|Abrazos Adventure Portales New Mexico
offering family and individual recreation to Portales, Clovis, Cannon AFB and the surrounding area with horseback
riding and lessons
Wendy Toombs owner/instructor 575.760.4444
Midnight is a Shetland Pony and he joined Abrazos Adventure in 2002. My husband and I had
decided that pony rides could be a part of what we did with the riding school.
We went to the Clovis Horse Sale in March with the intent to look for a pony or ponies. The first
day of the sale we looked at and purchased a little red roan miniature horse that we named
Red. The sale was a 3 day affair and we left Red there until the end in case we bought another
Later a man approached us outside the sale and said he had a pony for sale if we were
interested. It was Midnight. He had his daughter riding it demonstrating that he was gentle. We
thought about it overnight and the next day told the owner we would take him.
When we brought them home, we put them in a pen together. Normally you don't do that with
strange horses but neither one had been in the pen before so neither one had territorial rights
- so to speak. Our decision worked well and they became fast friends.
When we got him home, I had the grand children ride him to see just what we had. He was
sweet – just didn’t know too much.
Within three months of purchasing him and Red we headed to our first community event –
Heritage Days here in Portales. The ponies were a hit and the pony division was born.
Since then he has appeared at Heritage Days every year, Peanut Festival at the Fair Grounds,
birthday parties, Ag Expo, field trips and even a car dealership promotion.
He is used for the riding school. As I write this in 2014, we think he is between 16-18 years old.
In his younger years I had to wait and put a more experienced rider on him.
This year he is taking the less experienced rider and not asking as much from them. The kids
like him because they can stand on the ground (most of them) and do all their tack and untack
Shetland Pony is a breed of pony. A pony measures 14 hands 2inches or less at the withers. In
this case, the Shetland is also a breed, not just height. They originated in the Shetland Isles.
Ponies get a bad rap for their manners. From my experience with them, I think we need to
blame the people handling them. Midnight, and all the ponies we have had, have all been safe
and mannerly to be around.
He has a rider load limit (how much he can comfortable carry) of 90 pounds. It is recommended
that a horse/pony carry 1/5 of their body weight.
Because of his lovely black coat when we got him, we named him Midnight. Now his coat is long
and curly and brown. That is a sign of a disease called Cushings. One problem he has
exhibited as a result of this is sore feet at times. Another is skin conditions due to the hormonal
imbalance caused by Cushings.
We also have to feed manage ponies because they get overly fat on the rich hays and grains
that are available. My guys eat grass hay which seems to keep them at a good weight.
As you see with the cat between his legs, he is gentle.
Even though he was tied up he managed to drop his hind quarters
to the ground and get dirty - twice. I had to post a guard with a club
until he dried off.