Powderbark Connemara Pony Stud has its roots in New Zealand through rich Pony Club experiences in the 1950s and 1960s. Redwood, our family pony, was 14.1hh, friendly, versatile, “easy care”, highly intelligent and had a perfect temperament. As well as teaching many children to ride he carried adults with ease and enjoyed Pony Club activities. He became a Pony Club favourite because he had learnt tricks such as counting, shaking hands and nodding or shaking his head in response to questions, and he would happily carry as many children at once who could fit on his back.
Although many horses and ponies followed Redwood, notably Jason (14.3hh dun), Sue (15.2hh tb), Moley (13hh tb cross), Lucy (15hh appaloosa cross), Hawkeye (15.2hh tb/qh cross) and Holly (15hh tb), the borrowed favourite Flash (15.2hh palomino qh) and the hired clydesdale, Herman, who took us on a Vardoo gypsy caravan tour, none had the versatility and personality of Redwood.
Then as our own family grew we came to realise the problems of finding calm family horses and ponies for tall teenage beginners. After discovering there were not many multi-purpose galloways available the idea of breeding our own developed. As well as valuing pure bred horses and ponies we are strong believers in “hybrid vigour”, particularly for breeding multi-purpose riding horses and ponies.
Connemara ponies, with their reputation for intelligence, versatility, athletic ability and potential for successful cross breeding with taller horses are an ideal choice.
In our search for suitable connemara ponies we were fortunate to find Sue and Barton Clarke’s Glenormiston Connemara Pony Stud with a large number of ponies for sale. The problem was that while we are in Western Australia they are at the other side of Australia in Queensland!
After much correspondence we identified a weanling colt and two fillies we wanted to buy, and later another weanling colt suitable for line breeding with our homebred fillies. Emily and Carlisle went to Queensland to meet the ponies. They loved them all and we are now fortunate to have bought all four as foundation ponies for our stud. We have collected a range of connemara bloodlines and each pony has a perfect temperament – although they are all very different from each other. As well as breeding ponies they are now educated riding and driving ponies.