Nicco

Nicco in his stableMany of you will know me. If you have been up to the yard over the summer you might well have heard snoring and that was probably me. When I come into my stable in the morning I like to have a nap. I am a Haflinger pony originally from Germany. I belong to Sally B and I am on loan to Barrow Farm.

I was born in 2003 and I arrived at Barrow Farm in 2009. I have become a really useful RDA horse! I have successfully completed my hoist training and I regularly have riders mount using the hoist. Due to the fact that I am so safe I have had a number of riders that use a pad rather than a saddle. I am a very friendly pony but I do enjoy being cheeky. The coaches are never happy, if I am excited, walk fast and spin my head around they complain but if I do the alternative and walk slowly they complain too, a pony just cannot win.

Nicco doing dressage
Nicco and Sally B doing dressage

Unfortunately I have had a sore leg occasionally over the last few years, the vet tells me it is just a bit of arthritis in my hocks but it does mean I have had to have a few injections in my hock. Unfortunately apparently rest does not help it, instead I have to keep using it so no more long holidays for me!

It turns out I am ‘really useful horse’. As I am a very small horse (apparently I only just make it into the horse category as I am over 14.2hh – hh = hands high, with each hand measuring 4 inches, which is about 10cm) I not only do a lot of the adult rides like Rafferty and Jaybee but I also do a lot of the school rides and the children on a Saturday. In addition to being that almost perfect size to cover both adults and children, I am also a good height for side walkers to work with. Finally to top it all off I am one of the three main hoist trained horses (along with Fergus and Tawny). All of these factors apparently help to give me the title of a ‘really useful horse’.

What have I been up to in 2017

Well firstly can I say I am one of the hardest workers at Barrow Farm. Both Macie and Fergus are older than me and it seems I have to pick up the slack sometime especially as Lula has been off work quite a bit. So one of my important jobs recently has been to help Sophie back to riding, which has been great. Sophie used to ride Rhia but had to have some time off riding having fallen off. It was very important that when she started riding again it was on a well behaved horse and they picked me (they just told me no being cheeky)! We have mainly been working on the lead whilst Sophie has become more confident and independent again but we did a session on Sunday with Sir Lee Pearson and we were allowed to go on our own (but more on that in a minute).

Nicco working off lead with Sophie
Sophie and Nicco

So another rider I have been doing a lot of work with recently is Curtis, who recently moved from 11am to 4.30pm on a Saturday and changed from riding Tawny to riding me as he had started to get so much bigger. It is great to see a rider progress and Curtis is another rider that really benefitted from riding me. Since we started working together at 4.30pm we have had a go at doing some dressage and as well as Sophie we also had a lesson with Sir Lee Pearson.

Curtis riding Nicco
Curtis riding Nicco

So it turns out that the girls at Barrow Farm think I am a bit of a dressage superstar. I helped three riders compete in the March qualifier of Dressage Anywhere and came equal 3rd (with Carole), equal 4th (with Curtis) and 5th (with Sophie) so I was quite pleased with that. It turns out that as I am doing all this dressage work I got to have three lessons with Paralympic dressage star, and winner of no less than 14 Paralympic medals, 11 of which are gold, Sir Lee Pearson. It was a great day. I was second up with Curtis and then in the afternoon had lessons with Sophie and Rebecca. It is great to help these young people be able to have a go at competing and developing their skills. I did hear a rumour that we might be holding a competition at home in the summer – I think that will be busy day for me and now I have had some lessons with Sir Lee, hopefully I will be able to give Rafferty, Fergus, Macie and Tawny (who have all competed at the RDA National Championships) some decent competition.

If you would like to adopt me, please go to the Adopt a Pony page.