There’s something special about riding a pony. I know they are just smaller horses with a bigger attitude, so a lot more sass, but for some reason every time I see that I get to ride a pony my day immediately gets so much better.
I got to ride my favorite pony Dazzle, he is this adorable little white pony he’s literally so much fun I think it’s because it makes me feel like a little kid again. You see I never really got the whole pony experience as a kid I really mostly just rode small horses even when I was younger. But now when I get to ride a pony it just makes me feel like a little kid again because it’s pony, something every kid dreams about.
There’s something about dealing with the sass of a small pony and being closer to the ground that makes riding so much more of a challenge, there’s a challenge in riding a pony. Their stride is shorter, and there is less neck in front of you to save you if you screw up going over a jump. The ponies here at Penn State have taught me so much because they won’t save me, they won’t help, they expect me to help myself, I can’t rely on them because they are relying on me. We rely on each other. But ponies take a little longer to gain your trust.
I think it’s because they don’t want to have to trust you, they want you to follow their lead, but that doesn’t work. You have to earn their trust, just like they have to earn yours. I earned Dazzle’s trust by proving to him that I deserved his trust, I had to prove to him that I knew what I was doing especially when we started to jump.
Each jump we went up to was a test. Each jump I had to show him that I was going to make the right decision I was going to find the distance for him so that we could safely make it over each jump.
I give his sides a squeeze as I round the corner of the ring Dazzle steps up into the canter, his hooves keep a steady beat with the ground, an even rhythm pulsing against the ground, moving across the ground towards the first jump, it’s a white vertical oxer with a double rail, as we approach I have to remind myself to count pony strides not horse strides so I can find the right distance to the jump.
We lift off into the air flying over the jump.
We land on the other side I help Dazzle pick his little head up and gain back his nice and easy rhythm that helps us travel across the ground to the next jump. We continue around the ring to the rest of the course each jump reminding me of the feeling of flying and reminding me why I started riding in the first place and why I fell in love with this sport.
Riding ponies reminds me why I fell in love with this sport because they male me work harder, they remind me what trust is, and they challenge me, that’s why I love riding ponies…