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Driving Ponies

(Click on the thumbnails to see large versions of the photos)

Ponies have featured in my life forever! However, as age advances I have found great pleasure in Driving. After a tentative start with an old gymkhana pony my daughter grew out of, I took lessons and bought Sam, a registered Fell Pony. Fells are typically stubborn and devious when they don't want to do something and I became fairly cunning at times, finding that gentle persuasion often got me what I wanted...

Sam - in a good mood Meg`s first lessons
Sam - in a good mood Meg's first lessons

Whilst tiptoeing around Sam and his temperament I acquired two 'in foal' shetland type mares that had a history of maybe having been broken to drive at one time in their lives. Meg and Molly had their foals very soon after arriving without any assistance , which is a good thing because they were too terrified to let me near. To cut a long story short, one colt foal was sold but I kept the filly and called her Mouse, so I had three identical ponies.

Fell Pony Dinah Granddaughter Sophie, with Fiona
Fell Pony 'Dinah' Granddaughter Sophie, with 'Fiona'

The process of breaking was slow because bad memories were obviously lurking in the background, but eventually we managed it and I really enjoyed the experience! Meg, Molly and Mouse were sold to lovely homes and I have since had a succession of little ponies to break... These ponies are surprisingly strong and can pull a light carriage with two adults along flattish ground, and they are amazingly competitive in scurry competitions!

Friends practising Scurry Ready for competition Having a rest during a rally
Friends practising 'Scurry' Ready for competition Having a rest during a rally

At the moment I have a part Welsh pony, Jim-Bob, who is a bit of a show-off, I have had a great deal of fun at rallies with him. I also have two miniature Shetlands due to be broken in the Spring of 2006.

Jim in a two wheeler Jim-Bob with friends Scurry competition with Jim-Bob
Jim in a two wheeler Jim-Bob with friends Scurry competition with Jim-Bob

My next project is to train my young Dalmatians to run with the carriages, a challenge to come is the Carriage Dog Championships mostly held in Hampshire but hopefully soon to come to the Midlands.

Jim-Bob and Ellie in training Carriage Dog Championships, Hants.
Jim-Bob and Ellie in training Carriage Dog Championships, Hants.

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