As a long time hunter rider, I was all about style and size.

My old gelding was close to 17 hands.

Which was a looong way to the ground.

And while I’ll never give up my appreciation for style in an equine,

I’ve found it pretty easy to give up the size.

Honestly, there is something – actually a lot of things – about these Welsh ponies that I adore.

Especially now that I’m, *ahem*… older.

And wiser.

And have less income to devote to the maintenance of an animal.

They are so much like a horse and can do pretty much anything a horse can do.

But they just do it smaller.

They are, for the most part, easier to handle.

And it hurts a whole lot less when they step on your foot.

They don’t require shoes.

And seem, in general, less prone to common horse-y ailments.

They don’t require nearly as much feed.

And are really very hardy little creatures.

They don’t require a whole lot of space.

And, when you’ve got your own acreage, they’re much less expensive to keep than one might expect.

For us, keeping Miss Jewel costs significantly less than having just a few of our kids in extracurricular activities.

And so far, the kiddos are pretty darn happy with these arrangements.

Jewel seems pretty content as well.

And mama? Is very, very happy.

P.S. Quick lesson for those who aren’t horse-folk:

Horse = full grown equine, larger than 14.2 hands
Pony = full grown equine, 14.2 hands and smaller
Hand = 4 inches
Foal = baby horse or pony
Colt = boy baby horse or pony
Filly = girl baby horse or pony
Mare = adult female horse or pony
Gelding = adult male horse or pony who has lost his baby-making parts
Stallion = same as above, but with baby-making parts

Test coming later.



  1. I can only imagine the birthday parties now. They have their very own pony for pony rides. How exciting.

  2. My daughter rides hunter and the apple of her eye is Sir Talachai, a 17 hand Oldenberg missing his baby making parts :0). I always catch my breath when they jump…so scary, elegant and athletic all in the same 30 seconds. I so adore my 5’6″, 11 yr. old looking “smart” in her show habits, there’s something a little unexpected about an African Princess doing something so…British. Shes always in the ribbons, guess I’m not the only one looking for breath, when those two do their thing. What size of boots are you in, she’s grown out of her winter riding boots. They are very stylish :0)

    • NiHaoYall says:

      Oooh, sounds lovely! I would love to see a picture, Shasta :)
      I’m sure my feet are bigger than hers (I’m an uber big 9 1/2!) but you are incredibly sweet to ask!

  3. Haha. Baby making parts! You must keep the definitions coming!

  4. I have two miniature horses 7 and 8 hands. They are a great starting point for my young girls and are wonderful family pets.

  5. My daughters would be wishing we were neighbors about now. Maybe we’ll just swing by sometime for a ride when we’re in the neighborhood (several states away is nearly “in the neighborhood,” right?)

  6. Seems like the perfect situation for you and your fam. I know nothing about horses but I love the pictures!

  7. Morning Stef – Marie’s Mom and Dad (so Grandma and Grandpa) have a farm in the Louisville area – and used to have a couple Tennesse Walkers (bay lady and jack) who were both 16 or so hands, and a pony that was great with the kids. Riding a walker was a joy at a walk or a full on gallop – but at a canter was UGLY – kinda like riding a blender!! The pony on the other hand – he was a pistol with adults but kind of intuitivly knew when a child was on his back and was a perfect gentleman! They’ve all long since gone over the rainbow and Mom and Dad are a little too old to keep up with new ones, we’re too far away to make the trip every weekend, but there are some great memories! We couldn’t be any happier for you guys to be right were you are!!

    hugs – aus and co.

  8. Nicole A. says:

    My last 2 horses were Connemara ponies ~ one was a little over 14 hands and one was 15 hands with shoes on! They were sturdy and sound, easy keepers, beautiful movers, with hearts of gold and big personalities. Reliable and safe but never boring. Loved them so very much! I just love ponies! I am short enough that for years after college I used to get to school the ponies at the barn where I rode. Those pony hunters are a hoot and so much fun!

    So glad your heart is happy, and your kids are getting to enjoy horses, too! Jewel is beautiful!

    All the best,
    Nicole A., now in LA

  9. OK! Jewel is beautiful!
    Horsey question for you. Our family is also just getting into horses… I have been told that you can’t just own one horse…that you have to have two at least since they are heard animals. How are you getting around this? We are free “leasing” two horses from a summer camp program in NC… but we need to find our own in the next few months.
    So fun!!!

    • NiHaoYall says:

      Jewel is doing fine – so far :) I think it is tough long term for horses to be isolated, but my last gelding lived solo for 3 years and he did just fine. He sure started to love me a lot more 😉
      Jewel does have some equines around her, in pastures next to ours, so that helps, too!
      Have fun horse-y shopping!!

  10. Love her…….LOVE HER!
    And I love your new digs and how happy all of you are there….especially Mama!


  11. Good for you, girl. Good for you. :)

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