The Little Engine That Could (With An Attitude)

My little monster, Gibbs, is in good hands while I’m going south, but I’ll definitely admit I’m going to miss him. I recently found out I’ll be in and out of Wellington, which is excellent news for my riding fitness. Since my plan is for Gibbs to be in my life long-term, I wanted to share a little bit more about him.


Gibbs is eight or nine years old, and his owners have known him since he was born. He’s naturally very talented, but also very smart….too smart for his own good. Because of his pony attitude and draft strength, he’s a challenging ride and he needs to be working hard enough to think about what he’s doing, or he’ll find something to think about–and it’s never something I agree with.

He and I have really bonded during our time together, and slowly the tantrums have gone away and a dialogue is happening. I’m learning to speak his language, and he’s learning that when he knows the answer to a question, he doesn’t have the option of blowing it off entirely. He’s trying hard for me now (most days–every horse has their off days) and the experience is like nothing I’ve ever done before.

I never thought I would be able to ride a pony, or that I would be able to make progress the way we have in the last few months, but it’s made some very exciting possibilities open up. The Best Friend thinks this stubborn, naughty pony could have upper level potential, and I have to agree. When he agrees with me and I can keep myself together, we’ve had some really fancy moments!

I’m really excited about this partnership, and who knows? Maybe a few years from now you’ll see us riding down centerline in a shadbelly and a double bridle!

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This was pre-fitness work, and we are looking much more svelte these days! 


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