Amateur Hour

Six Realities of Owning a Pony as an Adult

Well, I did it.

I’ve joined the ranks of adult pony owners everywhere, and I couldn’t be more pleased. And while I love my little tyrant, I’ve noticed there’s a few things that come with owning a pony as an adult that I didn’t have to deal with as a child.

1. Everyone assumes ponies are only for children

The number of times I’ve had to tell someone “No, I don’t have kids,” or “Yes, she is MY pony. For me. Yes, I’m an adult,” grows with each passing day. The general public seems to think that every pony looks just like that tiny Shetland they rode at the fair when they were eight, which leads to plenty of confusion (and I’m sure some weird mental imagery) when I explain I have a pony.

2. Everyone assumes ponies are loving, friendly creatures

Ponies have all the attitude of the biggest, baddest horse you know, but shoved into a teeny-tiny­ body. I assume this makes them frustrated, due to the lack of immediate respect they command from fellow horses and people alike. For instance, my pony feels the need to squeal like a she-devil and put on a show for any other horse that approaches her, as if to make up for her minute stature. Unfortunately, her not-so-pint-sized personality means she does not like things that most adorable tiny creatures do, such as: Hugs, cuddling, children, people in her personal space, children, more than the quickest of groomings, and did I mention children? I often introduce her to new people by saying “She doesn’t like anything you’re about to do.”

3. Many pony-specific items look like they’re out of a Barbie riding set

Look, I’m not denying I love me some ridiculous hot pink tack. But when it’s difficult to find something normal in a pony size because it’s ALL hot pink. Or has tassels. Or (the worst offense) it’s covered in sparkles and glitter. Then it becomes an issue. Or, it’s pony sized, but also child sized. Maybe I’ll start my own line of adult pony tack that’s appropriately sized, and has a tasteful amount of glitter on it.

4. Pony tack assumes all ponies are equally small

Speaking of pony tack, is my pony the only one that is oddly shaped? She’s got short legs, a short back, but with a certain, ahem, roundness to her. And her head is as long as my Thoroughbred’s, but it’s surprisingly narrow, making for some serious bridle-fitting difficulties. Maybe other people have delightful, delicately-boned pony pals, but mine looks like a few pieces got pulled from the “extras” pile.

5. Ponies are the go-karts of the equestrian world

I love my pony. She can turn on a dime and speed up and slow down in an instant. She’s just so darn maneuverable! All I can think of when I’m riding her is that she’s like a little dune buggy (if that dune-buggy had four furry little legs going a million miles an hour instead of tires). I notice it the most when I ride her and then go hop on my TB, who (bless him), often feels like I’ve gone from driving a Mini-Cooper to driving a semi-truck. Or a couch.

6. Ponies make you feel like a kid again

I love both my horses, and I love having adventures with them, but there is nothing quite like hopping on the pony bareback and going for a ride through the fields, or putting a western saddle on her and galloping around. It makes me feel like I’m young again, just learning how to ride and running around with my friends in the summertime. She’s always game to go exploring, and even when she does something ridiculous I find myself laughing it off. For the first time in a while, I want to do crazy things like a Pony Club games rally or take her cross-country schooling.

The bottom line is, my fun-sized pony is a king-sized amount of fun. And in the end, isn’t that all what ponies are about? So let’s raise our glasses, fellow adult pony owners out there. If we ever meet up an event be sure to say hi! You can recognize my pony as the one in the bright pink tack, nibbling on a child.

About the Author

When Aubrey Moore isn’t riding her horse Flynn, new pony or doing near-constant maintenance on her truck, she can be found with a glass of wine in hand, chatting happily with her cat Frankie.