Sochi is a 2006 POA (Shetland Pony x Appaloosa) mare who stands approximately 13hh. She originally came to MHARF from a February 2014 Wadena County humane case during an extremely cold stretch of weather. Sochi was pregnant at intake and her colt Ivan was born in May of 2014. She was adopted the following year but her adopter regretfully had to return her because she was still too green under saddle. In the spring of 2019, Sochi had some refresher training with Kari Cedergren, including a clinic w/Sarona Bruder and some road/trail riding and she did very well. Sochi then went to a foster home while waiting to be adopted. In early 2022, she had another short training assessment with Sarah Helms of Step Up Horsemanship (See Video Here ).
Sochi is blind in one eye due to an old injury and this, along with her rough past, causes her to still be a little skittish under saddle. She will also try to take advantage of an inexperienced or timid rider and go where she wants, and she has been known to throw some bucks at a canter. Sochi definitely has potential as a riding pony, but she needs more work with a trainer or experienced rider (and because she is only 13hh, this needs to be someone smaller). We wouldn’t recommend her for anything less than a confident intermediate to experienced rider at this time.
Sochi has very good ground manners, but another issue she has (again most likely due to being blind in one eye and the fact that she was starved in the past) is that she is somewhat defensive and protective of her food with other horses. Right now she is kept in a paddock by herself and is perfectly happy as long as she can see other horses across the fence. Sochi has done okay in the past with other horses in a larger pasture situation. However, like most ponies, she also needs to be kept on a bit of a diet so a 24/7 pasture situation isn’t ideal during the months when the grass is lush.