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[RC] ponies and arab behavior - Kathie Ford

Okay, since I'm here sitting at my desk and really should be outside (lol) enjoying the beautiful weather with my horses..I'll have to jump in here!
 
I have a few arabs and they vary in size from 13'3 to 15'2 or 15'3.  The tall ones are both greys, the shorter ones bays, and an arab/pinto who is 14'3. lol...anyway I find their behavior not too bad at all and frankly couldn't figure why people are so surprised when they see  them calm.  I think they are sensitive and smart and very aware of their environments, but that is what makes them so fun! 
 
 
And as far as riding distance, my daughters mare, Dolly, is 13'3 and just turned 20.  We wished we had gotten her younger and had learned about endurance riding sooner as she is one tough cookie with a wonderful mind.  She has done eventing, dressage, was a wonderful jumper and could jump quite high (although we limited that to save her joints) and did some LD rides.  A very well rounded and athletic horse.  Funny too though, she has size 0 and 00 feet, and one white hoof and has never ever had a hoof problem, never been sick or colicy at all, not even a cold. 
She's been extremely healthy as long as we've had her.
 
She has been not worked regularly lately, but however,has had a pretty good period of rest so we took her out for a 30 mile ride yesterday and couldn't believe how much of her fitness she had retained.  My daughter said she felt like a 4 year old as far as her energy level and strength.  We did a tough hilly conditioning ride too.  She was so fresh when we finished that my daughter and I are both considering having her try a first 50 at 20!  He body condition and muscle tone are very good as well, she eats drinks and pees, and takes care of herself well.  Her only downfall is her manners, which my younger daughter allowed to go a little sour...but that can be corrected.
 
I had called my vet to discuss if it was safe or even a good idea to put her back to work like this and he said as long as she had a background of work and fitness she would probably be fine...
 
This mare made us laugh as she totally enjoyed being out traveling the trails again.yesterday and was fun to see her so happy~!..Only downside is that my daughter has one year left of college and has limited time to ride right now... to make this interesting, Rio was mentioned in one of the posts as he was a smaller horse and our mare was bred by the same folks, although I believe the parentage is somewhat different.  Previous vets told my daughter that Dolly has large lungs and most likely a very big heart, which she does in many ways.  So she is a big horse in a small body.  She is also second in pecking order with my other mares.  The alpha is 16'1..they look funny together!
 
anyway I think ponies or smaller horses can do extremely well and can be vary hardy easy keepers.  I know my vet also mentioned, in his opinion and experience being a Tevis vet is that most of the time the smaller horses do better going thru and coming out of the canyons...Just an observation he said...
 
As far as behavior, this same mare was used at a dedication ceremony in San Jose at the History Museum (downtown) as they were dedicating a restored old school house and needed young kids and horses to re-enact how they used to ride their ponies/horses to school.  The park/museum there had all sorts of restored buildings including an old chinese theater and an authentic old fashioned soda fountain Ice Cream parlor, and even trolly cars about.  Dolly and my daughter rode the "skit" in front of a large crowd of people, kids running around, balloons everywhere, media there etc, and she was so calm and good even with the trollys going by her.  Funniest part was at the Ice Cream parlor...we went in for milk shakes and my daughter was holding her..well, the windows were like mirrors and she saw a horse (which was her) and she started "talking" and nickering to her own image!  Was quite cute...
 
Anyway, bottom line is ride your ponies and smaller horses and have a ball with them!  And have a ball with these arabs as well!  I find them fascinating, never boring, and extremely loyal and athletic!  I love them!
 
happy trails!  (now I'm goin outside! lol)
 
kathie