It seems that many of us enjoy our “small but mighty” steeds. Perhas you might enjoy meeting a few of the Shining Stars both old and new who keep up with the big boys (and girls).
Allow me to introduce just a few of my favorites:
1) Grand Prix Dressage: Seldom Seen, trained and ridden by Lendon Gray. This 14.2 hd Connemara/TB cross began with Ms. Gray in Eventing, but they soon switched careers to Dressage. Seldom Seen was the first horse she trained all the way to Grand Prix and he won nationally, then she took him to Europe where he acquitted himself well, too. In the USA he faced a fair amount of Pony Prejudice, especially earlier in his career, as people were not used to seeing smaller horses compete in dressage. Those of us with petite mounts say, “Thank you!” to Lendon and Seldom Seen for being ground breakers in the dressage pony movement here in this country!
Stories about him say that he was not a spectacular mover, could be a little lazy but he did have heart, and was trainable and kind. If you want to know more, here’s an interesting article from a couple of years ago:
And a wonderful video of his retirement dance with his rider, well worth watching.
2) Eventing Pony Forrest Nymph (aka Farrah) is not technically a pony at 14.3 hds, but as a
New Forest Pony, and half-sister to my own Finn, I have to put her on this list. She’s an eventing powerhouse, partnering with Sinead Halpin and currently competing at the Intermediate level in CIC2* events! Those jumps are BIG (3’9″ cross country, 3’11” stadium), especially when your horse is only 14.3 hds. Watch the red head fly over jumps in this video – the girl has Springs!
3) Grand Prix Dressage: North Forks Brenin Cardi, trained and ridden by Jessica Wisdom is a spectacular Welsh Cob stallion (14.3 hds) whose career I’ve followed with interest for quite some time. It’s a pleasure to watch him move. In 2014 he won the National Dressage GP Freestyle Final with a score of 71.375%. Check out the ride, it’s wonderful!
And then there are all the unsung hero horses and ponies we know and love, the ones that may not have silver cups or ribbons ’round their necks,
round a course of jumps without error or pause; through a dressage test with style; into a crowded arena with patience and good manners. And most of all, for bringing a smile to our
faces each and every day that we get to be with them. Thank you, we are grateful!