Bonny

Bonny can be ridden by all abilities, she is good for heavier riders.

When we rescued Bonny with her mum Capri, in 2003, she was a big, fat out of control one year old with no manners whatsoever. We were told that her dad was a Belgian draught horse and her big head and stocky body certainly backed that up. Her beautiful chestnut colouring, with long, thick mane adds to the whole wild effect – she really is a character.

Bonny settled into our herd very well, with her mum by her side to give her confidence she was soon one of the gang, and was firmly put in her place if she tried to be too bossy.

Bonny was very mature for her age and by the time she was four we decided to start backing her. All the books said that she would buck when the saddle was on her back, and then she would be nervous about walking forward etc, and not know what to do with her legs, but luckily for us, Bonny had not read the books and from the first day it was as if she had always been ridden. We carefully put the saddle on her back and she acted as if nothing had happened, so we walked her around for a bit, for her to get used to it – still no reaction. Our daughter Elizabeth carefully laid across the saddle, still no reaction, even when we led her around the paddock, all she cared about was eating grass, she was totally oblivious to anything else. The next day we did the same thing, but this time leading her mum Capri in front of her, and she was happy to be ridden around the edge of the arena on a long lead rope, following her Mum. She followed her Mum into trot beautifully without a buck in sight and seemed to be really enjoying herself; it was as if she was saying ‘look Mum, I can be like you’.

After a couple more sessions like this we were keen to take Bonny out into the big wide world – after all, we wanted her to be a confident hacking horse, so why not start as we meant go on. With her Mum to follow, Bonny was perfectly happy to go out, and it was so easy to teach her the transitions to trot and canter, we simply asked her Mum to do it and Bonny followed, it was so smooth and easy and within a couple more days we were having the first canter, out on the trail, so easy for Bonny, not having to worry about corners or fences, just a nice straight line, following her Mum. Bonny very quickly became a lovely, useful pony for us to use for our clients, nothing seemed to spook her and she was a pleasure to ride.

Her riding career had to go on hold for a while though, when we discovered a few months later that she was pregnant by Leo. Bonny was not a natural Mum but eventually got the hang of things and she and Twiggy are inseparable, a real terrible twosome.