Today is the 7 year ownership anniversary of me and my pony Tempo! I cannot believe I’ve had him for 7 years (and known him for 8)!
Tempo was my first pony. He is a 14 hand Pony of the Americas. He is about 20 years old (I think). Unfortunately, he was not papered, and I do not know his original owner, so I go off of checking his teeth and the age that was put on his Coggins when I first got him. I met him after the barn I rode at for years shut down, and my best friend’s mom began managing a barn near my house. Tempo was (and is) a bit naughty. For some reason, I was the only student at the barn that could ride him, so I ended up taking lessons with him a lot. Soon, his barn decided that since he could not be used as a school horse, they would sell him, and they offered him to me first. I of course begged my dad to buy him for me, and I got my wish.
Tempo and I have been through a lot together. We’ve done a lot of barn searching. He has had health issues, training issues, and the like. He has taught me a lot about horse ownership and training. He also has taught me a lot about riding. He actually ruined my riding confidence, especially jumping, and it took me a long time to get back to a place where I had confidence in my riding ability. I’ve realized that when I first began riding him, I was overmounted, even though he and I got along pretty well. Despite that, he is a pretty advanced pony. He cannot stand having his mouth pulled on, and sometimes he likes to buck under saddle (usually to be playful, but if you piss him off, it’s a different story). He has gotten a bit spooky in his old age – I am not sure why, but I will be having his eyes checked when it comes time for spring shots just to be proactive. He likes to try and pull things to intimidate people, but he is a pony, and I cannot blame him – it’s in their blood! He is one of those horses that likes to be ridden the way he wants to be ridden, not the way you want to ride.
He is one of the happiest ponies I’ve ever met. He never has his ears back, unless it’s at another horse trying to get his treats. He loves people. He is amazing with little kids. He can be a bit pushy, but now it’s usually with people he doesn’t know. He loves to jump – I have videos of him lunging where he actually runs over to a pole or jump himself to jump it. He also set himself up perfectly for a jump one time while I was free lunging him.
My trainer and I have discovered that he may have been a show pony in his younger days. I do not know much about his past because his old owner dumped him at the barn from which I bought him. But Tempo lunges like a show pony, knows his jump distances perfectly (something I never got to learn because I was terrified of jumping him after some bad falls), and is super educated. He knows a lot, and it took me a long time to unlock it. He is incredibly lazy under saddle to where I ride him with spurs and a dressage whip. When he sees a jump, he perks up though.
He loves food. Absolutely loves it. He also loves to lick your hands. He gets super fuzzy in the winter to where he looks like a wooly mammoth. He always greets me with a nicker or a whinny, and you know you have a treat that he loves when he starts a nickerfest. I love him to pieces, and I cannot imagine my life without him. He has been one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had. He’s seen me through the end of high school, college, health problems, graduate school, etc. He is one of my best friends, and he makes me so incredibly happy.
This has turned into a huge gush fest, but I can’t help it. I’m so lucky to own him, and I’m so happy I took that chance on my friend’s mom’s new barn.
Happy 7 years to you, Tempo!