The Owls Approve Blog Hop: Shining Star

Loving this series of hops Beka is hosting in honor of Archie!

This week she asks:

Let's talk about the biggest achievements your horse has accomplished. I'm not talking about you as a rider - I want to know what your ponykins has done to make you proud. Is there a glorious satin collection, did he/she figure out some dressage movement that took months to learn, or is it just a great day when your butt stays in the saddle?

It really doesn't take much for Dino to make me proud. I just look at the guy and my heart swells with pride. But the greatest accomplishment that Dino has achieved in his 16 years on earth is probably his transformation from failed hunter pony/college dropout to badass sport pony.

"Hello, I am Dino the Demon Pony. Welcome to Hell."
When I first met Dino, he was an absolute monster. He was the pony no one wanted. Cute as hell, but a total trainwreck to ride. You'd put your leg on to ask him to go forward, and he'd slam to a halt, rooting all four feet to the ground. Kick a little harder or lay into him with a stick and spur, and he'd start bucking for all he was worth. He was an absolutely miserable SOB to ride, and if he thought spooking could get him out of work, he'd do that too. If you managed to sit all the bucks and get him into a pokey trot, asking for the canter would get you another series of rodeo-worthy antics. 

And he's a stubborn little shit, so the traditional methods that most riders would use to re-install the go button just didn't work on him. Hit him harder and he'd just shut you out. No one could bully this pony into doing anything he didn't want to do, and he essentially hated his life. 

Luckily for me, I was blessed to see past his snotty attitude and bad behavior to the shining star inside, and was able to give Dino the chance to show his true worth.

And boy, did he. 

I am most proud of my pony for blossoming into an absolute ROCKSTAR in every way. 

While still full of that pony'tude that we all love, Dino is now happy as a clam. He likes people. He loves his life. I can teach beginners to ride on him, and trust him with wobbly up-downers that have never even seen a horse before. I can take him anywhere - from showing to trail riding, he does it all without complaint, and is always game for a new adventure. Dino has towed my husband on skis through the snow. He's carried me at a full gallop through fields. He's taken me into the hunter, jumper, equitation, dressage, and eventing arenas successfully. The pony that once refused to take a step forward has helped me fly over 3'6 fences, put down a damn fine training level dressage test, and helped me find my courage over cross country. 

The pony no one wanted turned into everything I could ever wish for in a partner.

And I am so, so damn proud of this guy. 


  1. You deserve a shining star too for seeing through his shenanigans and realizing what he would be in the right situation! You two are a great pair.

  2. i love your story with Dino - i've read about his history on your blog before... but it is SO EASY to forget all that when just reading recent lesson recaps and schooling/show reports. he is just a pro these days!

  3. YAY for pony'tude that turns into rockstar'tude!


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