In The Saddle column: Exciting times ahead as we welcome new arrival

Alyssia on board new pony Mara.

Well, as some of you may remember, we've sold my daughter's first pony Jazz and have bought her a bigger second pony called Mara.

My husband told me he would find the next pony as he had initially found Jazz.

He isn't horsey. He's been forced into the equestrian world really by me and our daughter but, true to his word, he sent me a link to the National Pony Club classifieds with a super sounding pony for sale in Essex who had only been advertised for just a few hours. So a road trip it was!

We watched Mara being caught in the field (to check she didn't run away and was easy to catch), groomed, tacked up and then ridden by Phoebe, the 12-year-old girl who owned her.

She looked well and we watched her jump before Alyssia rode her and had a mini lesson with our riding instructor, Ellen, who came with us.

We both rode her too to get a feel for her and decided there and then to buy her, subject to a five stage vetting.

We knew Mara had lots of other buyers lined up and we were grateful Roberta waited for us to travel up.

So, two weeks later, Mara was home with us, feeling the nippy air up north and being thrown into the end-of-season Pony Club Rally exams, having only been with us six days and ridden twice after settling in.

Although Alyssia had a little fall off her, they did really well together and jumped clear in showjumping, second in gymkhana, and we've yet to hear if they passed their exams. We will know at the Wentworth and District Pony Club presentation night in December.

Mara is settling in really well and we have many exciting times to come for the future.

Given her age of 14 she will retire with us so, thankfully, there will never be any more pony changes to cry over again!

The next pony for Alyssia is my horse April but that will be many years away. I just need to stop her growing so tall.

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