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FROM WILD HORSE
TO SHOW HORSE
Lil Bit, a Wyoming mustang, adopted as a yearling in 2003, has become a Lesson Pony, Children's Hunter Pony, and best friend to her owner, Casey Flanagan. Lil Bit was adopted from the Mantle Ranch by riding instructor, Patty Reiff, in October 2003, and quickly became the most popular pony in her barn.
Patty Reiff, a riding instructor from Nokesville, VA, visited the Mantle Ranch in October, 2003. One of the yearlings being gentled that day was a little, gray, yearling filly. After a few sessions in the round pen with Steve Mantle, Patty was able to approach and pet her, and quickly decided to adopt her. Patty didn't have great expectation for the yearling mustang, she just wanted to give her a good home.
Lil Bit was shipped to Virginia, and still acted like a wild horse after the long haul east. She was given a stall in the barn, with a round pen attached to the back door, where she could come and go as she pleased. At first she would run out the back of the stall whenever anyone walked down the alleyway of the barn. But after a few days she discovered carrots, apples, and horse treats. In about a week, she would lift her head over the stall door when someone came near.
Patty started Lil Bit under saddle as a three year old, and soon her advanced students were riding her. It wasn't long before the younger students began riding and showing Lil Bit in the Medium Pony Division (12.2 - 13.2 hands). At her third show, Lil Bit competed in a dozen classes and was Champion Pleasure Pony. She takes care of the younger students, giving them confidence in the Walk-Trot classes, and knows her way around a jump course with the advance students.
One of Patty's students, Casey Flanagan, is now Lil Bit's owner and wrote the following story about her new pony.
A couple of year's ago, I met my best friend, Lil'
Bit. She is a white, medium mustang pony. I say white, but that's
only on show days. She's usually, a lovely, clay brown. I met Lil'
Bit the first day I came to my new trainer, Patty Reiff's barn.
Patty had just brought her back from
Lil Bit knows it me when I pull up in my car she get very excited to see when I come to see her. She is usually waiting for me at the gate. We make a great team. After every lesson, I get off in the ring and we walk to the gate together. She always puts her head down and I put my arm around her neck. I like to tell her stories about my day.
We are constantly learning new skills. Since we started working with her two years ago, she has learned to walk, trot, canter and jump over fences. She used to not be good about taking a bath. I have been working on it this summer and I think she likes them now.
I started showing Lil Bit this year. Her show name is Pippi Longstocking. We have done pretty well this summer. In our last show, we won champion in Pleasure Pony and reserved champion in Green Pony. I am so proud of her.
Lil’Bit and I are the best team ever.
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