Glenhaven Astoria: From Pasture to Pony Finals

By Ashley Peacock of Peacock Acres 

Here we are on our way from Winston-Salem, NC to Unionville, VA to find a project pony.  We aren’t even sure we knew why. Glenhaven Welsh Ponies and Cobs had some lovely pony eye candy, and it seemed a good day to pony shop.  Little did we know where that pony shopping excursion would lead…and this is the story of how  “Neigh Neigh” (Glenhaven Astoria) made it from a Breeding farm as a much beloved “pet” to the main stage…Pony Finals  2015!  We don’tthink she can talk, but we know this is her story:

Life.  Is.  Grand.  Green pastures. My mother is nearby and tells me I’m so pretty all the time…and the humans, they do, too.  They told me so in a place called Upperville.   Then I came back home with a lovely ribbon, and they congratulated me for being a “Champion.”  I very much like the sound of that.  Oh, some people are walking around in my pasture! Suzanne Moody is telling them I’m not for sale.  Sale?  Where on earth would I go?  I’m not for…oh.  Well, ok that was a slight change of plans, I guess.  What about my sister and my mom?   Now they want me to walk into this box?  On wheels?!  Ok, why not.  It’s an adventure with new humans.  I will miss this place, but I will always remember my roots because they named me after my home, Glenhaven Astoria.

True, we made the trip to see Suzanne in Unionville, VA with the intent to purchase a Glenhaven pony.  Just not Neigh.  Thankfully, as her story unfolds, it seems it was just meant to be.  Her presence, sweet disposition and willing attitude won us over.  Mercifully and fortuitously, Suzanne Moody agreed to sell Neigh.  And thus began her journey.  Ashley’s daughter, Parker, was only 2 years old at the time we brought this lovely Palomino pony home, and when you give a two-year-old naming rights to a pony, then you end up with “Neigh Neigh.”  It was perfect.  Neigh lived in a backyard barn when she first arrived in Winston-Salem until Peacock Acres opened its doors in Pfafftown, NC in 2011.

It’s lovely here.  My friends are all here, and I feel like a princess! The little Parker girl paints my toes and dresses me up, and I don’t even mind when she sits on my back!   I was a year old when I got to go to a benefit horse show for a therapeutic riding center, and I carried Parker around on my back.  That same year, I went to a Halloween party!  Parker and Ms. Ashley and her friends dressed me up as the pinkest ballerina you’ve ever seen.  I had long, fake eyelashes and toenail polish and a real tutu and leg warmers! Every year my costume was the talk of the barn.  I’ve been a sunflower, My Little Pony and a clown!  I went to birthday parties and let little kids sit on my back and play all kinds of games.  Not to brag, but I think I was clearly everyone’s favorite at the birthday parties.

It was also very apparent that Neigh was a fancy pony that needed to be brought along, so she entered a working program to learn that her “real” job was not simply birthday parties, Halloween contests and walk/trot classes at the local shows. Enter Kristi Watson, trainer at Peacock Acres, who thankfully was petite and capable enough to give Neigh the foundation she needed.   Kristi taught Neigh the proper form over fences, staying straight and bending through her turns, lead changes…oh my!!  So much to learn!   But ALWAYS willing.  Neigh is THAT girl…THAT girl that walks out of her stall with massive “bedhead” ready to take on the world.  Enter Lynn Forgione and Libbie Gordon.  Parker wasn’t old enough, and there were no other kids ready to take a green pony to the upper levels of pony competition.  Thankfully, Lynn, a mentor to the Peacock Acres program, had just the partner for Neigh.  Libbie and Neigh were ready to take on the pony world!

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Ocala 2015

I must be the luckiest pony alive.  It is SOOO cold at home, and I walked into my traveling box and ended up in sunny Florida!  I know it’s show time, but that’s ok.  Lynn and Libbie are here too.  I keep hearing everyone talk about Pony Finals and mumbling “Champion.”  

Neigh did her job getting Champion both times out in Ocala, FL in the Small Green Ponies. Aiken, Greensboro, Tryon and Atlanta…Neigh has made her entire Peacock Acres entourage proud every time out.

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Without a grand budget, but a great big dream and some very talented, very devoted riders and trainers, Neigh will make her Pony Finals debut in Kentucky this year.  For all the little girls and boys and all the little ponies out there with hearts three sizes bigger than their bodies:  go for it.  If Neigh could really talk, she would tell you how much fun this world is!  She would say that by doing it the RIGHT way…bringing ponies and kids along slowly, with respect and safety and proper training…it’s all possible.  And regardless of the outcome in Kentucky, Neigh has proven that a little pony with a lot of love can soar to the top.

Neigh Neigh and the entire Peacock Acres family wish all the ponies and riders at Pony Finals 2015 a wonderful show, a fun time, and the very best of luck! Dream BIG!