Tuesday, December 18, 2007


One of the first things I did when we moved here was to start looking for a pony for Claire. I searched the paper and the Internet and finally found a beautiful paint pony on http://www.dreamhorse.com/ for sale in Branson, MO. I called the guy and he said that someone was already on their way to buy her. She was the most beautiful pony I had ever seen and I wasn't giving up. I asked where they were coming from and he said pretty far away. I asked him if I got there first with cash, could I buy her. He said, "First $750 in my hand takes her home. I got in my car that instant. There was no time to borrow a trailer (we didn't have our own at the time) , we would have to go get her later, but I was going to be the first one to get the money in that guy's hand! It's normally a 3 hour trip to Branson. Let's just say I got there quicker then that!
We were told Cindy was 4 years old and broke to ride. The guy said his 11 year old daughter had been riding her and now wanted a "big" horse. Cindy is a large pony, standing 13.2 H, just 4 inches shorter then official horse size, but she is still a pony. Anyway, I didn't care what she was trained to do, all I wanted was a pretty pony for a 3 year old girl to sit on while I walked her around. She seemed to have a quiet disposition, so I paid the guy and Ted borrowed Uncle Charles' trailer and picked her up the next weekend.

Claire and Cindy fell in love. This girl loves this pony like nothing else. And Cindy will actually follow ClaireAnna around the pasture looking for scratches or treats. She has been a wonderful lead line pony with a fantastic disposition and Claire, Cindy and I have spent hours walking all over the farm. After a couple of years, we started using Cindy more to get her ready for Claire learning to ride her. We had some older 4-H girls show her and ride her. She always did great. But the funny thing is, she didn't seem to know much, training wise and she didn't seem used to the bit at all. I eventually started ponying Claire and Cindy. That means I let ClaireAnna ride Cindy, while I rode my horse and held on to them with a lead rope. We had many trail rides like that and Cindy always behaved very well. Below is Claire and Cindy at a 4-H play day. Claire was still too young to be in 4-H but they let me lead her through the classes anyway, just for fun.

Eventually, I had the thought that someday, when ClaireAnna outgrows Cindy, her next horse should be Cindy's foal. I know it is a ridiculously romantic idea, but it would also be really cool. So I took Cindy to the vet to make sure she was healthy enough to breed. That is when we found out the truth about Cindy. The vet told me she was only just then turning 4 years old. We had already had her for over 2 years which means that when we bought her, she was barely 2 years old. That also means that she was never trained to any extent - the guy had lied. We realized how much she had filled out since we got her too. That blue halter in the first picture didn't fit her head anymore. She was just a baby when we got her and we didn't even know it. That also means that her disposition was even better then we thought. To be a wonderful child's pony at such a young age with so little training is just amazing. We began to love her all the more.

Well, the vet gave Cindy the green light for breeding and I found a stallion a couple of hours away. He is Smart Stinger, a cutting bred stallion with a fantastic pedigree, a cute little athletic body, a great personality and gorgeous color. He is a 14.3 H and should produce a large pony/ small horse with Cindy around 14 to 14.1 H. You can read about him at http://www.smartstinger.com/ and about his sire, the famous Color Me Smart at http://www.colormesmart.com/ . We bred Cindy to Stinger in the spring of 2006. She was due to have a foal along with all the other mares last spring. Unfortunately, Cindy aborted her foal early that winter. She has been rebred and is now fat and pregnant and doing well. The vet says there is no reason to think she will abort again. Its just something that happens and probably won't this time. We are keeping our fingers crossed. Here is ClaireAnna on Stinger on one of our trips to pick up Cindy after breeding. Gary, his owner, has taken to Claire and is just as determined to get this little girl a foal of her own as I am! He loves Cindy too, well, because everyone loves Cindy!

Cindy will live with us forever. She will be the pony my grand kids learn to ride on. We plan to send her for some training once her foal is weaned next fall and Claire will start showing on her after that. As Claire grows, Cindy's foal will too and when he's ready, (we're hoping for a boy) we will have him trained for barrels and poles and ClaireAnna will be able to ride Cindy's baby on into her teen years. Romantic I know, but so cool!

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