If you’re a Chronicle fan, you already know who the top contenders are for this year’s USHJA International Derby Championships, and you’ve probably already picked your favorite among the regular winners. You don’t need me or anyone else to argue why you should join Team Brunello, root for Jersey Boy for a second consecutive win, or cheer on Inclusive.
Ponies are cute. They’re fun. They’re alternately saintly and naughty. And more often than not, they’re too smart for their own good.
The names of the sub-14.2 hand set tend to reflect a certain playfulness, and chances are, they’re selected to make you smile. Some names are really memorable (Daddy Pulled The Trigger, Kowabunga Kitty or Weebiscuit, anyone?) and some are rider appropriate (Jennifer Blossom rides Flower Girl and Forget Me Not).
So many horsemen I admire learned to ride by the seat of their pants across fields or in backyards before civilizing their seats with formal instruction. In this day and age that’s much rarer, with society growing more litigious and more top riders than ever hailing from major cities. I’m a product of this trend, growing up in a non-horsey urban area. I learned to ride at the end of a longe line and in a ring, eventually showing hunters under the guidance of excellent horsemen who did their best to impart good horsemanship as well as correct position and style onto me.