In the last some years, each horse I’ve bought has been smaller than the one before. I’ve owned, loved, and enjoyed horses as large as 17 hands, but my current horses are two wonderful and athletic 14.1 hand ponies.
Why would an (average size) adult choose to ride ponies? Because Ponies are the
Sports Cars of the horse world!
They’re agile, athletic, generally sound and healthy, intelligent, trainable, adorable, have Personality Plus, and are fun, fun, fun! At 5’6″ my legs hang a little long on them, but as long as I keep my weight within bounds, they carry me very comfortably and competitively in dressage, over fences, and down the trail. Ponies can WIN against the big horses and will always have a fan club because they have such charm and panache.
They’re smaller and closer to the ground, which is good in every way.
- Easier to get the saddle on and off.
- Easier to mount/dismount.
- You can see to brush the top of the horse.
- You can get the halter/bridle on easily. No giraffes!
- Less far to fall (although I try to avoid falling at all)
- Spooks and antics tend to be less terrifying. However, be advised that some ponies can be very quick, athletic and catty in their movement, so take them seriously.
- Usually easier to handle on the ground with some decent training (just smaller, so that makes it easier).
- Require less feed – much less expensive to feed.
- Many have great feet and can go barefoot, at least behind
Sometimes, riding my ponies or just being with them makes me feel like a little girl again (and a happy one, too).
So maybe Ponies are the Fountain of Youth? I kind of think so.