Eric fell in love with ponies from the very beginning. His first word used for everything other than “mommy” and “daddy” was “Dixie”(the late Rocky Dawns Spirit). Along with his toy tractors and trucks was his huge assortment of ponies. His first ride was when he was only 3 months old in the snuggie with his daddy. His first leadline was at 10 months old during his first Turkey Circuit. It was safe to say he was hooked. He has had a blast showing ponies, raising and training babies, and trying out new things to push his limits and abilities. From the breed pen to speed shows, dressage, jumping and many trail rides he has done it all. He has had many companions along the way that have guided him and molded him into the rider he is today. At just 2 years old we brought him home a mini named Sadie that toted him everywhere and bucked him off when deserving. Double Tough Investment, Skipping With A Rhythm, and Silver Siri Plaudit Bars packed him for leadline and started him on his way to riding by himself. At age 4 Eric informed us that he was no longer doing leadline and we started the transition into walk/trot. Silver packed him around that first year. Taking care of him, building his confidence and showing him the way. He was a great buddy to Eric as he had been for all his previous riders. Lameness forced Silver to retire and we had the opportunity to bring home Miss Crystal Snow for Eric to ride. Crystal taught Eric patience and perseverance. She was in her 20’s and set in her ways after being retired to raise babies for a few years it took she and Eric some time before they were on the same page. His little legs could barely reach below the pad. At 6 years old he trail rode Crystal, hand galloped a hunter pace, and traveled all the way to Texas for his first Reichert Celebration and brought home a reserve highpoint title. You could find Eric in the dark riding Crystal bareback. Night blind Crystal would take care of her crazy boy who is legally blind himself. At 23 we knew Crystal’s time toting a daredevil little boy would be limited. We took a leap of faith and gave Rick’s junior pony Too Blonde To Boogie to Eric. Eric was 6 and Blondie was five. They jumped into the walk/ trot pen full steam ahead. He taught her to neck rein when she turned 6 and started gaming her. In 2014 they ranked in the nation in 6 events. They brought home the 8&under highpoint title at the Congress and continued to grow. 2015 Eric decided it was time for he and Blondie to move onto 3 gait. They added jumping, trail and reining to their resume. The bond between the two of them is amazing.
Along came Emma in 2013. I remember Eric saying “Momma I hope she likes ponies too.” At 2 weeks old, she made the trip to Iowa to the Futurity, and we survived. Her first ride was aboard Miss Crystal Snow at a few months old. The spotted fever had taken a hold of Emma as it had her big brother. Her favorite word to this day is “Beau” (ZNZ Spectacular Equity). EVERY toy pony, every pony she see’s has been and still is “Beau.” We knew it would not be long and she would need a pony of her own. We were blessed with the opportunity to by Emma her very own perfect pony. Impulsive Zippo was delivered on Thanksgiving Day to the Turkey Circuit. The look on Emma’s face was priceless when that silly pony stepped off the trailer. She sat on his back and kissed him over and over. We clipped him, banded him and put him to bed. The very next morning we dressed this new pony we had never met in the most ridiculous costume. We dressed Emma, sat her on his back and in they went into their first class together. Emma was only 14 months old and Buzz was 5. He gingerly walked with his tiny tot perched on his back. Although most ponies are still called “Beau” by Emma “BUZZ” is who she calls when she wakes in the morning. She would live in the saddle or dragging that pony around day and night. It has just started for these two but we can’t help but be excited for their future together.
As we pack to head to Emma’s first Congress riding in leadline, I can’t help but think of the wild ride it has been. The many lessons hauling each week, hours on every pony and horse in the barn, the miles and miles of road traveled. We wouldn’t change a thing. We are so proud of Eric! His work ethic and dedication to his ponies and his desire to teach his baby sister is so special. He has met so many friends along the way and even more role models to look up to. Good luck to everyone at Congress! We look forward to seeing you all.