Katie Pontone and her National Champion
Katie is only eighteen years old but what follows, in her own words, is from the heart and mind of a young lady much wiser than we might expect from one with so few years under her belt:
“I have been using an AANHCP certified trimmer on my pony jumper in New Jersey because we read your book The Soul of a Horse and never looked back. My pony is now the 2012 National Pony Jumper Champion because she managed the only round without fault of the top pony jumpers in the country at the national finals and was the only barefoot one of all the pony jumpers so I must thank you for opening my eyes to the ignorance and nonsense that trainers preach about the incredible powers of shoes.
My pony is Wicked, who is blind in one eye, and her trimmer is Cindy Ross. Thanks to Cindy I can always count on Wicked’s perfect hooves to turn tighter, gallop faster, and jump cleaner than my shod competitors. She is not only ranked number one in the United States, USEF National Pony Jumper Championships, but is the 2012 USEF National Horse of the Year and the USEF Zone 2 Horse of the Year for the Pony Jumpers. She is the number one pony jumper in the North American League and with our recent victory at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for the 2012 North American League National Finals Wicked earned the title of the 2012 National Pony Jumper Champion. Wicked has won at every local show she has ever been to and took home a blue first place ribbon at the 2012 Devon National Horse Show against the top pony jumpers in the country. This success was made possible through natural trimming, twenty-four hour turn out, limited sugar intake, and ignoring everything my trainers have told me when it comes to proper horse care.
Wicked and Katie on a jump that is surely taller than her pony!
Wicked was a terrible stopper when I first got her, she would refuse every jump over 3′. But as her hooves transitioned to barefoot with the wild horse model, and she got more exercise, a healthier diet, and 24/7 turnout the refusing came to a halt and she became the 2012 national pony jumper champion.
I, unlike many others, win to prove a point, not to move on to the finals or get another blue ribbon. Wicked being barefoot peaked a lot of competitors’ interest. This pony can do anything, make anyone smile, and teach anyone to love because she absolutely loves life, competing, and just having fun with her very own rider since she did not have a rider that loved her for 13 years. She is the best thing to ever happen to me and she will always be my all time favorite horse.” – Katie Pontone