5 Types of Riding School Pony


Ahh riding schools, the epicentre and root cause of our horsey obsession. The majority of us started our equestrian journey in one these places, turning up on a Saturday morning beaming from ear to ear and crossing our fingers in the hopes of riding our favourite pony. The anticipation of standing at the front desk waiting to hear our fate was often too much to bare, the choice of pony could make or break you…there were the good ones, there were the bad ones and then there were the ugly ones but here are five types of pony you’ll find in a riding school!


The Speed Demon


Usually goes by the name of Smartie or something similar; round about the 12hh mark and built like a whippet. This pony is one for the brave. There is no walking with this one, its more of a jog. Charging around the arena leaving the other ponies in the dust there’s no stopping this one! The pony strides make it feel so much quicker as you go into your corners on two wheels, your knuckles are white and tangled in the mane and there’s mud and tears streaming down your face… yes, youre riding the rocket!


The Slug


In stark contrast to your speed demon, you have the slug. Probably goes by the name of Alfie or snowflake. He’s as round as he is tall and it feels like youre sat on a barrel. Your heart drops when you get this pony because you know youre not going to be able to walk tomorrow. You trundle around the school at a pace that could almost be classed as stationery and all you can hear is your instructor yelling “More leg, MORE LEG!” On the plus side, you are never going to fall off of the slug, he is too wide and far too slow!


The Pushbutton pony


The one we all hope to ride. This pony is a saint. He moves off the leg and holds a contact without you even having to try. A smooth trot and flowing canter makes you look like you know what youre doing, the other pony clubbers are oh so envious at your flawless ride. But they are no fun! You cannot learn to ride if youre not challenged, they are perfect if youre wanting a chilled out session but you only learn to really ride when youre picking yourself up out of the dust.


The Bucker


You act disappointed when you get this one but deep down you couldn’t be more thrilled! The bucker really livens up the lesson, each little movement in the saddle causes a sassy swish of the tail and each squeeze of the leg results in an almighty buck. You smile inside as the other pupils look on in awe as you wrestle with this beast of a pony… these are the ones that’ll teach you to ride! As youre bronking around the school you can hear the faint squeals of your instructor yelling “Sit back, Leg on” You come into a corner and youre off. You sit there with a mouth full of sand and ripped glove and the pony just looks at you… but guess what? Youre only 10 minutes into the lesson so get back on and do it again!




Every riding school has one; the resident oldie. Probably been there since before the war, you can’t tell the colour of the pony anymore because there’s too much grey hair but judging by the flecks of ginger she was most likely once a chestnut. She stands in her stable, old joints creaking but this look of sheer determination in her shiny black eyes. Surely she wont make it through another lesson? Oh but she does… this old pro knows the score, she’s walked the track a thousand times and taught countless children, you can’t rush this old soul. The world runs at her pace, she may not be the quickest or the sharpest but she knows her stuff. You should feel privileged to ride such a legend after all, she’s probably carried the very best of us!


So there we have it, our classic five types of pony you’ll find in a riding school, each epic in their own way, full of character and bursting with quirks- these are the ponies that taught us everything!