Hi - I'm new!

Hi - I just joined new rider as I see there are a lot of adult pony riders - Lovely photos of you and your beautiful ponies! I'm wondering how you deal with the naysayers? This is a photo of me 2nd day backing one of our lovely connemara ponies (the funny face is me waiting for a possible bronck - didn't happen though). She is completely comfortable carrying me - i can feel she's balanced. I made the mistake of asking what anyone thought on a 'smaller connemara pony' forum - my reasoning being that if I'm going to do dressage or anything public with her I'd better have an answer for the weight police! Well rather than advice i got cyber bullied! I weigh 12 stone - 12 and a half in the photo - and I'm 5'7" - i ride light. She's 14' 1" 10 yo stocky connemara. It was only a couple of people but it was pretty nasty. I have a centre for kids riding in nature - with therapeutic riding - using connemara and rare native kerry bog ponies - so I'm lucky to have a few ponies i can potentially ride. I sold my big sport horse as lovely as she was i just prefer ponies & the more work i do with the kids the less time i have for maintaining a big horse (whereas the ponies can be ridden by the kids). So because I'm involved with native breeds and I advertise the business in social media i really want to inform myself to be ready for anyone who thinks adults on ponies is cruel etc. - without their taking into account the pony's individual weight bearing capacity etc.
I'm considering measuring her loins, her leg bone etc to be really prepared for them. The 2nd photo is me with one of the chunkier kerry bog ponies - I've never seen anything like the strength of these lads - like an 18hh draught they're so strong. (They do things like charge through strong, post and rail fencing - snapping it - not blinking an eyelid just to get out to buddies etc ). I'd like a formula for these too as they are incredibly rare, there's very little market for small ponies in Ireland at present, they make great kids ponies after a lot of training - & to get experience they ideally need an experienced teenager to work with them for a while (particularly the geldings). I have the teenagers riding them - no doubt the weight police will be onto me soon (). The 3rd photo shows a lighter gelding on the left who is fit as a fiddle from all his frolicking in the paddock & carries his 15yo tall rider -never tiring or blowing, even in canter, and in perfect balance. The much chunkier pony on the right with the other teenager is also as strong as an ox. My 7yo daughter was riding the narrower pony but at 4 he's still very green and needs to learn the ropes. If i thought he was anyway hurt by a bigger rider i wouldn't put one on. But i can see they hardly notice they have a rider. And having stronger teenagers riding them is really the key to training them as they are beautiful, amazing, incredibly strong, feisty as anything & will only survive long-term as a breed if they are ridden - & in my experience they take a lot more work to train than our connemaras have (some breeders say they are easy to train - but none of them who say that have ever trained 1!). We've trained & used 7 in our centre for little kids - 5 being mares, 1 being a gelding trained by 1 of only 2 other people in UK & ireland training them specifically - she is a light-weight rider & rode him herself, and the other a gelding we trained ourselves. We have 3 other geldings currently in training - Ridden by my own kids but too strong for beginners at present, and 4 more mares in training who tend to also be strong but easier to train . You couldn't explain to people how strong these ponies are - unless they've come across a feisty pony on their travels. The 15/ 20% rule just wouldn't seem to equate to the kerry bog pony's unbelievable strength. Sorry for the long post. I would like to find out people's accumulated knowledge & experience - then i can write an informed post for my website - and refer anyone who is giving out to it. If anyone is interested in photos of the ponies my website is www.wildmountainequestrian.com


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Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
Well firstly hello and welcome to Nr. Secondly I love your ponies, you don't look too big or heavy to me, I think there is a certain snobbery within the horse world who believe anyone older than about 12 shouldn't ride ponies so sadly you will get some nasty comments. Not from us here at Nr though, there's plenty of pony riding adults on here and I think you should just ignore the naysayers and enjoy your lovely ponies. I'm 5'6 and ride a 14.2 haflinger, she doesn't even notice I'm up there and can comfortably carry my OH who weights about 12.5 stone, he is a total novice but I still don't worry about putting him on her.
Just enjoy them :)
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Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
Gosh can I have Acorn? He is stunning! I love the little dun, too.

I am short and stocky (5 ft 2 and 11 st at present) and I can't imagine a better fit than my 14.1 ish Connie Ziggy. He is a chunky boy but nobody has ever suggested that I need a bigger horse, and he has easily carried much heavier riders including my 6 ft, 12.5 st husband.

Honestly I think you just have to ignore people who don't understand how strong ponies can be. Look at Highlands, they are bred to carry 16 st stags and that is dead weight. I hope you get by ok as you sound like someone who understands and cares for her ponies really well.
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Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
The Kerry Bog pony DNA is in the Icelandic horse and the strength of both breeds in such in small packages is world famous.

I don't deal with naysayers any more, I am not interested in their "opinions" as their opinions are not based on any valid experience only discrimination and insecurity. IN the greater part they have already made up their minds and in their heads are convinced their 4 foot 11 frame weighing in at 7 stone needs a 17hh warmblood. Their loss. :D :D/
Thank you all - this is amazing! Xxx This means so much to me! I got attacked over the photo on the dun - told i should go on a diet & some more bizarre nasty comments that didn't make sense. Really encouraged by you guys. The ponies are like family to me. I couldn't resist this photo from this morning of my youngest daughter grooming one of our littlest ponies Primrose - who was just lapping up all the cuddles!


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Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
I am five feet something and a bit, I have a robust build and ride a 15hh connie. She has not collapsed under the strain yet and we've been together over eleven years! Take no notice of folk. If they want to look like a pea on a drum riding there 17hh horses bully for them.
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Ah wow look at toffee! He is gorgeous and so strong. You look perfect!!! You really aren't too tall on him. It's so inspirational that in the UK adults ride and show smaller native breeds. You are no taller than those great people on their ponies. It's a pity to hear that people still find it something to be nasty about there too. I'm wondering now - seeing as this happens in many places - is it an extension of how women are viewed in the media? If i walk around any town I'm bound to see women of all sizes. But i can't say the same for if i went to a show and observed who are on the horses. I've heard a lot of women say they have gone too big to ride - when i think that's just ridiculous - you don't hear men saying that out on the hunting field - they just find the horse or cob that suits them. And in Ireland i have seen bigger men or hunting on connemara ponies. But rarely ever have i seen bigger women. Unfortunately I've had the experience where a friend who is bigger visited from abroad and rode my horse - her daughter ride my 15hh connemara & i rode one of our 13.2 ponies (we have a centre for kids riding native Irish ponies in nature - hence range of ponies) - a bigger lady who now believed she is too big to ride - whose daughters are successful in the showing scene - and one of the daughters - who had previsiones loaned the 15hh pony - took it upon themselves to contact me expressing some kind of outrage and 'concern' for the animals' welfare after seeing the photos on Facebook. The friends were pretty famous horse trainers & phenomenal horse people that use natural training methods. So it seems it's an attack on women by other women. I never heard a man going on about it! I hope you find a group of fellow enthusiasts! Xx
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These are some of our guys. I'm going to come out of the closet now and root out the photos of me riding the 13.2 connemaras - i have ridden them all while i was training them and i adore riding ponies


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Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2012
Hello, lovely pictures and you look fine to me!

This is me on my 14h haffy. I'm 5ft 6/7 he used to carry me fine when I was 10.5 stone, I'm only 8.5 now though
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