Wednesday 4 April 2018

New Pony Musings

Just some thoughts and first impressions on Sovie/Sophie now that she's been home for over a week!

As my recaps indicate, she's had a ton of outings and adventures in such a short time - a trip to a big show grounds, a stopover at EC's place, several trailer rides, and of course some hand walking trail outings here at home. So, I'm feeling like I've already got a pretty good idea of what she's all about.

Like all good ponies, eating makes everything better

In short, I feel like I got super lucky. Buying her sight unseen was a bit of a risk, but she's better than I could have hoped. I was mentally ready for a half wild baby pony, but she's pretty much the exact opposite to that. The breeder did a fantastic job getting her ready for the real world, and even in new situations she's got such a great temperament that you could be fooled into thinking she's done it all before.
First walk on the trail, Sophie says no big deal.

Temperament wise, she's super generous and willing. She wants to be your best friend, she loves everyone, and she tries really hard to do whatever you ask. Her default if she's not sure is to hesitate and think, and then go right ahead and try it if you encourage it. She's very, very trusting of us. When things startle her, she tends to turn and face them, which I love. She's quite curious about the world and once she investigates the scary thing, she's not likely to spook at it or anything similar again.

She's a lovely mover. In the videos I was sent I think she was a bit anxious - the more relaxed version we see every day is quite nice and is giving me hope for some future dressage goals.

Reusing this baby pic because so cute

I get the feeling she's got a very busy mind. She's aware of everything going on around her and right now everything gets investigated (and usually tasted, lol). She quite enjoys our outings and any attention she gets. I'm going to see if I can find some appropriate toys to keep her busy on her off days.
watching u

The only downside is that I'm a little bit at loose ends for things to do with her. She very much wants to be involved in our everyday adventures, but she's obviously much too young to do anything in the way of actual work. I'm not crazy about teaching them via round penning or longing this young. We might start long lining her later in the fall, just quietly around the arena and trails, lots of straight lines and quiet transitions.
Grooming right now is always an option, much hair, so itchy!

As far as ground manners, etc go, she's excellent and great with everything from standing to spray bottles to clippers to putting her feet where you ask. Perhaps I'll build her a trail course to investigate and lead her on that? I don't know - I had thoughts of just leaving her alone to grow but I don't think that's going to be enough mental stimulation for her. I guess worst case I can pony her everywhere we go and she can stand tied and wait for us while I school Bridget :)


  1. I was going to suggest ground driving since then you could just drive her everywhere :)

  2. Its hard sometimes when they are so young because you want to do ALL THE THINGS with them. I think hand-walking is really beneficial - up and down hills ,thru water, etc. :)

  3. She sounds like a real gem. Just do small things. It will all pay off. Look into groundwork exercises and in hand trail obstacles. That will be fun.

  4. What a doll! I bought Q so I wouldn't push Grif too quickly. He ended up learning to pony and we also did a ton of fun ground work both on the lunge and at liberty. He loved all of it and was easy to start undersaddle thanks to all the time we spent together with the other things.

  5. You have lucked out - she sounds like a doll! :) I've got no advice that hasn't already been given in the above comments.

  6. She sounds so lovely! I think outings are beneficial at a young age like horse shows, clinics or just visiting new arenas.

  7. What a cool baby!! She really has such a lovely expression! And I’m sure you’ll figure out stuff to do - even this very simple work of just plain old handling her is additive to her experiences and education as a whole!