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Celebrating Mares - Apple

Charlotte Brunt shares her story on her Dartmoor mare, ‘Apple’.

“Apple is a dainty 12hh, 6 year old Dartmoor mare that i have had the pleasure of owning since the middle of January. She was born wild, and has been through a few sales so can be a little bit nervous around new people, her confidence is now flourishing and it turns out that this little pony that nobody really wanted in an absolute star.

Apple has recently started her in hand showing career, and has been to three shows where she strutted her stuff and behaved impeccably in all of her classes. She won the In hand Mountain and Moorland and then went on to win Ring Champion at her first outdoor show, we are all so proud of how far she has come. She is tiny, but doesn’t seem to realise it, being the boss mares best buddy in the field and telling off the boys all of the time!

I have backed her and brought her on myself, and though I am much too tall for her really she quite happily carries me, and has a natural flare for jumping. I haven’t started jumping her under saddle yet, but she has loose jumped 1m5, flying over it with room to spare! She talks Appleto us as well, making a sort of snuffling snort every time somebody goes past her door, and does the most ridiculous high pitch squeak to the other horses when they come a bit too close in the field, closely followed with a swish of her tail and a stamp of her hoof. She is the most vocal pony I have ever met, constantly making some kind of noise be it a neigh or her squeak or snuffle, but it just makes her cheeky character even better, as she suffers from ‘Small Pony Syndrome’, believing she is much bigger than she really is. Her best quality is definitely her personality, she is cheeky and brave (isn’t spooky in the slightest, in fact she often leads the way!) and is a typical tiny pony when she wants to be, watching you under her bushy forelock waiting for you to turn your back so she can slip underneath the bar on her doorway and take herself for a walk. She is clever and learns very quickly, but can test your patience when she doesn’t want to come because all of her pals are still out in the sunshine.
I think most importantly, Apple is a perfect example of hidden talents, as so many ponies that go through sales and don’t have the best starts are written off straight away, but given time and a chance she has turned out to be a real superstar of a pony and will make a little boy or girl very very happy one day (when I can finally bare to part with her!).”

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of owning a mare/bought a new mare?

“The advice I would give for anybody getting a mare is to be patient. They are obviously more hormonal than geldings, but some of the most talented horses I’ve owned have been mares and they quite often have the extra spark other horses lack. Be patient and work with her rather than against her and you’ll have a winning combination!”