If you event a small horse or pony, you’re part of a special group. We all know ponies are the most fun and an overgrown pony, perhaps 15hh or 15.1hh, can be the adult answer if you really are a touch too tall for that 14.2hh gem.
But the little ones have their upsides and downsides. Here are seven things you only know if you ride a tiny eventer…
1. You get wet going through the water jump. Not like the occasional splash. Like proper all out, I’ve just been swimming thanks, soaked. You’re so low to the ground that big droplets of water right up all over your number bib and even face are the norm.
2. Your kit is all different sizes. He has feet like an 18hh Shire so has extra-large overreach boots, his tummy is such that the standard overgirth that fitted the 16.1hh thoroughbred you had previously barely stretches round him, but a cob bridle is just perfect, thanks.
3. You have to hoick your stirrups up beyond normal limits to avoid knocking the showjumps down with your own feet.
4. Heels down is tricky in the dressage when you also need to use your legs and your heels are frankly more likely to touch under his tummy than be in the right place for a leg aid. Swan neck spurs, anyone?
5. People sometimes ask you if you’re a Pony Club runner as you head off to warm up. Or mistake him for the real event horse’s companion who’s just come along for the ride.
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6. The walk in the dressage test seems to take ages. He is striding out, honestly, but that’s the biggest step he can take…
7. Despite his small size, he still weighs enough to squash your foot flat, has the strength to wrench his hoof away when you’re doing his studs and the power to take off with you round the lorry park as you walk him round after cross-country.
But despite all this, we wouldn’t change our tiny eventers for all the giants in the British Eventing database. David beat Goliath, right?
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