It’s time for our regular Horse of the Week feature, and, as it’s my turn to choose, I have stolen the blog from my boss, Lisa.
As you all know, I am one of the two coaches here at the trekking centre, and I teach both children and adults several days a week.
You are all probably thinking I am going to choose one of the horses that work so well in the adult lessons and special training clinics. Well, you would be wrong, because my selection this week is our pretty little Highland mare, Princess.
I have worked at the centre for a long time now, and one task I have always enjoyed is keeping an eye out for horses or ponies that Lisa would be interested in, who would do a good job here. Princess is one of my finds.
And, of course, she turned out to be a ‘buy one, get one free’ discovery, because – unknown to us when we bought her – she was in foal. She duly gave birth to Wispa, and so had a very light start to her new life here work-wise.
When she returned to work after maternity leave, Princess proved to be a forward-going pony and we needed to put small adults and children who could already ride on her. She is fun, and I actually love riding her myself!
But when we first started her in the indoor school, she was quite reluctant when asked to work on her own, although she was fine in a group. One day, I was riding her and she simply refused to go near letter H! All the other letters were no problem, but H was a big deal! She was also apprehensive of equipment or poles stored in the corners, and, eventually, we began to think that perhaps we should sell her because we just weren’t using her enough.
Lisa is very fond of Princess and didn’t really want to part with her, but we went ahead and advertised her for sale. Well, Princess clearly read the advert because she really pulled her socks up! And, since then, she has become better and better. She is a proper little schoolmistress now.
She is brilliant at teaching canter, because it is so easy to get her into her stride. We often use her as a lead pony with a member of staff riding her to encourage the other ponies in the school.
My fellow instructor Karen loves her too. She is Karen’s go-to pony for jumping lessons. It is amazing to see a pony who was wary of poles flying around a course of jumps without a care in the world.
She is really quick and is fantastic at pony club games, which she really enjoys. I think she would love Western riding too, and I am really keen to train her in this skill.
I am so relieved that we didn’t find that perfect home for Princess. We would never part with her now.