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Does anyone care to share memories of their first pony/horse?

(25 Posts)
ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Sun 21-Jun-15 06:54:41

I rode as a child, and did the occasional pony day, but never had anything to do with the day to day care, and never had the opportunity to build up a relationship with a pony/horse.

We've had DCs loan pony for a couple of months now. Of course, I new it was going to be a huge commitment in terms of expense and time, and was as prepared for that as I could be but....

I had no idea how much he would transform our lives. Will have to post too soon, or laptop will auto-delete message...

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Sun 21-Jun-15 07:11:28

I didn't realise how much character they have blush! He's so gentle and kind and patient, and really looks after our DCs.

Because of him, we've met loads of interesting people, too. I love us having a shared hobby, spending more time together and being more active. I don't even ride him, I just look after him and watch DCs!

Countless people told me to give it a couple of months and it would become a real chore, and I'd regret it, but not a chance!

I would never gush like this in RL (apart to DH, and I think even he's bored of me saying it now) because no one would understand. I'm hoping maybe it's OK on here, just this once! smile

I think when I look back on this year, I'll remember it so fondly as the year that we got our first pony, and how much he changed our lives.

Would love to hear about peoples' happy/funny/gushy memoriesif anyone wants to share.

Just re-read OP...knew not new!

Gabilan Sun 21-Jun-15 17:25:16

Got my first horse when I was 32. I used to stand and stare at him because I couldn't believe that this incredibly beautiful animal was mine. It was like being in love for the first time.

I loved the relationship I had with him, he was my equine soulmate. I think the horse I have now is my best friend. Like you OP, I've met new people and made friends because of him. He's kind, honest, totally reliable and looks after me. He also has an odd sense of humour and likes having his hind legs scratched. If I don't start scratching fast enough, he holds a hind leg up at me. That one takes a bit of getting used to!

Pixel Mon 22-Jun-15 00:52:14

My sister and I bought the first pony we looked at after sitting on him for five minutes because we didn't want our dad to have a chance to change his mind after finally agreeing to get one!
He was totally unsuitable as a first pony to two girls who had never had a proper lesson in their lives, a real feisty welsh of 13.2hh who could go from a standstill to a flat out gallop and napped like crazy. After a previous owner recognised him we found out he was 16, not 10 as the advert had said. On the other hand he was a gentleman to handle and never nipped or raised a hoof to a single soul in his entire life, was completely bombproof, pulled a trap beautifully (despite us having no clue what we were doing) and did his annual stint of pony rides at the school fete with perfect patience. He taught us both to jump and ride bareback, and I still remember that hot, dusty summer when we got him vividly although it was over 30 years ago. I think I was thrilled and terrified in equal measure of the enormity of owning our long-awaited pony (thrilled because he was gorgeous, terrified because he bolted rather a lot!). We had him until he was 35 and he was a loyal, sweet and loving friend to the end. Turned out he was rather perfect as a first pony after all smile.

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Mon 22-Jun-15 06:46:30

Ah what lovely memories smile.

Gabilan I know what you mean. Even when all the jobs are done, I could happily just stand and gaze at him. I feel so honoured to have come across him, and to have him in our lives.

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Mon 22-Jun-15 06:55:21

Pixel grin. Well done for persuading your dad!

My Dsis and I invested a lot of time and effort in trying to get a pony when we were young. There was no chance my dad would budge though, and we eventually gave up.

My Dsis came to meet him a while back, and on the way back in the car, I was inwardly a bit hmm and confused because she wasn't blown away by him.

I suppose on first encounters, he looks like your average pony, it's only since I got to know him that I realise there is no such thing as an average pony, and they're all unique individuals.

Pixel Mon 22-Jun-15 20:24:02

Ha ha, well he foolishly said that if we saved up half the money to get a pony he would put the rest to it and we could have one, not thinking we would do it. He didn't reckon on the desperation of a pony-mad teenage girl!. Also we had a secret weapon, Mum was on our side wink. Mind you we both had to work at part-time jobs to pay for the pony's keep, as well as looking after him on DIY and doing exams etc so it wasn't much of a concession on Dad's part. hmm

I hate to say this about your sister, but she sounds a bit clueless if she doesn't recognise a good pony when she sees one!

MoreBeta Mon 22-Jun-15 20:36:30

Our first 'pony' was actually a donkey. He used to get out of his field and come down the backyard to our house (we lived on a farm) and pick up bottles of milk on the doorstep with his teeth and neck the whole lot after taking the cap off with his tongue. He had clearly learned this somewhere else.

He also really liked a long drink of tea in a Pyrex bowl - no idea how we discovered this.

Cant remember riding him much but we were only 5 and 3 at the time.

Then had ponies until I was 12 and went to boarding school and then only rode again when I was 35 on a polo pony in Argentina. They respond to pressure of the reign on their neck not a bridle and bit in the mouth. They turn on a sixpence. Wow that was an experience after such a long break!

MoreBeta Mon 22-Jun-15 20:38:15

reign = rein obviously blush

fuctifino Mon 22-Jun-15 21:05:02

I bought my first pony at 19, when I got my first full time job. I had been saving my part time wages, so could afford to buy a horse, I just couldn't afford the upkeep, hence having to wait.
He was a strong, feisty little 13.2 who turned his hoof to anything I asked of him. We hunted for a number of seasons, he used to scare the crap out of me because I couldn't stop him. He loved his days out. He did a mean XC and jumping but dressage or the showing part of working hunter was dire! All he wanted to do was plough on and get if over with, it was neverelegant and always rushed.
I owned him for 17 years before the dreaded day came sad.
18 months before he went, my lovely dh had a surprise portrait of him done. It still has pride of place.
I truly, truly loved that pony blush.

I never thought I'd find another who would capture my heart but my mare of 7 years managed it. She is very different to him but equally as lovable.

I never thought when I bought at 19 that I'dhave nearly 30 years of continual horse ownership.
If I added up how much I have spent on them over that time, I think I might have to lie in a darkened room grin

Gabilan Mon 22-Jun-15 21:11:26

I added up how much I spent on my first horse then realised that this is why I am not a home owner.

Oh well. When I am old, grey and penniless I can sit and think about all the great times I've had with horses. It's better than sitting in a house that I own and thinking "well what was the point of all that then?"

Pixel Mon 22-Jun-15 21:24:17

Me too Gabilan but it's not just that. When I see people with a designer handbag or expensive shoes I'm not the least bit jealous because I've got something much better instead. Also smoking, I just don't get it. Apart from being a vile habit and bad for you, all I see is someone burning cash they could be spending on a horse!

Gabilan Mon 22-Jun-15 21:40:39

I'd sell my soul to hear my horse whinnying at me Pixel. It's not that material stuff is bad, it just doesn't hit the spot in the same way.

PerfectlyChaotic Mon 22-Jun-15 22:40:07

Smiled reading these stories! My first pony was a beautiful 13.2hh grey mare - the ultimate school mistress if you could accept that she had no brakes whatsoever! I'd be terrified now of course but back then we were a fab team - she certainly knew her stuff and taught me huge amounts about jumping and cross country riding.

Dressage was mainly about keeping her inside the arena though and everything was performed as a sort of sideways scuttle ��. Hugely fond memories.

Horseless now sadly but keep hoping that one day I'll find the time and resources!

honeyroar Mon 22-Jun-15 23:07:14

Mine was a beautiful palomino gelding that scared the life out of me for the first two years! He was the pony I rode at a riding school that shut down. We bought him not knowing anything about keeping ponies (we had land and a barn he could live in). Every time I got on him he set off back for his previous home. One day I was leading him down a field to avoid an icy steep lane and he saw some other riders ahead. He set off at a canter, the safety stirrup hooked under my jacket and I got dragged along. He stopped at the other horses with me sobbing. The other riders turned out to be the PC DC, who escorted me home and got my parents to sign me up. I went off to the first rally with a pony with its mane hacked off by my mother and her sewing shears! From that rally onwards we started learning. Three years later I was a much better rider and the pony respected me. We started to compete and were on most pc teams. I went onto do my BHSAI and still credit half of what i know to that pony! We did sell him briefly when I went off to college, but he harassed them too and they said they'd send him for meat, so we bought him back and loaned him out. He died aged 25 when I was an adult. Many years later when SS was competing at PC he started winning cups that had me and my pony's name on from decades ago.

He set the lead for most other males I fell for, good looking sods that messed me around!

Pixel Tue 23-Jun-15 21:02:26

Honeyroar I love that post, you actually lived your life in a pony book didn't you! smile.

Gabilan Tue 23-Jun-15 21:09:55

"He set the lead for most other males I fell for, good looking sods that messed me around!"

smile I sometimes find myself looking at my horse and thinking "hmm, ruggedly good looking, totally honest, very reliable. If you were human, I'd marry you". I'm not sure this is particularly healthy or normal but [shrugs]

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Tue 23-Jun-15 21:22:27

Ooh I love these posts!.

MoreBeta grin at your donkey.

honeyroar Tue 23-Jun-15 22:21:51

Thanks Pixel, it does sound like a bit of a novel reading it back! Yours does too.

Funnily enough he was a 13.2 Welsh B x Arab. I found a pic of the little swine (I adored!).

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Wed 24-Jun-15 07:42:39

Ahhh honeyroar smile star.

Love that your SS is winning the cups that you won!

And marrying the human equivalent...I get that! Humans are just so complicated, and I include myself in that, obviously wink.

Littlegreyauditor Mon 03-Aug-15 21:38:05

I just found this thread.

Got horse when I was 12, spent every hour I had with him. 14:3 Connemara, grey (under layers of whatever filth he chose to roll in, regardless of my spirited attempts to convince him otherwise and intense dedication to grooming). Have memories of just spending hours in his stable, particularly when it was raining, which was always; we are in Ireland. Once slept in his feed trough at pony camp when the tents flooded. He was a bit bemused, but basically ok with it. He had to smell me a few times in the night to check all was well.

He used to take off my baseball cap and groom me for fleas. When I brushed his front end he would lick the back of my legs. He liked to hold the end of my (bum length) plait in his mouth any time I took him anywhere on a lead rope, just to make sure I understood we were equals. He lifted his feet to be picked out if I tapped gently on his fetlock and held them up for me, but would stand like a rock, unmoved and resolute, for everyone else, especially the farrier whom he loathed with almost as much passion as he loathed the vet. Vaccinations were an opera every time, until the vet's daughter qualified. She called him' sweetheart', rubbed behind his ears and crooned, and could have sawed off his leg without much objection on his part.

He won everything he did, of course. He was a Connie, and they are just the best at everything they try. If, by some fluke, he was not declared the winner it was clearly the fault of others (me). A 17 hour grooming session, desperate attempts to make him submit to bathing, slightly wonky plaits and that was it, the spotlight was clearly there only for him. He would seem to grow by six inches, and would enter the arena of his obvious triumph like Ceasar entering Rome. 9 times out of 10 it worked. He was pretty damn spectacular at almost everything. The tenth time would invariably be dressage, where we once earned the comment "My goodness, well sat!" from a judge subjected to his best airs above the ground. We got a wretched score of 95 and chose to blame it on a combination of high winds and an air horn. I still have the score sheet. grin

At 25 he semi retired and proved he was an extraordinary RDA pony. At 28 his life of sloth began in earnest. He ate, lounged, threatened vets, repeatedly attempted to kill or injure my OH and graciously submitted to the clumsy affections of my toddler DS and several foals who were turned out with him over the years.

He died this year, aged 35, having been half my soul for 25 years, and is currently in my front garden under a horse chestnut sapling.

Sorry, this is bloody long, I have an awful lot of memories. blush

MegEmski Wed 05-Aug-15 13:07:50

Littlegrey, that's beautiful. I've got a grey connie at the moment, he is only 6 and he is fab. Hoping for another 20 years with him

Enb76 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:24:57

My first pony was a 14.2 liver chestnut Arab X called Rosie. She was 14 when I got her and a truly superb jumper. In fact, she could jump her 5 bar gate from a trot in a New Zealand and regularly did so to meet me as I came up the track to muck the field. She had a fondness for Penguin Biscuits and a drop lip that I used to put polos in.

She was traffic shy and feisty and uncatchable if you dared to fall off but in her field she would nibble at your ear and follow to push you over into the muck should you bend over. She gave the best hugs. I used to hack her for miles.

She was a great little eventing pony and she could have done far more than I ever asked of her. My mother sold her after my GCSE's as she was too small for me and I had less time to look after her but I do wonder what happened to her - she would have been 20.

Littlegreyauditor Wed 05-Aug-15 17:10:54

Hang on tight to him Meg, don't ever let him go (or if you do, send him to me grin ). They are the greatest, most resourceful, spirited, personality filled wee buggers that walk the earth. There are other horses, yes, some poor eejits might even claim there are better horses, but there is nothing like a pair of pricked up ears on a fat grey Connie to make your day a wee bit brighter.
You lucky swine. wink

Gabilan Sun 09-Aug-15 19:10:17

He sounds lovely, Auditor. Far be it from me to say that any horse might be better. But I love to think of the big, chestnut ears of my Hanoverian x Anglo-Arab. You never quite knew what he might do next, but the ears were as good an indication as any.

And these days I love the black-edged, brown ears of an IDx. I'm not quite sure what he'll do next either but I do that whatever it is, he'll look after me and take me with him.

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