While growing up my Grandma Genevieve Kurtenbach would load the trailer full of ponies every summer and head to horse shows with us grandchildren. Back then, I remember there being a lot of classes specifically for ponies and the main mount for children were ponies. People considered them to be beneficial for youth to learn to ride on before moving up to a taller horse.
Now I rarely even see a pony at the shows as youth are starting their riding careers on horses. Some people believe that ponies have a bad reputation, but a bad pony usually comes from people putting a young child on a green broke pony they bought for cheap expecting them to “learn together”. If you wouldn’t put your child on an untrained 15 HH horse why should green broke ponies be expected to magically carry a child that is also learning to ride? These unrealistic expectations people have of ponies need to change so children can experience the benefits of a pony.
There is something so special about a child bonding with their pony: the pony running towards the child when they see them, the spark in their eye when they nuzzle the child for affection or their soft nicker to them for a treat. Finding a well-trained pony that is suitable for the child will help them learn and gain confidence in grooming, groundwork, saddling and bridling. These tasks are less intimidating and easier to manage with a pony due to their small size helping to develop the child’s horsemanship skills.
Ponies are fantastic under harness as well, which allows people of all ages to use the pony. This makes it unnecessary to re-home the pony once the child has outgrown it. We have had ponies that were enjoyed by 4 generations in our family: my grandma bred the pony, my mom was gifted the pony, my dad trained the pony to drive, I trained the pony to ride, my brother showed the pony, and both my nieces learned to ride on that pony. A pony is truly a family treasure that is worth their weight in gold!
Our vision is to increase the value of rare pony breeds so each member of the family can enjoy all the benefits of owning a pony. We breed, train, promote and sell Welsh Ponies and Newfoundland Ponies, which are listed on the Heritage Livestock Canada’s conservation list. We want to help protect these ponies and increase their numbers so others can enjoy the versatility both these breeds have, making them the ideal family ponies.