Pumpkin

© Phelps Photos. Used with Permission. Pumpkin with Rider Jessica Jude.
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Mare, Chestnut, 1996
Showname: Dreamaker

I am a princess and a show off, and not afraid to say so. They don’t call me Dreamaker in the ring for nothing! In the stall, I make faces and pin my ears back at the other horses if I feel they are coming too close to my food or stealing attention away from my humans. But put me in ring, and I am an intensely focused show pony. No matter what happens I just keep looking beautiful. After all, I am there to compete.

I have heard Ellen tell others I that what I lack in athleticism, I make up for in pure heart. I’d say she has that right. I thank my riders for taking me in the ring by competing hard for them. I have a trailer and a room full of ribbons that Ellen’s daughter, Jessica, and I have won over the years. In one show, we beat the National Pony Finals Champion to take the Large Pony Hunter Championship [2007]. It just goes to show you it’s what’s inside that counts. What a day that was!

I chose Ellen from a large field when I was four years old. I had been sent to the killers because I had bucked the wrong person: a college equine coach. I was young, only three; chalk it up to inexperience! We’ve all made some mistakes.

Fortunately, a very nice lady bought me at the killers, brought me to her farm, and turned me out every day into a large pasture with about 6-7 other horses and ponies. Ellen actually came to look at another pony in the field, but I definitely wanted her. I overheard she wanted a pony for her daughter to ride, and I wanted to go home with her. I followed her all around the field, and I nuzzled her shoulder over and over before she finally gave in and took me. I heard all sorts of negatives that day between the two ladies — “she’s too young for a young rider,” “she isn’t a hunter pony, she’s a dressage pony,” “she’s too expensive”  — but I could tell Ellen liked me and saw something in me. I loved her for that.

Ellen had to de-program my fear of loud noises and help me build trust in people before I could succeed. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my favorites: I don’t trust the teeth guy or the vet, but I do like the farrier. But what girl doesn’t like a pedicure and new shoes, am I right?

I miss Jessica, now that she has outgrown me and has to go away to work. I love my home at Silent Fox Farm, but I still love to go on the road to shows.  I hope you will come and see me sometime.  Ellen built her barn just for me, because she loves me and will never sell me. I am one of the family.