September 2010 conformation photos, sort of. I don’t actually have much in the way of real conformation shots, so these will have to do. It’s important to see both sides in these photos – the distinct lack of mane in some areas, and the scraggly look on the other side.
Looking back through the photos from those first few rides, every photo with me riding the pony has a HUGE smile on my face. I am not good in front of a camera. I never noticed the camera those visits. It took all of 10 minutes, if that, for me to be absolutely convinced that I did indeed want to lease her.
I couldn’t consistently get her to canter both directions, but she was small, adorable, and incredibly responsive to the aids. Some of that responsiveness has been lost in the past two years, and I know that’s entirely my fault. I nag with my leg too much, so she quits listening. That said, I think I’m mostly okay with that. It’s easier for me to handle a slightly-deadsided horse than one who rockets off at every might-have-been leg aid.
I started off with this belief that I’d just get her in shape for someone else to buy. I’d give her a job in the meantime. I wasn’t going to be able to get a horse anytime soon.
April 2013. Twice the amount of mane, but beyond that? I have an awful time seeing much in the way of physical changes. It’s not quite an exact pose and angle match to the first photo, but it’s close.
By the time I graduated in June 2012, it was pretty well determined that the pony had decided she was mine. I was lucky enough to get a full-time job straight out of college. Some folks get cars for graduation; I got a pony a few months after I graduated. Certainly not swimming in excess money, but the bills get paid and I make do.
We did our first 25-mile ride in September 2012. It was a case of fitting the sport to the horse. She needed a serious job, so she got one! As best I can tell, Fetti loves going new places and thrives zooming along on new trails. She may never do a 50, and I’m okay with that. We can do years of 25s instead until she tells me she’s done. If she ever gets comfortable doing conditioning rides solo, who knows – maybe I will manage to get her in shape for a 50!
I thought once that maybe in my 30s I’d be able to afford a horse, probably some low-level hunter or something along those lines. Now? I love my pony, I love our trails, and I wouldn’t change a thing.