Jack as we simply call him, is a beautiful 12h Welsh Mountain Pony. We use both Shetland Ponies & Welsh Mountain Ponies for pony rides, but the Welshies are best for the older, taller kids.
Bay in colour (brown body with black mane and tail, and black points), Jack has 1 white hind sock, a star on his forehead and a nose that looks like it was dipped in white paint. He is very striking looking with his pretty dished face.
Correct Handling And Training Produces Quiet Ponies
When we bought Jack, he wasn’t as cool calm and collected as you see him today. He was an unbroken, unhandled , very nervous 3 year old.
We took our time with him over many, many months getting him used to the most basic of handling. Even learning to trust us enough so we could catch him was a big learning curve for Jack. But as it does, kindness and patience and proven training techniques won out in the end.
By the time Jack was ready to begin his training as a riding pony (the breaking in process), Jack was very comfortable with all the new things we presented him, taking everything in his stride. He excelled. We were so delighted with his progress after his slow start.
Jack really began to look forward to his training sessions as he made himself ‘available’ to catch. Yes he still had his days when it was a big game to catch him. I think he decided that he should be a human trainer and teach us that if we don’t bring him his favourite food with his halter and lead rope, then forget catching him. How many times I had to make a trip back to the feed shed to get a bucket of Compelto, then have him happily stand still as if nothing had taken place 5 min before.
Jack Is A Great Pony To Ride
Very soon I began riding Jack all around the paddock, down the road, up and down the ditches, over little banks and small logs. He enjoyed getting out and about and seeing new things, which were always eyed off with some suspicion, but he very shied away.
The next step was to introduce him to different riders. My neighbor Gabby and her friend Brianna who were in Year 7 came to ride as often as they could. I had 2 other Welshies that I had also been training at the same time so the girls could ride together.
Jack’s First Party
It wasn’t too long before a suitable birthday party situation came up where I thought it might be a good introduction to Jack’s career as pony ride pony. One of my very good horsey friends from my Templestowe Pony Club days, Helen Dillon was having a
pony party for her eldest daughter who was turning 8 at the time.
Perfect. Helen lives on several acres, plenty of calm and quiet spaces to retreat from at a noisy kids party. But that wasn’t necessary. Jack’s first job out was to simply be brushed and groomed and adored by lots of little 8 year old girls. And let me tell you – he loved every bit of the attention. It was such a milestone for Jack to have a crowd of people around him and to feel comfortable and relaxed with it.
Nikki, our beautiful black Shetland Pony mare gave plenty of calm pony rides while Jack and Tabitha (our very pretty palomino miniature pony mare) were groomed, had their manes and tails braided with plenty pretty hair accessories to glam them up.
Jack Is Now One Of Our Top Pony Ride Ponies
Jack has now been with us since 2009, and every year he just gets better and better. He now occasionally teaches young children to ride and is one of 4 horses (3 ponies and one Thoroughbred horse) that keep my wonderful teenage pony party assistants coming up regularly to help care for the animals. They get to ride any time they wish in return for feeding, grooming, washing ponies and maintaining stables and yards – such a hard job for horse mad kids.
Oh and by the way, Jack now comes galloping up when we call his name.
If you loved this article, please leave us some feedback, perhaps you have had Jack at one of your parties, tell us all about it.