Why My Kids Have a Pony, When Hubby Said ‘No’
- August 30, 2016
- Savanna Simmons
Ever since my our first son was born almost three years ago, my husband has dug in his heels in the matter of owning a pony. He has really simple reasons why, they’re often naughty and, depending on size, hard for a big person to get on and correct, and, more importantly, when being ponied off a standard-size horse, they are at the perfect height for the child to be kicked.
Yet my kids have a pony. The perfect pony. We are on a really big ranch and I do not get the opportunity for a number of reasons to go help on the ranch, so I focus my horse time to evenings, generally with our oldest, Brindle. I either go ride my trusty old steed on my own while the men get some quality guy-time, or Brindle and I trek out and saddle up his mount and play around.
Upon being offered Sparky from some long-time friends of the ranch, I couldn’t say no (after of course consulting my husband). He is the ideal first pony, gentle and quiet, and he needs to drop a few pounds, so he is in a small lot with a little grass, so he is always close-by whenever he is needed. In the past, we have had to wrangle in horses in order to grab a mount for Brindle. This isn’t a big problem, but having Sparky close is considerably easier.
Brindle’s independence is also increasing with Sparky, which is important to me. Brushing my Quarter Horse Tuff was an impossible task for Brindle. He could brush his legs, stomach, or face, with aide, but he was always getting a tail to the face or I was super-cautious of Tuff kicking at flies and Brindle being accidentally hurt. It never happened, but I was too on-edge.
Sparky is much more accessible to Brindle without his feet being at torso- or face-height. If Sparky were to kick, he would be less-likely to clip my little boy accidentally. Brushing is the perfect first task, in my humble opinion, for caring for a pony and Brindle needs to have some responsibility appropriate for his age.
We still interact with Sparky as we would a big horse; we are cautious when crossing behind, and he must lead respectfully, but these actions have suddenly become safer because of Sparky’s pint-size.
I have absolutely no intentions of ponying Brindle and Sparky off a big horse. I completely agree with that thinking, however I hope to soon turn Brindle and Sparky loose in a small pen and I can get my horse back and ride in a larger pen next to Brindle. Should Brindle fall off Sparky, which I am, again, cautious to not let happen (and he still has that helmet strapped on tight!), it will be a much shorter fall and less chance for injury or trauma.
Ponies have a bad reputation, and I believe it is often earned, or it is harder for them to be ridden and fixed-on if they are pretty small, but if you can accomplish the near-impossible and you can find a gem like Sparky, they can be invaluable in building the skills and confidence of little cowboys or cowgirls.
I would be remiss not to thank the Romey Family for lending us Sparky! Our boys have gained much more than just the perfect pony!
About Savanna Simmons
I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...