If you were a pony-mad child in the 60s and 70s

(With more than a nod to Horse and Houndwho 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.

Knight, 1968

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.



5 responses to “If you were a pony-mad child in the 60s and 70s”

  1. Joy Fraser avatar
    Joy Fraser

    Oh love this!! All of the above apply to me but would also add, spending hours pouring over the Julip horse catalogue and trying to decide which breed/colour I would buy when I had saved enough. And hours spent “posing “Anna and Happytime. Setting up a course of jumps to tackle on my trusty spacehopper 🙂

  2. Stephanie Rowden-Matheson avatar
    Stephanie Rowden-Matheson

    I was a winner in 1972 or 73. My family were moving back to Canada so a cash prize was given. But not before riding for Dorian Williams. It was quite an exciting time. I even remember my slogan. Our time in the UK was a wonderful experience.

  3. Kate Nelson avatar
    Kate Nelson

    When the only shows you could go to were the ones you hacked to…..hack 6 miles, enter every event from first ridden to lead rein jumping to bending race and hack all the way home again with all rosettes tied to the bridle

    1. Jane Badger avatar
      Jane Badger

      Absolutely …

  4. Lorna avatar

    Wow, what a trip down memory lane reading this article and the comments. I never had a pony but watched all the horse and pony shows on TV, series like Follyfoot, white Horses, Black Beauty, Champion etc etc. I loved the Pullein-Thompson sisters books and Thelwell too😁

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