a good pony is hard to find

We have now been shopping for a new pony for my daughter, Jane, for months. I never knew this could be so difficult. All we need is a hunter pony between 12.0 and 12.3 hands with solid lead changes and nice movement at a price we can swing.

Ahhh, but there's the kicker; the price. Ponies are so unbelievably expensive. But just when I start to think that I could find the perfect pony if I only I had 25K to spend, I hear from a friend who has her own training barn about this child we know whose parents can afford almost any pony and are able to take her to all the A-circuit shows and the kid still can't seem to get qualified for pony finals or even win very good ribbons. This child has been through four different 4 and 5 figure ponies in the past 24 months.

For now Jane is riding Shazaam -- barn name: "Gomer" -- a gorgeous but somewhat nutty pony belonging to her trainer. She rode Gomer at a few shows last summer while her pony was recovering from an injury. At one memorable show at Kentucky Horse Park, Gomer jumped the rail that encloses the ring because he thought it was just another jump in the course he was jumping. I wasn't there, but people who saw it happen said it was quite impressive ;-)

Anyway, Gomer is less silly than he was a year ago, but still sort of spooky and fearful. Plus, his lead changes still aren't there yet. But that's what we have to work with for now...