We more often left the arena after fence 2 or 3 than after the actual last fence. Being stubborn, bucking, “losing me midair”… nothing really uncommon when I was around 15.

I fell in love with ponies as a kid..

I always thought that growing up would lead me to ride REAL horses – just because ponies are for kids, horses are for adults. They mainly gave me the ponies because I was tiny, too. Now, as a grown up, I am still tiny. And sure, today I could choose to ride horses. But I ride a pony instead. Again, a Haflinger. A gelding this time.

Dreaming of riding real horses when I was younger

You might think: well, she should ride horses. She can move up the levels only with a real horse. Especially in dressage. Okay, it might be true that we will never make it to the Olympics (can you imagine though how sensational that would be?). But ponies have a lot more to offer than just being there for kids not big enough to ride REAL horses.

Not moving up the levels with a pony?!

1. Size does not matter. Actually, the good thing is with ponies, you are not intimidated by their size. Falling off a pony feels 10 times safer to me than falling from a horse. I am not the bravest rider obviously (did I mention that I ride dressage?!). In fact, you could (I emphasize: COULD) even mount a pony bareback. I cannot do it though as I am obviously not flexible enough and thinking of swinging my right leg over my horse from the ground feels like something tearing apart somewhere in my thighs.

Ok, he is still too tall when it comes to braiding him

2. Ponies remind us of our childhood. When you ride a pony, you instantly think about all those happy moments you had back then when you were a child. After school rides, endless rides in summer during your week long (it was WEEKS! Not only days…) holidays. 

Childhood dreams..came true!

3. That forelock, that tail! For those who loved to play with Barbie horses like me, having a life-sized Barbie horse at the barn feels like a dream come true. Having to brush a tail that thick and a curly forelock that cute just gives me AHHHHS. But only until you have to wash them. Washing Barbie horses’ tail and forelocks was a bit easier.
What a forelock! And that tail! Be jealous, Warmbloods!

4. You can actually see your horse’s back. That is a value add for people like me who probably even miss to properly groom spots far up on real horses. Not going to happen with Hafl, I can see almost every piece of his body without help. 

Clipping patterns made easy when you can look over to the other side to check

5. Ponies are smart. That was probably the biggest issue when riding ponies as a kid. They were simply too smart and quickly found ways to stop working and enjoying themselves instead. As a grown up, you can take advantage of this! Ponies really want to work and once you understand them, they would do anything for you – except when there is feeding time, then you should probably hurry up and leave them alone.

Listen! Do not roar during our freestyle, got it?
6. You are the maverick. Showing up with a pony that is capable of third level movements will give you all possibilities: nobody is expecting anything from you (other than when entering the arena with a Don Schufro offspring and failing), and when you succeed everyone will remember you – and what is more important, respect you. It might be harder to get flashy movements out of a pony, but when you do, you can be a superstar! 

If you can dream it, you can do it
7. You can do silly things and do not look silly on a pony. Put Hafl underneath a pink dress, dress him up as a sailor, a lion? Never looks stupid! There will be lots of aaahhhhs and ooooohhhhhs for the cuteness factor built-in in ponies.

Pretty in pink
8. Ponies are lifetime friends. Once you made them friends with them, they would do anything for you. Even trying hard to show some flashy movements.

Love you buddy!
Do you have any experience with ponies? What do you think?

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