The World of Living with Horses

For The Love of Horses: 2 Year Old’s First Pony

By Caroline Invicta Stevenson

I remember my first encounter with a pony. I was about 2 years old and loved dogs and stuffed animals. One day my nanny took me to the Farmers Market where the pony rides took place in Beverly Hills, California.

My nanny was shopping in the produce section and I was attached to her wrist with one of those very dated child restraints. It was a type of harness with a leash attached to make sure the child — in this case, me — wouldn’t run away.

As I was being led about, I spied the most marvelous sight: Beautiful furry creatures in all colors with children sitting on them, moving with them, were going round and round in circles. I remember tugging at my leash to get closer.

I was relentless and since I had a chronic stutter as a child, I made so much ruckus that my nanny allowed me to lead her to the pony ring. What pure joy!

So, age 2, my love of horses began. As my special daily  treat for going beyond good behavior, dear nanny took me to the pony ring. We were put in Western saddles with a belt attached and then buckled around our waist. (Time has changed safety standards, thank goodness.) There was a walking, trotting and cantering to master, which I did before we moved.

My favorite pony was a pinto called Daisy who was so soft and smelled so sweet, I shall never forget my first love. My early childhood and having Daisy in my life were some of my happiest memories. It’s wonderful how we are able to remember the happy memories so clearly, not so clear are the unhappy ones of so many years ago.

NEXT: Horses, mechanical and otherwise.


Caroline Invicta Stevenson

My career has taken me from the world of thoroughbred racing to the training of equine movie stars, with many stops in between. I designed several major equestrian centers in the Southwest. Most recently I was responsible for the day-to-day running of Las Campanas, a Santa Fe, NM facility I designed that became a benchmark for top equine centers nationwide. Today, I oversee, teach and train with my daughter, Sarah, at Invicta Farms in Nambe, New Mexico -- a full-service hunter-jumper barn.

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