I recently had the pleasure of meeting a quality young show pony/show hunter pony by the name of Styalways Celestial Star – or Jessie to her friends – together with her owner Shannon.
Coming into her life at the age of 5, Shannon found Jessie not long after she came over from Ireland. Whilst she had won plenty in the show ring by that stage, when she first saw the young mare she was a bit raw, a little weak in the neck, a bay without a jot of white anywhere on her body and difficult to get a head collar on. Really not what Shannon was looking for or had in mind at all and the relationship nearly didn’t even start! However, something in the little mare’s dreamy eyes told her that she was definitely worth a second look and in time Jessie swung Shannon’s opinion of her and that was that.
Now after 2 years together and some testing times along the way gently encouraging the mare to overcome her tricky head shy problem they’ve had some great results in the show ring, including the major county shows in the south-west and Royal International qualifiers too. Nonetheless, life together goes beyond the spick and span world of quarter marks and perfect plait as Shannon says that despite her breeding, grace and posh pony appearance for the show ring, it’s important for them both to have fun together away from showing and that means having a go at anything and everything.
And I mean everything!
They’ve put their showing paces into the world of Dressage, been on Pleasure Rides where they’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to gallop up green fields with others. Recently they’ve tackled cross country schooling for the first time and earlier this summer they’ve even had a go at the mad world of gymkhana events (with many excitable maneuvers along the way!). I’m told they regularly resort
to rounding up the family’s very naughty and (typically) uncatchable Shetland pony with Jessie too and I don’t doubt it either. So, by my reckoning, that just leaves some pure show jumping, vaulting and maybe polo to consider for this pair?
As a result of all this variety in her life, this lovely little 14hh mare has developed hugely both mentally and physically and is rarely phased by anything Shannon asks her to do. They’ve built a strong rapport together and the trust this 7-year-old shows her owner is very clear to see. It’s not often you come across a show pony with such a mature and level-headed outlook on life.
I loved listening to Shannon’s enthusiasm for Jessie and all her other ponies she owns as we worked together during the photo shoot, but it’s really clear that the love she has for this smashing mare is very strong and she has a home for life.
Have a fabulous week!
If you’d like a personal equine shoot with me, please see here for more details.