Pennbretti Amberlight (Grace)

Grace is without a doubt the most photogenic of all our horses! She loves being the centre of attention and is always happy to pose for the camera.

Grace was purchased by Flying Horse as a 10month old weanling. She is a partbred Welsh Cob bring by Trevellyn Firefly out of a station bred pony. With the death of my lovely mare Blondie we were on the lookout for another mare to take her place. We looked at quite a few horses but nothing really appealed to me until Grace.

What we wanted was an unspoilt youngster with a trainable nature and flexible joints coupled with good conformation. Karen Burrows and I wanted to use this young horse to showcase our training and bodywork methods. We wanted to do all the work ourselves using the methods we had developed so people could see the results of combining training and bodywork to get a well adjusted, confident horse with well developed muscles.

Grace as a youngester

Grace as a yearling

As you can see from the first photo ( taken the day Grace arrived) we had our work cut out! Grace was sweet natured but had no muscle tone and no neck!!

Her first year was spent growing and playing; learning from the other horses and having a short inhand session once a week. Karen worked on her every couple of months; this was very important as Grace grew very unevenly and would be quite sore in her hamstrings and back after a growing spurt.

 

In-hand showing

In-hand showing

An important of Grace’s education is competing inhand. The show preparation gets young horses used to washing, grooming, rugs, travelling etc .We are careful not to overface her and each show was an opportunity to give Grace a positive experience. At the first few shows we were careful to give her heaps of support; there was always someone with her and we gave her time to get used to new surroundings. Having the right handler is vitally important and we are very lucky to have Bryan Duffy as Grace’s chief handler. Bryan is great at giving Grace confidence and he can run fast enough to show her off beautifully!

Grace has been extremely successful and capped off a great season by being judged Supreme Welsh exhibit at Southland A&P Show.

Southland Welsh Championship Show

Southland Welsh Championship Show

In the last couple of months we have started Grace under saddle. All the groundwork and bodywork had prepared her well. We started off by taking her to Sandy Point where she could develop balance on uneven ground and start to get fit. We added saddle and bridle so she was used to weight on her back. Karen regularly assessed her muscles and checked for soreness or unevenness.

No drama!

No drama!

 

Then one day when it all seemed right Dave gave me a leg up and there I was……sitting on my darling Grace! No drama, no panic, just a happy pony and a very excited rider!

We repeated the process over a couple of days then Dave led me around the stables. Grace was balanced and relaxed. The next day we did the same thing in the arena and then I casually rode her around with Dave watching.

 

Ken Droomgool Clinic

Ken Dromgool Clinic

 

Three rides bareback and then we did the Ken Dromgool Horsemanship Clinic where I rode Grace with a saddle for the first time. We ended up trotting around amongst the other horses quite happily!

Since then we have ridden out at Sandy Point a few times and Grace was amazing! So balanced and very soft; listening to me and behaving beautifully.

Our aim this season is to compete under saddle at the Welsh Shows with maybe some dressage.

 

Paddock fun

Paddock fun