Nicco in his stable
Update 2017

Update 2021
Many 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 only a select band of hoist trained horses. 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. 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 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 and Tawny (who have all competed at the RDA National Championships) some decent competition.

Riding in the wood
Enjoying a hack in the woods during pony days 2019

Update 2021

Doing stable management with Sophie
Doing stable management with Sophie before she was able to return to riding

Well I still continue to be a really useful pony, lockdown has not meant a holiday for me as the girls have to exercise me to stop my arthritis giving me stiff legs. I have had great fun living out most of the winter with Oural and Starra. We have had to stay in a few times as the fields have got so wet as it never seems to stop raining at Barrow Farm. When lockdown first eased in 2020 and a few riders were able to come back, apparently I was not needed as they tell me my speciality is lead rein lessons and helping riders that have side walkers. Unfortunately, due to social distancing many of my riders could not return, so the girls kept me exercised. I did do a few sensory and stable management sessions though as you can see above. However, as the regulations and risk assessments developed I was able to start doing a few lessons with parents and was very excited when riders, such as, Sophie were able to return.

Behaving myself with a parent leading
Working with Henry being led by his mum, Claire.

Having said my speciality is as a lead rein pony, I have also recently started doing some canter lessons. Unfortunately I can be cheeky so all the riders have to learn to canter on someone else, usually Jaybee, but once they know what they are doing they are now allowed to have a go on me too. See I am a really useful pony.

If you would like to sponsor me, please go to the Sponsor a Pony page.