In 2005, Jo and I went to visit Hestigarth Stud looking for large colts to train up to harness. We purchased two half-brothers, Hestigarth Floyd and Hestigarth Finlay. They shared the same sire, Tirval of Quendale.
As they were only bebbies when we bought them, we decided to throw Floyd and Finlay in with a load of other youngsters where they could learn to grow up in a herd environment, which they loved. It was great. You could go into this huge field, shout their names and little ears would pop up from over the hills and come galloping towards you.
When the lads turned 3 years old, we started their training. It was in the winter months and they loved it.
Floyd was predominantly trained to be driven and then lightly backed by BeAnne. He was always exceptionally relaxed and an easy-going little lad.
Finlay was just the same – hardworking and always cheerful. His potential owner wanted him ridden so my daughter, Daisy, duly obliged.
As Floyd and Finlay were the best of friends as well as half-brothers, it seemed the obvious choice to train them as a pair as well. It never does any harm and it gives them an idea of working together. So, off they went perfectly happily side by side getting on with the job to the best of their ability.
If only they were all that easy to train. These two happy little Shetland ponies were honest, kind and didn’t have a mean thought in their heads. I do think their herd environment, as they grew up, played an important part in their development. They always had space to play in and friends about. They didn’t want rugs and stables – they needed their freedom to grow.