Horsy News, Views and Attitudes   Vol. 1 Number 24 December 31, 2007 - January 6, 2008

Snow! Photo by Lee Cummings

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Wiggins Ski Joring Clinic

 

     Olson's Farm will hold a ski joring clinic on January 26 from 10 to 2.  This sport takes two people -- one rides a pony that pulls a rope that the other person on skis uses to haul them forward.

 

      Reggie Olson said, "I tried ski joring last winter at a clinic like the one we will hold. It's an exciting way keep horses in shape in the winter."

 

     Trainers will help riders get their ponies and horses used to the sport. A 30-foot rope attaches a skier to a pony's saddle. Races are timed, with jumps, slalom poles and rings to catch.  Small, quick ponies do well at it. 

 

      "You see mostly quarter horses, although I saw all types at the races last year, including draft horses! But really big horses' feet throw snowballs back towards the skier!" Olson laughed,  "It's really fun, everyone has a great time."

  

      Interested riders or skiers are encouraged to register at Olson's Farm, or call 555-1255 for more information.

Local Naturalist to Lead Hike on Mt. Morris New Years Day Nature Walk

         Park Ranger Jack Stranton announced a New Years Day hike on Mount Morris that will start at 10am. Noted scientist Stuart Sanders will attend and talk about winter wildlife.

 

      "We are quite excited to have such a famous writer and scientist here" Stranton said. "He is the son of Olive Sanders of Wiggins and came to visit town for the holidays."

 

       Stu's daughter Lulu Sanders is excited about the hike. "Dad knows so much about wild animals. He's been in Botswana, Africa. He was there studying blue wildebeests, a kind of cow."

 

Story continued on page 3  

 

Created with The GIMP Blue Wildebeest, photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Thought for the day - -

A pony will do anything you ask it to -- if you ask the right way.

Page 2

Horsy News, Views and Attitudes   Vol. 1 Number 24 December 31, 2007 - January 6, 2008 

LEARN TO SPEAK HORSE

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Q.   I just got a pony! He is beautiful and as gentle as can be but I am very nervous about riding him because I recently had a fall.  I want to ride him but I don't know how to overcome my fear. Do you have any advice? Sarah B.

A. Your pony can tell you are scared, too.

So spend some time with him. Groom him all over. Walk him around on a lead rope. Teach him the sound of your voice and what “Whoa” means when you say it.

There is no hurry to ride, no hurry to do anything until you are comfortable doing it.

Before you ride, make sure you can move your pony forward, back him up, move him over from either side and that he is comfortable with you on the ground around him.

Then and only then think about riding. Start slow, pet him and ask someone to lead him around while you sit on him, getting used to the feel of his movement. Don’t try riding alone until you feel ready.

Pony time is quality time.  Many (if not most) pony problems have been caused by people who were in a hurry. As last week's column advised, teaching a horse to trust you to lead him is forever. You have to earn that trust and that is not instant.

Take your time.  I’m so glad you have a pony.

Thank you for the advice! That's pretty much what my Dad says... and I groom him and lead him and it feels like I am the luckiest girl in the world!;)  

 Pony Pals  Letters

Dear WebMaster

   

      My name is Sarah M. and I live in Ankeny IA. Me and my friends, Kate, Meagan, and Taylor, always play Pony Pals at recess. We have Mr. Olson's farm, Mrs. Wiggins' and her mansion, and Pony Pal trail, and all of the Pony Pal's houses.

   

    You might be wondering how we have four Pony Pals. Well, here's the answer to your question. Kate, has blond hair, so she's a Anna, I have brown hair, so I'm Lulu with Snow White, Kate has blonde hair, so she's Anna with Acorn, and though Meagan has brown hair and white skin instead of brown skin, she's Pam with Lightning.

   

      Finally, Taylor is Kim from the book, "The Blind Pony."  So, if you go by the book, she has Dandy as her pony.

   

    Well, I'd better go, but I want to tell you one more thing. I think that you should write a book called, "Pony Pals, The Lost Pony." I think it should be about a pony that the Pony Pals find on the trails. It's the most prettiest pony the Pony Pals have ever seen. They end up naming the pony Tater Tot because it has a beautiful crusty brown coat. In the end, someone had lost their pony and the pony the Pony Pals had found was the exact pony that had been lost. Then, they find out that the pony's real name is Dusty Star and have to give it back to it's real owner.

   

     I really love your books and I read them every night. I have at least 15 of them that I read over and over. Right now I'm reading, "Stolen Ponies." It is a very well written book, I think.

   

    Once again, I love your books and can't wait till I can read more!!

   

 (Thanks so much! I passed your letter on to Jeanne Betancourt and she says "hi!"  Does anyone else have a Pony Pals Club?) 

Pony Pals Letters continued on page 3  

 

 

Page 3

 Horsy News, Views and Attitudes   Vol. 1 Number 24 December 31, 2007 - January 6, 2008

Story continued from  page 1

Mt. Morris Nature Hike

         Sanders writes for National Geographic and has also studied elephants and black bears. 

 

        "When my mother and I moved here it was the first place that I really got a chance to spend time in the forest and learn about animals," Stu Sanders said. "I learned to swim in Lake Appamapog. Mt. Morris felt like my back yard."

 

        "Some people think wildlife all goes to sleep  when it is cold. But not all do. This is a chance to get out and see animals who are active all winter long," Sanders continued. "Everyone should dress warmly and wear boots."

 

     Sanders said the Pony Pals, three young Wiggins horseback riders, would follow the hike to make sure no one gets lost.

Pony Pals  Letters

continued from  page 2

hi   my  name  is   isabelle   and   i    love   ponies.  here  is  a  poem   for  you.

    

i   love   ponies  

each  and   every  one.

acorn   

snow  white   

and  lighting  too.

lulu  

pam  

and  anna  too.

each  one  wonderful

 just  like  you.

 

Just for Fun – Match up the Tracks!

1

2

3 

4

 5

Match up the tracks with an animals' name.

Look for the answers next week

 

_________ Bear

________Coyote

_________Deer

__________Fox

______Raccoon