Growing up, I never owned my own pony or horse, but I was lucky enough to lease quite a few and experience a ton of different horses.
I rode at so many stables, now in so many provinces and cities, it’s almost hard to remember them all now!
Started at a now-defunct stable- can’t for the life of me remember what it was called now, but I rode a tiny pony called ‘Pags’ and my sister rode a little white pony called ‘Spirit’.
We liked that barn, but moved on to another- Greenbelt, which wasn’t the greatest. From Greenbelt, we moved to the Nepean National Equestrian Park, and spent quite a few years there. I learned so much from them, and only moved on when I wanted to horse show- something they didn’t do there, despite having fantastic grounds that they rented out to large horse show managers.
I then moved on to Wynbrook, which was a decent experience and a very high-quality program, but a bit too heavy on the $$$ side for our liking. During the move around from these stables, I leased horses on and off for years at smaller private barns.
When we moved on from Wynbrook, we leased a lovely black Appendix mare named ‘Hope’ and her show name was C’est la Vie. She was such a darling, we rode together in a show and did super well there. Great jumper, very forgiving. I only remember her stopping at fences when they got to around 2’9 or 3′.
Hope showing at Huntleigh
She passed away from colic about 7 years ago, maybe more. She had bouts of it on and off over the years, and was sensitive.
Miss that girl, she was lovely!
Hope’s owner also owned an adorable small pony named ‘Bubblegum’ at one point, so my sister and I both rode Bubbles too! We normally rode her bareback- and sometimes w/o a bridle either, eek- because there was only the 1 saddle to fit Hope. We made do, and she was SO FUN to ride/jump bareback.
Bubblegum in the Ottawa Valley- I wasn’t kidding about the bareback/bridle-less
Loved mucking around, nothing in particular to train for haha and we still managed to do really well. Funny that the more training I do, the more struggles I seem to have. How does that happen??