Thursday, November 18, 2010

A little inspiration

I watched a Peter Leone clinic at the stable next door with a bunch of my lesson-mates last weekend. He did three lessons that day, and in the third lesson a teenaged girl and her little pony proceeded to ride the pants off of everybody else at the clinic. Girl and pony were like a well-oiled machine, working in perfect harmony, and that little 12 hand pony was flying over 3' jumps like they weren't even there. They were so impressive together that Peter, a former Olympian, told the girl that if she could ride like that on a horse, her country needs her.

Wow, right? Of course I had to compliment this girl on her pony. The first thing she said was that the pony had been donated to Cornell by her first owners because she was rank under saddle. My jaw just about fell off at that. Looking at this pony now you'd never believe it. Her mom told me that the girl had been riding that pony for 7 years and had been doing most of the training herself. They spend most of their time doing dressage and jump only once a week. Obviously that training schedule is working.

Imagine my surprise when two days later I randomly clicked onto the Ansur Saddle homepage and found that girl and her pony! It seems the pair have been kicking butt and taking names up and down the entire East Coast for the past couple of years. They've medaled at USEF shows, the Devon show, The Four Seasons Horse Show and more - together those two are practically unstoppable.

The page linked to a YouTube video of the two during a competition, take a look:

The girl's name is Rachel Fleszar and her pony is Valley Girl, aka Currie. Keep an eye out for her, because this girl is going places, and it all started with a pony that somebody else gave up on.


  1. What a classy act! That pony just needed a sensitive rider and a fun job to do to excel! She looks and jumps like a miniature version of our Lily!

  2. A sensitive rider and apparently a completely different kind of saddle. She's using a treeless saddle in that video and rode in it during the clinic. I guess one of the pony's issues was a sore back and going treeless solved it.

    Just goes to show what a thoughtful rider the girl is, that she'd try something "outside of the box" to help out her horse.

    Lily must have been something in her prime!

  3. Wow. What a team. A pleasure to watch them together.

  4. You should have seen them in person...

  5. Cool!

    I loved the last several jumps with those tight turns. Looks like the two of them make a great team.


  6. Weren't those something? I couldn't do that. Girl is good!

  7. That's one handy little pony. I'm glad she got a second chance with someone who was willing to work with her. Too many people just don't know what they're doing and blame the horse when in fact it's their own riding and mistakes that are causing a problem.

  8. Finding this page actually made me very sad. Eight years ago, I was about to go off to boarding school and was starting to outgrow my pony, Currie. My trainer was going to help us sell her when some medical emergencies happened in her family, and she had to move away for a year. Not knowing the horse world well enough, we didn't feel comfortable asking someone else to help us sell her, and we chose to donate her to Cornell's breeding program. It had nothing to do with her being "rank under saddle," and I loved riding her while I was able. I had a dream about Currie last night which prompted me to search for her online since Cornell stopped updating us on her years ago; they never told us they'd sold her. I'm very sad to hear that her new owner tells people that we "gave up on" Currie or that we were unhappy with her at all, because she was wonderful. I just couldn't keep her anymore. I'm very happy to see that she's found a good home and that another girl gets to love her as much as I did.

  9. Wow, thanks for your comment. I'm sorry those circumstances occurred the way they did so you had to give her up. She's an amazing pony.

    I feel like a jerk. You know that game "telephone" where the message starts out as one thing but by the time it gets to you it becomes another. That's what happened here.

    I know exactly where she is if you'd like to visit her.

  10. I would definitely like to visit Currie next time I'm back on the east coast. I moved out to LA for school, but my parents still live in New Jersey - I'm sure my mom would love to see her, too.

  11. She's at Gales Equine Facility in Horseheads, NY.

    I'd send Gale an email before you visit, just to let her know you're coming.