Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Enough with the short jokes already

Ok, I get it. Red is 14.2. If he were a reining or Western pleasure horse, he’d be average sized. But when you do stuff like foxhunting, eventing, and dressage (ok, and jousting too), he’s kind of a midget. But dangit, he’s a CUTE midget, and he tries hard, and he’s a really good boy (most of the time).

And it may not have occurred to everyone out there, but we’ve owned Red for 8 years, and WE KNOW HE’S SHORT. Duh.

Case in point. We were foxhunting last weekend, and as we were riding back to the trailers, and one of the other riders says to me (from the top of her 16.2 hh ex-TB racehorse), “Is that what you’re down to?” I get that you’re trying to be funny, but really. Red had been rateable, polite, and spent the entire hunt right behind the second flight leader. If you have that kind of hunt horse, who CARES how tall he is?

And the new riding instructor – I know that he wants me to have something larger with a regular WTC, but if he says “We need to find you a REAL horse!” one more time, I swear Red’s gonna run him over. I mean heck, if he can face down an 18hh draft while jousting or doing mounted combat, some guy on the ground shouldn't be any problem, right?

Yes, I get that he’s gaited, and that his canter is flat and lateral and sometimes unbalanced. I know he’s not super fast, and he cannot jump super high. You’re right, I’ll never be able to take him to a dressage show (even though his trot work is starting to be first level quality) and we’d probably get thrown out of even the Green as Grass division if he foxtrots in the dressage test. But he’s one HELL of a nicer ride than the Hanoverian mare that I was offered to ride the other day – the one who kept trying to spin and bolt to the gate with me? That was super awesome. MY short little gaited pony moves off my leg, is soft in the bridle, jumps 3’ coops, and kicks draft butt.

Did I mention that he cuts cows too? Who knew?

So next time you see me out there making the best of what I have to ride (because, you know, I have one retired horse, I put my main horse down last week and my hubby rides our other horse), how about mentioning how nice his trot work is, or how brave he is over the hunt coops, or how great it was that he cut the cattle away from the horses who were freaking out about them? Save the short comments for someone who hasn’t heard them. Besides, I’m riding the Feerless War Pony… what’s under YOUR saddle? ;)

... and you DO NOT want to mess with the Feerless War Pony.

26 comments:

  1. Haha! Feerless War Pony is too cute. Good to see you're out having fun - that's all that matters. I <3 red ponies!

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    1. Feerless War Pony says that War Ponies are NOT CUTE.

      (I still smooch him on his cute little nose though. He hates it... which might be why I do it, lol!)

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  2. First of all, i WISH I still had a small, agile, tough as nails pony (or near pony) to ride - they are the best. I feel your pain though. The season I evented my 13.2 hand pony prelim, I got a lot of "awww, she's so cute! when are you buying a big horse?" in the warmup ring. Then she'd beat the warmbloods in dressage, and go double clear on XC. Oh yeah, and she was 25. Would love to see how those 17hh TB's are holding up at 25. :)

    You know what a gem you have... everyone else is just jealous!

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    1. 13.2 hh and going Prelim? I'm gonna have to tell Reddums that he's got no more excuses on the fences, and that 19 isn't at all old. Star is gonna be his new heroine!

      And I swear that every time someone calls him cute, Red thinks really hard about biting them. ;)

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    2. She was a little insane... And also very willing to bite critics. ;) of course Prairie is certain she needs all of her 17 hands...

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    3. Red has (thusfar) been too polite to bite critics. We may have to work on that. As for Prairie's 17 hands, she seems like such a sweet girl that she needs the extra size for intimidation!

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  3. I would feel bad for Feerless War Pony, but I know he would scoff at such things, you know, cuz he's a war pony.

    Sometimes, though, I feel like a second class citizen for riding a "short" horse... and is 15 hands really that short?? People call Lilly a pony all the time, and not as a term of endearment like I do. GRR!!!

    Short horses RULE!!

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    1. Reddums agrees, War Ponies are the best!

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  4. I bet Fearless War Pony says (f word) all the haters! Me too actually - what's with criticizing other people's horses, especially well behaved, hardworking (and cute) ones. That would make me mad - considering your last few months.

    I get the opposite around here - everyone wants to be closer to the ground and thinks my 16.2 tb makes me a crazy person... or he must be crazy as well as big, or both...

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    1. Everyone's a critic, right? If he weren't gaited we'd be kicking all kinds of butt. Oh well, you work with what you've got.

      And around here, your 16.2 hh TB would fit right in!

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  5. Don't people know that TNT comes in small packages?

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    1. HAHAHAHA! I'll have to tell Reddums you said that!

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  6. I will never again own a horse that is 15 hands or above. There is nothing so pleasant as my 14.3 horse--easy to get on and off, and stays sound. And cute and level-headed, just as you say. And yep, people make fun of mine, too. But I don't care. My little horse suits me. Go Reddums--he sounds like a horse I would love.

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    1. Laura, the short ones are definitely way easier to get on! I even have a patented belly-flop method for hopping on Red bareback - it's sooo graceful! (NOT). No WAY could I do that on a taller horse, even though I'm 5'8!

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  7. You go girl! We all know ponies rock.

    I get somewhat the opposite. No-one believes me that the Lippi's are as short as they are. I get lots of accusations that I'm cheating by going in a smaller height class at comps....Bah!

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    1. LL, I do believe that the extra width (like on Myra) makes them look taller than they actually are. Plus Lippi's carry themselves like much larger horses. I swear they ride about 2 hands taller than actual size!

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  8. Small horses are the BEST! Everyone puts them down, but the best jumpers in my barn are all under 15hh. I also know a Training level eventer who is 14hh.

    Ponies rock :)

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    1. BVD, there are definitely advantages! They are super maneuverable, which I love, but the jumps definitely look bigger from Reddums-back than they did from Saga-back. Maybe that means I'll have to ride better? LOL!

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  9. I agree with what Calm, Forward, Straight said. Good horses come in all shapes and sizes, just like good people. And besides, isn't real dressage all about making the best of what you have to ride?

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    1. Terry, I'd say that real HORSEMANSHIP is all about making the best of what you have to ride. And I'm sure that Boomer would agree that good horses come in all shapes and sizes. ;)

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    2. I am 5" 1' so he would be the perfect size for me (wink, wink). If I can ever get back into horses, I hope to have one so wonderful and willing as Red.

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    3. WIHH, if you ever decide to get back into horses, let me know. You live near where I grew up, and my parents still live there so I go back for visits. Also, both of my childhood riding instructors live within 30 minutes of you. I'd be more than happy to put you in touch with them. And who knows? Maybe a Reddums is in your future!

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  10. 100% agreed!!! My daughter's fav ride ever was a little POA we leased for 2 years. That small on statue but big on heart pony could do it all :)

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    1. The little guys do seem to have a lot of heart! I'm pretty sure Red doesn't know he's only 14.2.

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  11. He is so cute! I am a big fan of warmbloods but even the small cute ones are just as good, if not better, teachers. I'm glad he has an owner like you who appreciates him.

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    1. Reddums says that Feerless War Ponies are not "cute". "Cute" is for some little child's pony that gets stuck wearing matching pink polos and saddle pads. He just wanted you to know. ;)

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