If you were a pony-mad child in the sixties and seventies

(With more than a nod to Horse and Hound, who have done similar things for the 80s and 90s.)

Elephant-ear jodphurs were still a thing

The Jacatex page in PONY Magazine was something you poured over for hours at a time, trying to work out if there was some way you could magic together the enormous amount of shillings necessary to get the ‘Pat’ riding mac. Or the ‘Pat’ hacking jacket. Or the ‘Pat’ jodphurs. Anything, really, that wasn’t the elephant ear jodphurs that were about third-hand when you got them.

Reading PONY Magazine cover-to-cover, even Pat and Pickles, which somehow you never really took to.

Knowing Jill’s Gymkhana off by heart. And Jackie Won a Pony. And I Had Two Ponies. And No Mistaking Corker. And any other pony book you could get your hands on.

Riding ponies up from the field in just a headcollar. You had a hat as a small nod to health and safety.

Your riding teacher thinking that standing on the pony’s quarters as it was going round the field was a totally acceptable thing to do (after all, he’d done it in the Army).

Seeing said instructor demonstrating full scissors after you’d at last managed to master half-scissors, and knowing that you’d never, ever, get there.

Becoming aware that there was a bit of a disconnect between some riding instructors who were all about collection and dressage, and others who, well, weren’t.

You spent hours and hours trying to come up with a suitably witty slogan to win the tie-breaker on the WH Smith Win-a-Pony competition.

You looked forward to the school holidays when White Horses and Champion the Wonder Horse would suddenly appear on television.

Becoming conveniently deaf when it was suggested by your nearest and dearest that there were other things in life besides horses and ponies. But that’s universal, whenever you grew up.


madwippitt said…
Yes, why have there not been any repeats in recent years of White Horses? pffft ... You can get Champion on DVD but not White Horses! I'm having to make do instead with the theme which was the first thing I ever downloaded to my MP4 player when I got it five years ago ...
Skiffle.cat said…
Yay ! Nice to see you posting again, Jane. I hope you've been doing well.
Jane Badger said…
Lovely to hear from you too! Gradually getting my blogging mojo back - things have been a bit slow recently as I'm having a new version of my website built but it keeps on hitting problems. But I am here, and I have plans ...
Gillian Mary said…
Yes, I was a pony mad child in the sixties and seventies and read any pony books I could get my hands on. I remember the White horses TV show as well: for years I thought it was a figment of my imagination; how could something so magical be real? The theme song is so evocative of the magical feelings horses and ponies created (still do) in me. My mum had had horses before marriage and knew Glenda Spooner when she lived at Ascot Farm; she also got accepted to Porlock Vale Riding school in the 50's but did not go. Sadly I lost my mum this January at the age of 78, so I cannot share your wonderful blog and website with her.
Jane Badger said…
Thanks for your comment Gillian. I am sorry for your loss, but I'm glad it does sound as if you shared some wonderful memories with your mother. Porlock looked amazing: what an honour to be accepted.
Anonymous said…
Ponyclub Annual at Christmas .. Follyfoot... all good stuff
Mary said…
Just seen your wonderful blog and the memories come flooding back:
Having to keep the ‘new’ 10p pieces between our knees and the saddle in trot and canter
Buying my first Jacatex hacking jacket after saving years of birthday money ( coincidently worn by my daughter at the last London Horse Parade as it matched her horses’s winter coat colour)
Rushing home from school to watch White Horses and Belle, Sebastian and the Horses
Avidly reading the Three Jays and all the Pullen Thompson books .....and Far Distant Oxus (remember that?)
Yes, trying to win the WHSmith pony competition year after year
Oh happy days .......
Jane Badger said…
I do indeed remember The Far Distant Oxus - I was talking about pony books at the weekend at a conference and it got a mention!

I love the fact that your Jacatex hacking jacket is still going. They made them to last.

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