IMG_0360Question: how do you officially height check a pony in the “OFF” season?

Why do I care? Well, I happen to have two super cute, super talented, green ponies for sale at the moment…go me! But, they have never attended a rated show and that’s a problem, a big a problem.

My wonder ponies have everything they need to get the job done, but as it stands right now, with the season at an end, I have no way to procure an official measurement for them. Number one pony stands a solid 14.1, no worries on that front, but number two pony is a top of the line 14.2 hand large so the obvious question for any potential buyer is…will she measure?

I didn’t realize the significance of this question until I set myself the task of obtaining an official measurement to ease the uncertainty of potential purchasers. Turns out that the only way to get the elusive “official” measurement is by taking the pony in question to a rated show. At that point an EC steward takes a measuring stick to the pony and smiles as he asks “what height would you like her to be?” If the Pony Gods favour you the official verifies that the pony in question does indeed measure under the required height restriction, yay! Then with magic pen in hand, he enters the height into the passport thereby granting the pony access to the wonderful world of pony showing! This is the moment were everyone involved breaths a big sigh of relief…and the money truck rolls in!

For my part, in the interests of assuring everyone inquiring about the height of my wooly wonders, I’ve initiated a preemptive strike and taken them to an outside vet for an “official” measurement. It’s the best I can do under the circumstances, but it’s a far cry from the reassurance most people are looking for when they’re shelling out a ton of coin on what is essentially a very expensive new toy for their kid. Having no way to officially measure a pony leaves a new owner with a rather large question mark regarding that ponies ability to compete in the pony divisions and let’s face it, a top of the line is pony is a competitive edge, an over the line pony is competitive suicide. No one wants to be left holding the bag with a “too large” large.

So call me crazy but how can it be that in this day and age there is no way between October and January, when the Trillium winter season starts, for me to get my pony’s height verified. Ponies are a big business and a quarter of an inch can make or break not only a sale, but a pony’s career. I assume Equine Canada knows that people continue to ride after the show season ends, maybe they just haven’t realized that people also buy and sell ponies during this time. But, anyone who’s searched the sales websites knows that the number of pony ads being posted are significant. My two ponies alone have generated a ton of interest and inquiries so I’m quite confident that there are indeed scores of ponies being bought and sold throughout the off season and I would imagine that it’s safe to say that of those, at least one or two of them might need their heights officially verified.

I know I for one, would certainly appreciate it if a measurement solution could be found. I’m fully aware that there are a number of issues involved which can make offering this service year round difficult from accessibility to shoe height and drug use for those critters who are cresting over the line, but at the end of the day this is a service that is required by the members of Equine Canada and as such it is an issue which should be addressed.

Those of us working and playing in the pony rings should have the ability to verify that yes indeed, our ponies do measure up. No matter what time of the year it is.