Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who remembers Stroller?

You young'uns may not have been born when this amazing little horse was competing -- I say little horse, because there is nothing pony-like about him. Every photo I ever saw of him over a fence, his whole shoulder was completely rotated back and those knees were just below his throatlatch. I often wonder if a small horse like this has a chance in today's competitions -- guessing not -- but when I was growing up Stroller was one of the horses I loved and marvelled at. What a surprise to find footage on Youtube!

I think of those tiny tendons in the front leg...


  1. Want that!!!

    And, why deny it is a pony? Say it proud! People use the term "pony" as though it were a bad word. Why? The most GAME eventers I EVER rode were ponies. My Friesian sport is a cross ... with a welsh sec d pony. The pony side gives him stamina and makes him far more "sporty" (and a better size for me). Then, there is my 14hh grade pony that takes me out safely every time with zero attitude whatsoever.

    I chalk up some of the "pony-tude" with having to be ridden by yanking, inconsistent, young riders at schools. Shoot, I'd have a sour attitude after awhile too. Or ...

    Perhaps, most ponies are trained and handled differently? Honestly, I think, if people treated a pony like a serious member of the equine family and didn't coddle it because it is "sooo kyoot," they might be surprised at what useful members of society the ponies can be. Hey, I'd own one of those snazzy, elegant, sporty German riding ponies in a SECOND! ;)

  2. Oh, I didn't mean to diss ponies, but I tend to think of the Thelwellian pony which Stroller does not look like at all. I guess if you look at the ponies winning in the hunter ring they are little horses too. :-)

    1. LOL ... I know you didn't. You aways spotlight ponies quite fairly. And, it's funny you say "Thelwell" because, before we got my Friesian x on the correct diet, my instructor used to call him "the Thelwell." Well, he DOES have a lot of hair ... and before we kept him on a dry lot he always had that poochy, pony belly.

      And don't get me started on the whole "Icelandic Horse" et. al. thing. I was always taught a pony is 14.2hh or less and a horse is over 14.2hh. Period. Then, all these breed aficionados come along and tell me what I learned is bologna. That 13hh pony should be called a horse because we have PRIDE durnit! Baaahaha. Now I just keep my mouth shut, nod, and agree.

  3. You mean a small horse in today's competitions like Theodore O'Connor? ;)

    I think it would have to be a pretty exceptional small horse. But getting to the tip-top takes a pretty exceptional big horse, too.

  4. I think the modern courses are so technical and so demanding that certain sized horses would be excluded. Would a smaller horse have the scope for the bigger, wider elements? I think not. Teddy O'Connor is in a sport that emphasizes bravery and agility, but not the extremes of width/breadth/technicality that you see in show jumping courses. Three day show jumping is not demanding by today's show jumping standards.

  5. I do remember Stroller.

    It always amazes me how high even the average size horse can jump. Hard to say if a pony could compete on modern courses, but I surely would be happy to see one out there. Bigger is not always better.

  6. I remember Stroller. There were a lot of other horses named after him in England when I was growing up.

  7. Nothing wrong with calling him a pony. I had the great fortune to be blessed with a great pony that I shared with my cousin. Even after we were too old to show her in Pony Hunter classes we found little pony riders for her, and evented her to Prelim. Passed my Pony Club B on her, too.

    RIP Teddy, BTW. Love one that comes along and opens some eyes, like Teddy and Stroller. Oh, and Grasshopper. Anyone remember him?

  8. Stroller was before my time, so I always think of Seldom Seen when I think of small, competitive horses of Olympic caliber. I love everything about that little horse's story. He made dressage seen attainable for anyone and any horse.

    Would Seldom Seen be able to compete successfully today?
    I like to think, yes. A great dressage horse is a great dressage horse.

  9. I still have a horse book that I got when I was little, and I always loved the photo of Marion and Stroller clearing an enormous white gate. I bet it's the one in the video clip! What a marvelous boy he was... and I adore ponies. :D When I finally go looking for my own horse, I hope I can scoop up a "short" one cheap, since so many folks these days only want 16.2hh+. I'm 5'6" but look fine on a pony, so I think 16hh or even 15-something is okay (see my avatar)!

  10. Stroller was 14.1hh and Marion Mould competed on him in junior classes, she was Marion Coakes at the time. Her Father was going to sell him when she graduated to open classes but she persauded him to let her try competing him in open classes. The rest as they say is history..
    Stroller was Irish bred by athoroughbred stallion out of a native Connermara mare, although he was pony height he had the conformation of a horse.

  11. Oh my goodness, so much fun to read this post and watch the video. Thanks for putting together this tribute to "Stroller"


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