A pony bought as an untouched months-old colt straight from Bodmin Moor for £12 has gone on to become a “supercob” for his teenage owner.
There were no other bidders for piebald Warrior when Ann Martin and her then 11-year-old daughter Hannah Sluggett went to a “drift” sale five years ago, so Hannah picked up her new pony for less than the price of a bag of horse feed.
And although he was somewhat challenging to back and produce, he has rewarded his young rider many times over, going on to showjump, team-chase, whip in for Hannah’s local hunt, and become a “cracking” pony.
“We’ve had several of these ponies but we just went to that sale to have a look,” Ann told H&H.
“He was the only little one among a lot of bigger ponies but he was cute, with a big black spot on his face, and when he came into the ring, my daughter was the only bidder so she got him for £12.
“He was only about four months old, straight off the moor and very, very nervous.”
Ann said Hannah did everything herself, from the initial winning of Warrior’s trust to all his handling and backing.
“He’s been a bit bolshy!” Ann said. “He once got out and ran straight into a slurry pit and we nearly lost him in it – we had to rope him to get him out – and he used to buck with her and rear, even in-hand; he was a cheeky little devil.”
But Hannah persevered, taking Warrior to shows in hand, and, when he was older, getting on board.
“She rode him bareback at first as he wouldn’t lunge,” said Ann. “He grew out of the bucking and they went on to do everything; she’s a good little rider.
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“She did a one-day event and although he bucked in the dressage, he jumped clear showjumping and cross-country. He also hunted most of last season – he’s turned out to be a cracking pony, a supercob.”
Hannah aims to join the Army this year, so is considering loaning Warrior to another rider.
“He’s one of the best on the hunt field; everyone wants to ride him,” Ann said.
“The moorland ponies make the most fantastic rides; they adapt to whatever you ask them to do. It’s such a shame they go for such low prices and often for meat, as they’re really cracking characters.”
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