I have been a fan of miniature shetlands for years and used to show them for owners before I began working for Team Hester.

I have two miniature Shetlands Halstock Cassandra (Cassie) and Oakelbrook Seabreeze (Bubbles) mother and daughter respectively. Bubbles is a 3yo and has just been to her first show and we were delighted that she won. She is out again in the next few weeks to another show and I also hope to take Cassie as well who is a 14yo before I put her in foal again later in the summer.

While there aren’t qualifying show classes for the likes of HOYS or the RI the breed society has its own national show which changes venue, but is in Scotland each year. I think that this year it clashes with the Europeans so I don’t think Carl will be very happy if I take my holiday to show my miniatures instead of being in Sweden with him!

Miniature Shetlands are supposed to be exactly as named – a miniature version of the wonderful native Shetland pony. They have to have good strong limbs and be workmanlike in their appearance, have lots of flowing hair which should be kept “au naturelle” so very unlike the dressage horses!

I exercise mine by walking around the farm and the hills and they love it – if I could find the time to take up driving then this is also another way to give them the exercise they need. Watching their weight is of prime concern as they can put on weight very easily. I feed Saracen Super Fibre Cubes which keeps them trim while giving them the nutrients they need.

The beauty of having Miniature Shetlands is that they fit into my busy work schedule while giving me the opportunity to be competitive without having to ride! With such huge characters they also are a dog substitute too as I can’t have a dog at the moment with all the travelling I do – so it’s a win win!

Alan Ponies 3Alan ponies 2