Lisa with Mischief the Welsh Pony

Lisa and Mischief in the suburbs of Manchester, England

I have been pony-mad ever since I can remember. One evening just before my sixth birthday, my parents had ordered me to go clean my room. I didn’t feel like it—what kid does?—and sat down to look out my window. A beautiful gray pony was being led up the driveway. He was a Welsh Mountain pony, and Mischief was his name.

I grew up the suburbs of Manchester, England. My parents knew nothing about horses. They bought Mischief from an itinerant family; he’d been a gymkhana pony. He was supposed to be 10, though later we realized he was probably just 4.

If you know Welsh ponies, you know we were in for a ride. We would walk Mischief down the busy street, and if one trashcan lid was slightly off, he would jump across traffic. I learned to ride the hard way. I suppose Mischief and I learned together—I wouldn’t recommend this, but I value the skills it taught me.  That little 11.2hh could jump!  We went on to win numerous pony club events and took part in all disciplines.

Dad built a stable in the backyard and rented a small field near my school. I was the only kid in town who got to ride her pony to and from school.  On a few occasions, the principal called me into his office after some kids had vandalized the fencing and let Mischief out onto the school field.  If my Mom wasn’t home, I would be responsible for catching him, using a skipping rope.

Eventually, my parents went through hard times and I discovered boys, so the ponies had to go. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think about Mischief, 25 years later.

I have lived in Colorado for five years. My goal was to get some land and a pony for my little girl. We have been working with a little red roan Welsh pony, about 11hh, that was found in a field with the bodies of other horses that had died of starvation.  A local woman took him in and nursed him back to health. We don’t know if he has had any training. He follows my 5-year-old around the pen. We have introduced a saddle, and she trotted for the first time last weekend.  I hope to have the good fortune to keep him for the rest of his life.

By Lisa Anderson, Elbert, CO