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USpony

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Jan 7, 2015
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Hello everyone. I hope this is still an active forum. I have spent quite some time reading through the archives and finally decided to take the plunge and join in. I had ponies as a child, then when I was 13 "moved up" to half- Arabians. One day I woke up and realized I had more fun with my ornery little Shetland type ponies. I'm not the over-confident rider I was as a kid. My confidence is a bit shot actually. I started dreaming of ponies again, but thought I might be too big for one. This forum gave me the confidence to think I could do it. I am 42 years old 5.2 tall and weigh 140 lbs (I believe that is about 10 stone) and I am on a weight lose program for pony sake.

I started reading this forum before I had a pony, but eventually got the opportunity to care for and ride the horse and pony of an older couple who I'm friends with. One day the older gentleman owner accidentally left a gate open. The pony got out and led his innocent Tennessee Walking horse companion on a high speed gallop down the highway up an on ramp and onto the interstate. They galloped down the interstate for a mile or so during morning rush hour traffic with semi trucks behind them and everything. They were on the local news...radio and TV. Finally the police were able to stop one lane of traffic so my elderly friends could catch the two and lead them home. I arrived soon after (oblivious to any of this) for a nice little ride to find two extremely sweaty equines closed up in the barn. My friends were very shaken and decided they could no longer keep the two. They gave the little rascal of a pony to me! I was so happy my husband let me take him.

The pony's name is Rusty, sometimes called Pony-gedan. He is 12.1 hands tall and 7 years old and I love him for his ornery character. He is definitely not a children's pony. I'm so glad I'm a smaller (and shrinking) adult so I can ride him. I don't have a saddle that fits him yet so I ride with a Best Friends bareback pad. The Barefoot Cheyenne saddle will have to wait another 2 1/2 years when I am out of college. I don't have a trailer right now. I ride him around my 6 acre property, but I would love to do shorter endurance rides (if he is able) and competitive trail riding with him. That is what I am training him for so I'm ready when the opportunity arises. He has a nice big stride and feels like a much bigger horse. I will post some pictures after I figure out how so you can tell me if you think I am too big. The farrier thinks we are the perfect pair so I feel encouraged.

I know this is the longest post in the world (I'm not even sure anyone will see it), but I have all this built up inside me since I don't have anyone else I can talk to about it. I'm on the other side of the pond in the States, but pony love knows no borders.
 

LindaAd

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Hi, and welcome to the forum! I liked your question about whether the forum is still active - have a look round and you'll see the answer:D Looking forward to seeing pix of your Rusty - pony. How long have you had him?
 
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USpony

Active Member
Jan 7, 2015
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I have had Rusty about a year and a half and feel so blessed to have him in my life. I'm happy to get replies since it looks like a while since there was a post in the "Adults Who Ride Ponies" section. I don't know how to do pictures but will figure it out since I want you to see him. The farrier says he is stocky enough to carry me for whatever I want to do with him. Of course I still worry I'm too big. We don't have your wonderful native ponies but he looks like he has some Shetland in him. Like a Shetland crossed with a little paint horse. Shetlands and crosses are pretty common over here.
 
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joosie

lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
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Hi, and welcome :) We are definitely still an active forum, it's actually undergone some big changes recently and become busier especially with lots of new members! I am pony owner too (I have a 12.1 and a 14.2) and there are quite a few of us on here.
 
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newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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Hi and welcome.
We are very much active and chatty.
I like ponies having had a tb I went back to ponies. Mine is only about 14.1hh but I have ridden as smallas 11.2hh with ease. May nnot get bottom in treed saddle now.

I love the bareback pads, had a blue one. I made my own and will dig that back out in the Springtime.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Oh don't worry about the sections, I used to post in the Adults Who Ride Ponies section (I am about your height and weight but my boy Ziggy is a couple of hands bigger - and probably about 2 ft wider- than your little guy) but now I don't bother, so many of us ride little ones that we don't feel we have to be segregated! Certainly you won't find anyone here who takes you to task for riding a small pony.

My livery mate, whose horses share a field with mine, is tall (about 5 ft 8) and thin like a rail. She likes to ride Ziggy, even though she says she needs roller skates!

Let's see a picture of the rascal Rusty. Those were hair-raising Interstate adventures!
 
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USpony

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I promise I will get some pictures of Rusty even if I have to borrow a camera. I want to be able to show him off. He is not perfect but I think he is pretty great. He is also very fluffy at the moment. The temperature could get down to -35 degrees tonight. Crazy cold, but he seems fine in his stall with some extra hay. I love how hardy and tough ponies can be.

It was a hair raising interstate adventure. We are very lucky no human or horse was hurt. The big horse was understandably very foot sore (he recovered well with some rest). Rusty didn't show any signs of soreness and was trying to repeat his escape and have another road run immediately after the incident.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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It was a hair raising interstate adventure. We are very lucky no human or horse was hurt. The big horse was understandably very foot sore (he recovered well with some rest). Rusty didn't show any signs of soreness and was trying to repeat his escape and have another road run immediately after the incident.

That is a serious pony attitude! I love the sound of his fluff too. Here's a link to an article which several of us have posted in winter over the years about how the horse's (or pony's!) body and metabolism cope with intense cold: http://abouttack.com/articles/45/How-horses-cope-with-the-cold
 
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USpony

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Thanx for the great article, Jane. I keep My Pet Monster (one of Rusty's names:rolleyes:) groomed fluffy and dry. The wind is fierce right now but he wasn't shivering in his shelter so he seems amazingly ok in spite of the bitter cold. Now I'm off to find a way to convert the Celsius temps in the article to Fahrenheit so I can better understand whats what.

I've been around horses all my life and have had years of lessons. There is still so much to learn about them I often feel like a beginner again.o_O

Rusty does have serious pony attitude and a sense of humor. His former owner taught him to give kisses on command. My 20 year old daughter and I were out with the horses one day when Rusty acted like he wanted to give my daughter a kiss. As soon as he was very very close to her face, he sneezed instead. Daughter was a little grossed out by the rain of pony snot but we all had a good laugh. None more so than Rusty himself. Just one of his typical pranks. Often his pranks are only funny to him. I could really tell you stories, believe me. I love the little character for it though. He does things no big horse would ever even think up.
 
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Jessey

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Welcome, boy was my heart in my throat reading about their escape, a yard I once rode at had a similar escape and the end result was not nearly so good :( Glad to hear yours were pretty unscathed though. Rusty sounds a right character, looking forward to seeing the pics
 
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horseandgoatmom

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Dec 3, 2014
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I'm not the over-confident rider I was as a kid.
Welcome!!! This is a great forum !

LOL as we get older I think we find we don't bend and bounce like we did as kids!.

I'm in the USA too -- in MA.
I see with your low temps much lower than we got wed pm -3F are you in the midwest?

Can't wait to see photos-- yes show him off!!:D
 

USpony

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I think much of the US have been seeing especially cold temperatures lately. We live in the mid-west, IN to be exact. Today when I turned Rusty out he just wanted to run and kick up his heels. He even did one tremendous buck and kicked out with his back legs while still high in the air. He looked like a fluffly spotted little Lipizzaner doing a capriole:eek:. He is my fiery steed in fuzzy pajamas.

I think for such small pony to not have the right temperament for children can be disastrous for the pony. I am his seventh home and he is only 8 years old! He has been beaten and whipped quite a lot and returned to the horse dealer 3 times (I know some of his history). Beating seems to be the go to thing for training a naughty horse. I didn't want to be like that and it obviously didn't work for him anyway. If someone fights him, he just fights harder.

I'd been studying John Lyons, Monty Roberts, and Parelli for years and decided to restart Rusty's "training" from the beginning so he would know he can trust me to be a good leader. I'm not super experienced as a trainer so this little pony stretched my horse knowledge to the max. I knew I was in over my head, just enough. I changed his curb bit for a full-cheek snaffle and taught him baby-give exercises. I also taught him to lunge and free lunge. We worked on changing directions, backing up and, generally just me controlling where his feet go like a lead mare would.

I also don't let him eat his food til I give the ok (I am the lead mare after all). He complained about that mightily at first, but now looks to me for permission. I spent a lot of time hand walking and riding short distances to build his strength for carrying me. I can tell he respects me now but still sometimes tests his boundaries to see if he can take over and be the leader again. I think he will always do that. It's just his personality. The best part is I feel like he needs me. He has a home with me for life. Partly because I love him and partly because I'm afraid another owner would either beat him for naughtiness or let a child ride him:oops: since he is too small for most adults to consider riding.

Thank you for letting me talk about my pony. Most people don't understand so it all built up inside me. This turned out longer than I meant it to, but I could definitely go on and on. Sorry its such a long response.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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[QUOTE="USpony, post: 2956765, member: 220281"
I think for such small pony to not have the right temperament for children can be disastrous for the pony. I am his seventh home and he is only 8 years old! He has been beaten and whipped quite a lot and returned to the horse dealer 3 times (I know some of his history). Beating seems to be the go to thing for training a naughty horse. I didn't want to be like that and it obviously didn't work for him anyway. If someone fights him, he just fights harder.

[/QUOTE]

Poor little blighter. I hope it's not premature to say that he's lucky to have found you!

Please talk about him as much as you want but POST PICTURES!!!! I want a picture of him frolicking in the snow!
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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If you are in the Midwest is that anywhere near Colorado? My favourite horse trainer/handler - who definitely does not use whippings and beatings - is Mark Rashid who is in Colarado. He has a FB page - Considering The Horse, if you are interested. Writes great books too.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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IN is Indiana, right? That's closer to the Great Lakes than the Rockies, where Colorado is. I believe it's big, flat country with great extremes of temperature - hot summers, bitterly cold winters
 
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