33 year old Haflinger pony
Horse

Happy 33rd Birthday Mikey!

On May 13th Mikey celebrated his 33rd Birthday! Mikey is my very naughty, but very wonderful first pony.
 
Mikey has always been older, stronger, and smarter than me. A seasoned lesson pony at Fohlenhof Haflinger farm in Vernon BC for the 1st third of his life, Mikey (registered name Starfire) started his 2nd career as my pony when I was 11. Without the confines of a structured lesson program and observant instructor, Mikey seized the opportunity to “school” me.
 
On our very first ride together after we brought him home, Mikey veered off the trail, jumped over a pile of sticks through thick branches, and galloped back to the barn. And so it began!
 
In the early years, many of our rides consisted of me getting bucked off, run under tree branches, or on occasion, crashing into other horses (sorry Kelsy!). Thanks to Mikey, I learned how to ride by the seat of my pants, be tough, and have fun. He carried me on many adventures. 
 
Life lessons courtesy Mikey:
  • Complete control is an illusion
  • It’s a successful horse show if you stay inside the arena, don’t buck during your dressage test, and no one cries (also: you don’t have to be a winner to be entertaining)
  • No guts, no glory
For many years Mikey has been enjoying the retired life at Nayborly Farms under the excellent care of the “food lady,” Cheryl Smith. He achieved his lifelong dream of living on pasture 24/7 a few years ago when he lost most of his teeth–now we don’t have to worry about him getting too chubby! 
 
While Mikey has many (colorful) ribbons to his name, he’ll always be known more for his “sense of humor,” wild antics with his late friend Precious, and his adorable Thellwell-pony good looks. 
 
Every year older and Mikey proves only the good die young. Of my 4 horses, to this day Mikey’s still the one most likely to buck me off. 🙂 Happy Birthday Mikey! ❤
 
Elderly Haflinger galloping
Mikey running away from his photo shoot on his 33rd Birthday…

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