When AIM was cool (which wasn’t all that long ago), my screen name was PonyFanatic … followed by some numbers because of course someone already had that screen name. Nothing has changed.
I am not a tall individual. I’m 5’2”, and my less-than-tall stature has allowed me to unintentionally turn into a life-long pony lover.
At my first lesson, Nad asked how long I had been riding, and I confidently said, “Ten years, but I don’t really jump higher than 3’.”
He put me on a beautiful and kind Trakehner/Quarter Horse cross. And at the first step in the sitting trot, I nearly bounced out of the saddle. Nad laughed as I slowed down and asked for some pointers while admitting I’d mostly ridden ponies until this point in my life. I had ridden some nice Quarter Horses who were at least 15 hands or so, but I’d never ridden a horse with such a lofty trot!
Since college I’ve had the opportunity to ride countless incredible horses. I think the biggest horse I have ridden was 17.2 hands, which really gave the entire barn a good giggle.
It was likely even more hilarious because I usually rode Stuart Little (an adorable quarter pony).
However, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a pony fanatic. You can claim to be anti-pony since they have large personalities that often include sneaky behaviors, but I challenge you to have an open mind. Ponies are really quite special:
- When little kids want to meet a pony, I can bring them to the barn knowing exactly which pony is the right pony for kids to meet. I am the barn’s pony guru. That one will bite. That one can’t tie. And that one loves hugs.
- My friends never wonder what to give me for my birthday. Ponies.
- Likewise, my coworkers never stress about what kind of birthday card to get for me. Ponies.
- Ponies are adorable. And adorable animals make me smile. I know there are stories about being a “healthier you” by being around animals. Ponies make me a healthier me.
- Their accessories, like turnout sheets and blankets, are often cheaper than horse-size accessories. Bonus!
- They’re often less intimidating upon first glance.
- Ponies challenge me. They keep me on my toes. And when I win their respect, they’re my most trusted mount.
- Just look at that face! Case closed. Ponies are awesome.
Allison Griest is a freelance writer based in Texas. Follow her on Twitter: @allisongriest.