We continue our Meet Our Breeds series this week with Max, who is a Pony of the Americas. The Meet Our Breeds series is designed to help you meet the many horses and ponies of different shapes and sizes who model our tack in our online shop.
The Pony of the Americas is one of the relatively few breeds that originated here in the United States. According to the Pony of Americas Club Inc., the POA traces its roots to a Shetland stallion crossed with an Appaloosa/Arab mare. Breeder Les Boomhower was fascinated with the idea of a pony with the spotted pattern of the Appaloosa.
POAs vary in physical appearance, similarly to Appaloosas; they may have a blanket coat pattern or a full-spotted leopard pattern. They also have the mottled skin on their nose characteristic of Appaloosas. POAs range in height from 11.2 hands to 14 hands high. Their physical structure is often akin to a small Quarter Horse with some marks of Arabians.
The POA is known as an excellent children’s and family horse due to its size and temperament. Most of them are used for Western riding disciplines, but are sometimes found in driving harness or under English tack.
Max is one of the horses at the Asbury University Equine Center in central Kentucky, where he helps prepare students for careers in the equine industry or for veterinary school. Two Horse Tack appreciates Asbury’s generosity in letting us photograph their horses with our products!
This week on our blog, we’re beginning a series helping our customers and readers get to know the many and various horses and ponies who model our tack over at www.twohorsetack.com. Since our tack fits a wide variety of sizes and breeds of horse, we’ve developed a portfolio of different models to show off our products. We’re fortunate to be based in central Kentucky, where there are a wide variety of breeds available to wear colorful tack, and we’re also thankful that our models’ owners have been so gracious to let us photograph them over the years.
Meet Flash, a 22-year-old Missouri Foxtrotter gelding. Flash and his human Marissa have been together for 12 years. Like many youngsters, Marissa tells us she grew up dreaming of owning a horse and bought Flash with money she saved up from petsitting in her neighborhood when she and Flash were both 10 years old. She found him in an online sale ad.
In twelve years, Flash has carried not just Marissa but her friends and family members, and even one of her professors at Asbury University in central Kentucky. He’s mostly a trail horse, but Marissa introduced him to ranch and cow work–which was initially a little intimidating for Flash.
“When working cows for the first time he was so nervous, but once he realized that if he pushed towards the cows they would move away from him he had a blast,” Marissa told us. “He loves having a job and always strives to do his best in whatever he does.”
Marissa thinks of Flash as Mr. Reliable, her right hand man, who will put up with just about anything–even as he has begun losing his eyesight due to cataracts.
“Scary obstacles are now our biggest challenge,” she said. “Him trusting me with new scary obstacles is very hard for him sometimes but he pushes through.”
Missouri Foxtrotters are a breed that many people may not have heard of, and Marissa says they’re a blast to work with, and extremely versatile.
“They have, in my opinion, the smoothest gait to ride out on the trails all day that actually covers ground,” she said.
See Flash’s work in action on our online shop.