“Horse of the Month” Boyo
Boyo is a very well-known school pony who has been at ARC since 2003 when he arrived as a 5 year old livery pony. He is now 21 years old and is a very sweet, generous pony to ride who does both adult and junior lessons.
Boyo was a first pony for a livery family in 2003 – the family had moved with ARC to Oldfold (2003 was the year we moved) and then planned to get a pony once we moved. They chose Boyo as he was a good all-rounder and a perfect size for them, so he arrived with us in 2003 and the family got to know him. “Chubs” became his nickname as he liked his food a bit too much and always struggled with his weight He did a bit of everything with his family – flatwork and jumping, did river hacks and unaffiliated competitions and was a great first pony. He had a fear of lunge whips, which we discovered when a coach picked one up near him and he shot off fast around the school
He liked his jumping, but always had a bit of a height limit in his head – he didn’t like to jump much bigger than 80cm!
His first family eventually outgrew him, and Boyo was then sold to another livery family on the yard – weirdly at this point, Sally was offered Boyo for the riding school but she didn’t think he’d enjoy it – he had too much of a sense of humour!
Boyo was great with his next family and again taught them all how to compete (unaffiliated) and generally have great fun, then when that family were relocating back to the States, he was sold to another ARC livery. By this point, Boyo was a bit older (he’d been at ARC for around 8 years) and was a real schoolmaster. As he got older still, Boyo developed laminitis and was going to require some stabling as part of his management to keep him sound and control his weight. At the time his owner wasn’t able to manage him with a stable and quite strict diet control, so again he was offered to ARC as we had the systems in place with our school horses that we could manage his weight and laminitis. So having been a livery for around 10 years, Boyo then became a school pony, and he was an absolute revelation – he loved it! He could be quite a “grumpy old man” at times, but there was none of that in the riding school as he really enjoyed teaching people and the workload really suited his soundness/management. Boyo has now been one of the team for around 7 years and he’s a brilliant pony for the riding school – we have to manage him quite carefully – he is constantly on a diet, and he recently started wearing Imprint shoes (or Nikes as we call them) as his feet benefit from the glue on plastic shoes. He gets some turnout and enjoys it, but equally he also likes to be in his stable tucked up and stable time allows us to restrict his food intake a little bit, so he doesn’t get too fat. He can be a bit nippy when doing up his girth, but rather embarrassingly he doesn’t tend to nip our staff, just the members – which is very bad customer service but is kind of part of Boyos humour. He still likes doing a little bit of jumping and is still suspicious if you pick up a lunge whip near him for anything – but he doesn’t run off anymore after nearly 20 years with us he’s worked out that nobody is going to beat him with the whip!