If you’ve been following us, you would have seen various client horses coming in and out of our gates, with a few of our own sprinkled into our updates here and there. This is a chance for you to get to know our permanent residents!
At 30 years old, Flame is our oldest resident here at Little Hesteyri, and really the founding member! He is our mum’s horse, bought as a yearling, and one of the four horses who travelled with us from Berkshire when we moved to Little Hesteyri. He’s Thoroughbred x New Forest x Arab and 14.3hh. Mum did a little bit of everything with him, and he is beautifully schooled on the flat. When we got a little older we took him jumping, and even taught a few people to ride on him. He has been retired now for several years as he is not sound, and he likes to potter around the yard giving everyone kisses and hoping they’ll give him treats in return!
Rowan is the smallest of the team, at just 10.2 hands. He is 26 years old and both of us learnt to ride on him! He was our top rosette winner all the way through his career, and did everything from showing to jumping, he is a little saint. Rowan can still be ridden, we just don’t have anyone small enough to ride him here. He keeps fit with liberty work and free jumping!
Flicker is Lauren’s jumping pony who Meg also rode for a little while. We now share him pretty much equally and he is nanny pony to the youngsters and problem horses we get in. He is 13.2hh, Connemara x arab, and 23 years old! He was very anxious when we first had him and had had many homes in a short amount of time. He has a home for life with us. In his hay day he was jumping 1.10 tracks but unfortunately an accident in which he slipped and put his pelvis out reduced his confidence dramatically. After regaining his confidence, and going back up through the levels, he started to come back down as he aged. He has done so very gracefully and lets us know when it’s time to step down a level! He is still a speed machine and now enjoys going out occasionally for a blast around a 60 track! He was one of the ponies who rode from John O’Groats to Land’s End and is one of the bravest ponies we know.
We bought Phoenix from the same place as Flicker. She had been owned by a drunk previously and really didn’t like people, which manifested as aggression. We had to be very careful when moving around her as she could bite and kick. It didn’t take her long to realise we weren’t going to respond to her aggression with aggression and now you could trust her with a small child (although she still likes to make occasional mare faces). She is 14hh, arab, and 18 years old. She also did The Great Adventure last year and loves to hack out, although she was bold as brass on the trip she likes to spook on everyday hacks! She is a great nanny pony also though as she is a little bit less buzzy than Flicker!
(We do not recommend riding without a hat!)
Lauren backed Amadeus as a three-year-old for some friends of ours, he was going really well but one day ran straight into a wall and smashed his jaw. Cue several years off and we didn’t ride him again until some years later. As Amadeus was a little bit nutty and we were the only ones who rode him, our friends kindly gifted him to us in 2014. He is a talented jumper, but he is rather tricky to ride so this hasn’t really amounted to much so far. He also did The Great Adventure last year, but sadly sustained a concussion injury. He had recovered but now is unfortunately off play again. Hopefully he will come right again but we are not putting too much pressure on him as he is now 16 and will spend the rest of his life here with us, in work or not.
We bought Rose from the sales a few years ago and she was meant to be a project. We aren’t sure whether it is fortunate or not that our mum fell in love with her and asked us to keep her. She is a 15.2hh thoroughbred and is probably the most talented of our permanent horses. She has managed several double clears and placings at British Novice (90cm) and Discovery (1m) level, as well as some top ten placings British Eventing at 80cm, but has never really had an uninterrupted season for one reason or another. We hope this year to gain her British Novice double clears, and possibly her Discovery ones too, and maybe take her up a level to jump 1.10m courses.
Skye was Lauren’s first horse, and Meg had her for a couple of years as Lauren went to university. She is a 16hh thoroughbred mare, and is now 19 years old. She was a very tricky horse to ride when she was younger, and, unfortunately, only had a couple of years competing successfully before arthritis started to creep in and we made the decision to stop jumping her. In Lauren’s last year before leaving for university she qualified for the PC national championships, but unfortunately the ground was rock hard and hadn’t been watered so she had a couple of poles down. Skye had one year affiliated when Lauren came home and won nearly every event she entered, but then unfortunately started refusing and we knew there was something wrong. She is currently in a field eating grass, but is still rideable and hopefully later in the year will get out to some fun rides!
Babe is a 15.3hh thoroughbred mare who is 17 years old. She has an interesting story as we bought her as a five-year-old with our friends as a project to bring on and sell. We had her for about 18 months before selling her to a lovely family in Yorkshire who had her to hunt. Unfortunately, the girl who had her grew out of her quickly and sold her on. We had a couple of phone calls off the passport, one from a girl who wanted to sue the people who sold her to them as a schoolmistress as she was apparently behaving really badly. Later we had another call off a girl who wanted to know some history as she was napping quite badly. We don’t know how many homes she had in this time but when the same girl messaged us to ask if we’d have her back as she was losing her grazing we were happy to help! We drove to Manchester and she has been here ever since. She’s also off work at the moment but it would be lovely to get her out show-jumping towards the end of the year.
Kerry is our miracle horse. Lauren worked with him on a hunt yard in Yorkshire and fell in love. She said to them that if he ever needed a retirement home she would have him. Sometime later she had a call to say he was rearing badly and did we still want him. After a phone call to our Nanny, begging for a loan, Kerry was ours. Kerry is a 16.2hh, 17-year-old ex-racer and had had a tough life before he came to us, as a racehorse and a hunt horse. With us he has evented to Novice level (110) and show-jumped to Discovery (1m). Kerry also regularly trains totally tackles and bareback and loves it! Unfortunately, he too is now starting to wind down as his body starts to say no, so we are starting to gently drop him back down the heights as he owes us nothing and we will never push him beyond his physical capabilities.