This month we bring to you one of our Shetland Ponies, Jiminy Nikki, Nikki for short
Nikki is a beautiful black mare standing at 10.1 hands and is one of the sweetest natured ponies I’ve ever owned. Born in 1995, (so she is getting up there in age now), Nikki came to us in the very early days of our business back in 2001 – she is very much a part of our family. With her shiny black coat in summer, her lovely long, wavy mane and tail and her big brown eyes, Nikki has always been a popular pony at kids parties and events.
Why is Nikki One Of Our Popular Ponies With The Kids?
When we bought her as a 7 year old, Nikki’s previous owner had used her as a broodmare to breed miniature horses from. She had two beautiful foals. We discovered that Nikki had obviously been broken in to ride at some stage because she so easily stepped into her new career as a hand led pony ride giver as if she had been doing it all her life, displaying a calm, placid temperament in all situations. As you might well know, kids birthday parties are fun, happy and noisily active affairs – as they should be.
Although she is so amazingly quiet amongst all manner of noise and commotion, Nikki is quite a sprightly forward moving pony who would often prefer to trot everywhere rather than walk which makes her very easy to lead. She will walk shoulder to shoulder with her handler, placing the child in the saddle right next to the handler.
Michelle Gets On Her Soap Box
This is how we as a pony ride business have all of our ponies walk as this is the safest position for children – easy reach for us, we can keep a steady hand on the youngsters should they not have good natural balance, which often they don’t. I have seen quite a few pony ride businesses lead their ponies virtually at the end of the lead rope! How are they going to save your child from taking a fall? All a pony needs to do is innocently stumble over a clump of grass or pause for a big shake if they are feeling a bit itchy and off your little one goes. Who cares about public liability insurance? You simply don’t want your child falling off at all.
(I’ll step down from my soap box now, but rest assured, with me having over 30 years of riding, teaching, training, competing experience, Balloonaversal provide one of the most well thought out, safest environments while still maintaining the kids party fun, you can afford to have.)
How Old Is Too Old To Give Pony Rides?
People often ask me how old Nikki is and then how long do Shetland Ponies live, which is in most cases into their 30s. This invariably leads to the next question – how long will she work for? As long as my ponies are sound (no lameness such as arthritis), are in perfect health and are happy in their job (they get regular holidays away from any form of work), then we still include them, after all even ponies need to feel useful. So far we have retired two of our ponies a small, very cute white Shetland called CJ and a white Welsh Mountain mare called Buttons.
Want To Know More About The Ponies On The Balloonaversal Team?
I hope you have enjoyed reading about another one of Balloonaversal’s pony team members, we will feature another pony in the next edition of BalloonaScoop. You can find past pony profile articles in the Blog.
Please leave us a comment below and let us know if you have had Nikki visit your party. Send us a photo.
For information on pony rides visit our Pony Party Packages page.