Things have been a little topsy turvy here with the ponies recently. We have had a new pony here for the last six weeks, to see whether she suited us, and after a rather bad start, things turned around, and she has proved herself to be a little poppet,so we've made the decision that we would like her to stay! This is Tishy, 12.3hh, about 17, with a very happy middle daughter on board.
This has, however, meant that some tough decisions have had to be made. You may remember that I bought this little filly last summer ( see here
with the plan to initially use her as a broodmare, ( she is actually booked into stud with Diptford Star Attraction this spring) to breed a Working Hunter type pony, and then to break her in to have as a jumping pony when the girls were a bit older. She has a fantastic jumping pedigree - she is by Timber - in - the Mist, a Connemara stallion, and her dam is a daughter of Rosewall Mister Softee, a champion JA pony. Hazel, who currently stands at about 13.1hh, has so much potential. She arrived very anxious and bargy, but has settled right down. She is kind and gentle to handle, desperately eager to please, and particularly quick to learn. She also jumps like a stag, and this is where things become tricky!
I rent a little bit of land away from the farm which is where I intended to run Hazel, along with my other youngster, Piper. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be a great plan because Hazel, good in every other way, panics if left on her own and jumps straight out to join us. My fencing is sheep netting or stone walls, and I'm not in a position to re -fence rented land! Obviously, this means that I can't begin to work on breaking Piper in, which is what I planned to start doing. So, I have had to bring both girls back to the farm with the riding ponies, where I can safely leave Hazel when I work with Piper. BUT, the arrival of Tishy puts too much pressure on the land at the farm, and my new year promise to the family was to simplify our lives as much as possible. The upshot of this is that, reluctantly, I have agreed to put Hazel up for sale. I say reluctant, because I genuinely like this little mare. She is an anxious sort, but is incredibly trusting of people. She can't bear to be left on her own, but is just as happy with a person for companion as another pony. She will stand like a rock in the stable to have her mane pulled, her feet picked out - any amount of fussing over. She leads out at walk and trot from both sides. She will follow me anywhere I ask her to, even through the river at full flood. She really does like to work and use her brain. I think, in kind and calm hands, she will make a top competitive showjumping pony.
So, there we are. One comes in, one must go out. Sad as it makes me, I do see that it is more important to have the right pony NOW for the children, when they are starting out, than to be saving them a good one for the future!