Pony News, Views and Attitudes -- Vol. 2 Number 3 -- July 28 - August 3, 2008 PAGE 3


Hey Pam,
A horse float is a trailer that you use to transport a horse to a place and you hook it up on the back of a car. And no I don't live on a island, but i would love too!!!!!!!!
Samantha in N.S.W Australia

Dear Samantha in Australia

I like getting your letters because I learn a lot! Having Pony Pen Pals like you is my favorite part of the Wiggins Weekly.

If you have a house trailer that you can tow behind your car is it called a house float?

Write back and let me know.

Pony Pen Pals,


Dear Pam, I understand that you ldon't like competing in horse shows I don't like to compete in horse shows either. I ride for the fun of it not for competition. Please tell your parents and Jack and Jill that I said hello.
Sincerely, Cayce

Dear Cayce,

Sometimes it is fun to compete. Lightning really likes to jump and it makes me feel like flying!

My mom says that its okay if I don't compete. Some kids need to have a goal like a show to get them to keep practicing riding. Not us! Anna, Lulu and I all ride as much as we can because we love ponies and being around them.

I even like cleaning stalls because I get to be around the horses.

Ms. Wiggins drove her cart over to our barn this week. Jack and Jill and Ms. Wiggins got in her cart, I saddled up Lightning and we all went down to Badd Brook. Anna and Lulu met us there, we tied all the ponies and ate sandwiches and splashed our feet in the brook.

Jack and Jill promised to stay dry but by the time we were done eating the Off-Main Diner brownies that Anna's mom sent they were really wet. So Jack and Jill got back in Ms. Wiggins cart and drove home. I made sure they got changed into dry clothes.

Then Anna and Lulu and I all went for a ride along Badd Brook all the way to Mt. Morris and then rode back along our secret trail. It was really fun.

Pony Pals,

PS. I like the picture of Annie you sent. What's a sink hole?


Guest Editorial -
Why girls need ponies

Why do little girls love horses in the first place?
Horses are big. Horses are beautiful. Horses can make great friends. Horses are magical.
Horses are very empowering. Riding horses teaches girls to be natural leaders in societies where many stimulus shout the opposite. Horses require a “take charge” attitude from the rider. Horses need riders to stand up, take control, and be outspoken. Horses require character and confidence, and for a little girl, horses are the anti-timid medicine they crave.
Additionally, horses allow girls unique competitive experiences. Horse and rider are a TEAM. This team bond between horse and rider is one that is special, thoughtful, fulfilling, and in more ways that it isn’t, SAFE. And though horse and rider are a team, the rider is in charge. The rider, in her ability to pilot, communicate, and command is responsible for the team’s performance. With just proper training, horse riding is a very skilled activity little girls can do ALL BY THEMSELVES. Horse riding takes confidence, and it builds confidence.
Learning to fail and learning from failure is also an important part of horseback riding. Little girls often have a fear of failure that seems to be somewhat built in to their being. Learning how to ride horses requires failure, struggles, and mistakes. Overcoming fears, mistakes, and failures takes patience and determination. Little girls will learn that with time, great things DO happen.
Horses bring another important quality to a young girl, individuality, which is sometimes so scarce in a suburban landscape. Often times, young girls are trying to figure out who they are, what they stand for, how they think, how they work, and how they act. So many young girls aren’t able to effectively express themselves, and with the big group activities that EVERYONE else participating in, how can a young girl feel like she stands out from the crowd?
Horseback riding not only gives a little girl the ability to be herself, it allows her to figure herself out in so many ways. She doesn’t have to dress like the other 40 soccer players; she doesn’t have to act like the other group of girls who are all doing the same thing, without any true passion for what they are doing. Following the pack is something that seems almost necessary for most young girls. Brownies, Girl Scouts, and softball are not only giant group activities, they are also activities that require conformity. With team sports, or other group think activities, no one really stands out, and no one is really different. Is that a good message to be sending any young person?
Whether on the ground or in the saddle, horse piloting takes a charm, a style. And to everyone, their horse piloting is unique. And sure, in sects (and albeit highly touted, pressure filled sects), horse riding too can become about conformity (big horse shows, Hunters, snooty barns), but unmolested, horsemanship is sheer freedom (and to the adults, isn’t it sad how the word ‘freedom’ has become molested over the last eight years?).
Horses invoke freedom, strength, and confidence, naturally.
The most important path to enriching a little girl’s life with horses is through her teenage years. With financial and emotional support, if a girl can get into horses early and be encouraged to stay with it, outside, recreational activities that could end up causing real problems in her life fade to the background.
Most teenage girls I knew who rode horses weren’t interested in boys (at least not to the degree of non-horse teenage girls) weren’t interested in parties, drinking, drugs, and other activities that are often a result of boredom. Healthy curiosity and experimentation was natural, but horses always came first, and personal, responsible decisions were made because of horses. “I can’t go to that party because I have a horse show that weekend,” or “I can’t sneak out and go drinking with my friends because I have an early lesson.” Horses are a huge positive distraction when there are plenty of negative distractions constantly bombarding the teenage girl.
Finding the right barn with other children around is important, not so much for interaction, but for the general environment. Kids also need to be at barns that require them to work. Barns filled with $250,000 ponies (and their associated parents) negate almost all aspects of hard work, determination, and self reliance that go along with young girls and horsemanship.
Having a passion for something special is an important part of life. If a little girl has a spark of interest in horses, why not give her the ability to find out if it is a true passion for her? Not enough young people today have enough true passion or motivation. Lacking interests leads to boredom, and putting a child into other sports just to pass the time doesn’t enrich their lives. Not to get all “children are our future”, but happy, passionate, motivated, confident, and positive adults have head start on the rest of the world if they start out as happy, passionate, motivated, confident, and positive children.
And though barriers to horse entry are real and numerous, add up those team sports trophy pools, gymnastics classes, swim parties, and softball tournaments: think there is some monetary and time commitment room in there? After all, we know most young girls are horse crazy, but how many five year olds are screaming for the chance to play field hockey?
If you know a young girl, anywhere, go buy her a helmet and some horseback riding lessons at your nearest barn.

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