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May 17, 2011

The Confession Of A Pony Lover

Elly Schobel likes riding horses, like the Andalusian stallion Oyente, but she's also a big pony fan. Photo by Lisa Slade.

OK, so I am probably the oldest pony rider in history, but it is just so much fun! My partner in crime is Foxcry Nicodemus, "Nick" (or a few other chosen names I will not repeat in public) for short. He stands VERY confidently at 12.1 hands, and let me tell you, he feels a lot taller than that. More times then I care to admit, I have jumped off him, only to hit the ground with my behind first—he just looks around with this expression of "DUH, again?!"

The first time I met him, he was a yearling. His owner Shawn Bigley had asked me if I'd be interested in showing him in hand at the prestigious Dressage at Devon (Pa.). Sure, why not? Well, I was a goner the moment I laid eyes on this 500-pound Jack Russell.

After the class (which he did win) I told Shawn that I'd be interested in starting him under saddle as a 3-year-old. Her facial expression was worth a mint. And yes I did start him, and together we have started at Materiale, moved to 4-year-old USDF tests (his highest score was 72 percent, given by Hilda Gurney) and now we are aiming for FEI.

Nick has also sired a string of foals. The combination of Nick and Chelsea's Melody, the dam of the late great Theodore O'Connor, produced Connica, a wonderful chestnut filly who will probably inherit her sire's unique roan color.

In 2009 a few friends and l formed a syndicate and purchased "my" pony. If you happen to see us at a show, come over and say hi—believe me, you will become a pony lover, too!

www.thehomestedt.com/

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