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A Pony Named Lightning Part Seven



Having heard how wonderful the ponies and horses bred in Gisborne can be, Debbie and Fenella were keen to meet, Lightning.  They were greeted at the airport in Christchurch by Olivia Robertson and her mum, Jan.   Fenella was just 11 then and she was very excited about the prospect of getting a new pony.   Debbie reports that on the very first meeting, Fenella and Lightning bonded.  Lightning immediately responded to Fenella’s very quiet unassuming demeanor and he visibly softened.  Where he was full of character and cheek with both my housekeeper’s daughter and Olivia (who I wish to point out could not have done a better job at getting this youngster started) it was as if he were instantly smitten by Fenella and he responded to her with a gentleness that in hindsight, endured for the entire time....

Please release part 8!
07 Jul 2016 11:08



Given that Lightning,in a disastrous eight seconds of bucking, had proven himself to be a potential rodeo pony and possibly dangerous, I was now having to find a suitable boot camp for him to go to.  In all consciousness, I could not even consider allowing any young rider to take Lightning to pony club or do anything with him at all until he had been professionally schooled and given the all clear.  The bucking exhibition that with great delight and much satisfaction, he had treated us all to, alarmed us and I seriously wondered if he was always a problem and that up until now we had just been lucky.  After a great deal of searching, I was put in touch with Oliva Robertson, who was just starting out in her professional riding career.  Everything about Olivia was going to be absolutely perfect except for one giant hiccup – she lived in....

A Pony Named Lightning  Part Five



To their credit, my friends although visibly stunned and taken aback when told Lightning was not for sale after all, refused to allow a pony to come between us. It was awkward but they were fantastic and as yet nobody was privy to what was just around the corner for us all in our strangely entangled Lightning ventures. And let's be honest, we weren't talking about a squillion dollar world champion here. Lightning could not even be perceived as a diamond in the rough. At this point he was all rough and the only carats involved were orange and edible! Now that he was truly ours with no ownership cloud ominously lingering, we were able to get on with the job of making a long term plan for him. Accordingly, he was wormed again, shoes off, feet trimmed and turned out into an enormous paddock at the back of the farm where he....

A Pony Named Lightning Part Four



The lessons Lightning had to teach us all, began early. Almost without exception, the many, many horses and ponies I have owned, each had a great deal to teach me and it wasn’t always about themselves or other horses. It was usually to do with the people involved. Most often one cannot even mention the word horse without an argument ensuing. The common denominator in these situations was not always me either. Emotions running high, people feeling very passionate about their way being the only way, and everyone having an opinion, plus everyone knowing for sure that they know almost everything, seems to be just how it is for almost everybody who has ever loved a horse, or as is the case here, a pony.  It had been relatively easy to say to my friend’s husband that no pony should ever come between us. Without....

A Pony Named Lightning  Part Three



It was early when the float made its way up our tree lined drive, allowing me from my vantage point upstairs, only peeps of it. And it was with trepidation not joy that I ran across the lawn to the stables to meet it.  During the two days, Lightning was in transit, a problem had arisen. My friend's husband, the friend who had pointed out the advertisement 'Lightning For Sale' and who had said categorically her family did not want the pony, had rung to discuss another horse matter. I excitedly told him that I had purchased the Gisborne bush pony and that he was in fact to be delivered the very next day. He was a bit taken aback, and said the family now wanted him after all and that they had planned to go to view him in Gisborne next weekend. It wasn't until later that I realized this family may have been the family, Jim....

A Pony Named Lightning  Part Two



I perhaps should have been a little more concerned than I actually was about having not discussed with my husband, my impulsive and completely irrational decision to purchase a young, only just broken pony, sight unseen, with no rider, no vet check and no way of transport from the depths of Gisborne. The trip would be 600 kilometres plus, door to door. Instead of consulting my husband, I phoned a horse transporting company and could not believe that by some incredible against all odds coincidence, one of the drivers was about to leave Gisborne with an empty float used to deliver the last load of goods and chattels following a marriage break up. He would be on the road to Auckland where our farm is, the very next morning. The wait for transport could have been months.  Next call was to a vet in Gisborne who happened to be at that very....

A Pony Named Lightning Part One


Several years back, a friend rang to say, “You simply have to look at the pics of this pony advertised for sale!” I did look and immediately, I felt desperately sorry for this pony. I phoned my friend back to ask why on earth she wasn’t buying him for one of her three girls, all of them extremely competent riders. “He looks so kind and he’s only two,” I pointed out to my friend. “They’re not asking a lot of money.” But my friend was adamant that she didn’t want a pony so young and she thought it was way too big anyway to even qualify as a pony. In which case, if he was more than the maximum height allowed of 147cm, he would be difficult to sell on and therefore never worth much. And even if he was a pony now, which admittedly seemed doubtful when comparing his height to that of the man stood alongside him, he was....

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