So where did I leave you last? I had just got my first pony! The pony in question was Rushmoor Liberty. A forest bred, registered New Forest Pony. She was 5 years old, 13.2hh at a push. She could jump a house, and could stop just as easily! She was stubborn and very very green! Far too green for me really, and she tried her luck often. When we got her she was nearly black, with white roan markings. She’s now 16 and a very white fleabitten grey! Within 3 weeks of owning her she did a check ligament and that was to set the tone for her ridden career from then on.
After a few years of refusing every other fence she started to jump nicely as I got more confident, but she was chequered with injuries and time off, we didn’t know at the time that her conformation was against her so her legs took more force than they should.
In between injuries we did some fun competitions, she started doing some clear rounds and winning some classes, she peaked at 90cm, she’d jump the odd one at home but she found a course too difficult and would throw in the towel. She did some Le Trec and happy hacking with my mum which they loved. We achieved our goal of a one day event once, we got eliminated and I fell in the water! But I was still proud that we completed. It showed her sense of humour the second I got back on she continued to finish clear over the rest of the course having accumulated about 5 stops by that point! A few weeks later she went lame and she had done double hind proximal suspensories,commonly seen in high level dressage horses, not post-legged New Forests!
This sealed the end of her ridden career beyond the odd hack. That winter she got Laminitis and was diagnosed with Equine Metabolic Syndrome, a few years down the line and she’s now got Cushing’s Disease and lives the high life eating and chasing her field companion around! She’s still a whirlwind to hack and she doesn’t go out very often, she never really was a fan of being a ridden horse, the retired life suits her and she will stay with us forever.