Belle’s a much smaller pony than I normally ride. When I first started taking hunter/jumper lessons I had a choice between Belle and a more classically handsome 16hh gelding, Boston. I thought for sure that I would end up riding Boston since he was the more technically correct option, but the more I rode Belle the more impressed with her I was. It didn’t take long for her to win me over.
Above all else, Belle is stalwart and brave—the type of pony that can be a little stubborn sometimes, but won’t spook even at the strangest of sights or noises. Some days she’s grumpy (and she definitely knows how to challenge a rider) but she never holds a grudge. We get in arguments, but once we’ve sorted things out she doesn’t pick a fight over the same thing next time. My trainer always calls her a “point and shoot pony”—aim her at the jump and she’ll do the rest so that you can focus on your balance without worrying about her part of the equation (which is really nice for someone who’s learning how to jump!).
When I originally started taking lessons Belle was up for sale, but I’m proud to say that over the course of a few months a consistent lease schedule packed some muscle on her and took her off the market. She’s now a productive intermediate/advanced lesson horse in the Ready to Ride program, not to mention one of the most reliable partners for a newbie facing the fences.
Belle’s taught me to really appreciate a horse that has spunk, but that I still feel safe on 100% of the time. Plus she’s always happy to see me, and who can resist a pony that nickers at you in greeting? I learned a ton during the time that I leased her, and I still tend to stop by her stall with an apple whenever I’m nearby.
I love this little pony!