For the benefit of some of our new blog followers, I thought I’d better do a bit of an introduction. First of all, thank you for taking a look. If you like what you see do click that little ‘Follow’ button on the right to subscribe 🙂
This blog sits under the banner ‘Dragon Dressage’ which is a bit of fun really, I train my Welsh Cob and my sister Claire, and my partner Andrew work as a support / advisory team. Normally Claire and I both post on our facebook page (Claire is currently without a ride but is window-shopping) but to be straightforward, just I write this blog.
We have an oddball collection of older ponies, including our first pony, Penny, whose now in her mid-thirties.
Though still fit as a fiddle and extremely active, at 11.2hh she’s far too small to ride, so is happily retired and lives a ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ existence causing mayhem with her regular escape attempts, jumping 3ft electric fences with no apparent difficulty in her unending search for more grass. She is absolutely a ‘grass is always greener’ girl.
Then there’s Misty, affectionately known as Moo, or Stroppy Drawers depending on what kind of temper she’s in.
Moo is Claire’s old pony (and my second pony), a 13.2hh New Forest mare in her mid-twenties. We have no real idea of what happened to her before she came into our lives in 1998, but she was pretty wild to handle and extremely aggressive. Suffice to say that as a very small 13 year old at the time, I’m amazed I’m still here at the grand age of 29! We all have our share of teeth and hoof marks, but thankfully she’s mellowed a lot with age and a lot of kindness, but old habits die hard and we still have to keep a close eye on her. Claire now hacks her, which Moo really enjoys.
I won’t say too much about young Rosie, other than she’s a very sweet Shetland and not at all stereotypical. She came along as company for Penny and is a worthy mascot.
Lastly there’s Saffron, the only one who really does any work around here 😉 She’s my beloved 21 year old Welsh Cob whom I fell in love with over the yard fence when I was 16. She is my world and we have such a bond, she’d do anything I ask. We currently compete BD at prelim level, something I never imagine we’d do.
We train classical dressage, very much anti-gadget, the ponies all live out all year in a herd (although Rosie comes in during the day in summer due to laminitis). They’re all unshod, or barefoot and I feel I have learnt so much when transitioning Saf after taking her front shoes off in 2013, I often wax-lyrical about the whole barefoot concept.
The way we keep these ponies is in a way that we feel is fundamentally ‘right’ and as natural as possible, given their domestication. I appreciate that not everyone can keep their horses in this way, and I hold absolutely nothing against that. We all need to do the best we can for our beloved equines. I hope you’ll enjoy following our journey.