Reprint of July/August 2015 Pony Issue. Read the full Magazine at https://issuu.com/theplaidhorsemag/docs/tph070815
BY PIPER KLEMM
When Olivia Golden talks about ponies, her eyes shine. She smiles constantly and describes every personality trait, even in ponies she hasn’t owned in years. She remembers that perfect trot at Pony Finals, that simply spectacular over the top round at Indoors, she remembers sitting on them for the first time as a young pony – she loves every single minute of it.
She sold or leased over 50 ponies in 2014, many of them with records that make even the eyes widen of even the most seasoned pros – Pony Finals Champions, Indoors winners, the hands down best short stirrup ponies on the planet.
So, when Golden cannot stop talking about one particular pony, you sit up and listen. She knows quality. She knows kid-friendly. She knows the great programs it takes for ponies to be at the top of their game. So when she can’t stop almost grinning from ear-to-ear and saying Milo-this, Milo-that, Milo, Milo, Milo, the excitement is electric.
Milo is Summerwood’s Rhythm N’ Blues, a Medium Green Pony Hunter who will make his USEF Pony Finals debut this year. When I met Milo the following day, I too was energized with the contagious enthusiasm of a young pony with a really exciting future. This sweet boy is stunningly beautiful, has a rhythmic canter, never seems to touch the ground at the trot, and has an incredibly round but smooth jump. There isn’t anything not to like.
After starting Double G Stables out of her Eastern Pennsylvania barn in 2003, Golden decided to breed some of her own ponies and carefully selected some Hillcrest mares of the Gayfields Vida Blue lineage from Marilyn Checki and matched them diligently with top pony hunter stallions from around the country.
The problem was that despite her love of young ponies and starting ponies, she found that breeding and pony babies were not where her passion lay. She sold Hillcrest’s Blue Angel in foal to Lendinjadon Hoo Me to Amy Redman for her
a 2008 addition into her Summerwood breeding program.
In 2009, Golden was looking for a young prospect and saw a video of the young gelding she had bred and was impressed by his quality and attitude – he has everything she was looking for in a pony prospect. Golden bought the yearling Summerwood’s Rhythm N’ Blues aka Milo from Redman and set about raising and training him at Double G Stables.
After taking her time starting him, training him, and bringing him up through local show series, Milo began showing in the Green Pony Hunters in 2014 as a 7 year-old gelding with Nikki Boyle.
Milo and Nikki spent the winter winning in the Green Pony Hunters in Zone II and have achieved top success as the year has progressed, including Reserve Champion at the I Love New York Horse Show at Lake Placid. They plan to compete at USEF Pony Finals in August together.
Golden grew up riding under the tutelage of Jerre Frankhouser in Pennsylvania. She started riding at age 6 and always enjoyed the nearby Devon Horse Show, where she would spend hours watching the pony breeding and pony hunters. She started in the small pony hunters on Short Stop and enjoyed much success in the pony hunters, which was then followed by success in the junior hunters on her Thoroughbred.
Golden attended Lehigh University (PA) for college and moved to New York with a Finance degree in hand. While she still had her Thoroughbred and showed in the amateur owner hunters, she spent much of her time concentrating on Internet Security as Vice President, Equity Research at Bear Stearns and then as Managing Partner at Stratesight LLC.
Real-world business acumen in hand to go with a lifetime of equestrian education, Golden and her husband moved back to Pennsylvania, where she started Double G Stables in 2003.
Golden found her niche to be focus on the training, sales, and marketing of top hunter pony competitors on the A circuit. As opposed to having many clients, Golden focused on the ponies, which has allowed her time to develop and produce superior ponies – whether to train inexperienced ponies or rehabilitate difficult ponies.
This schedule of focusing on sales and leases and training allows Golden to spend time with her family, including her six-year-old daughter Vivian.
Vivian takes after her mother – she loves ponies. She trail rides all over the Double G Farm and often begs to ride for hours at a time. She is a diligent study and is currently showing in the Short Stirrup classes.
She’s like any pony crazy kid, just a little better mounted. Her current pony of choice is Calendar Girl or Juanita, a former small pony star that is in her early 20’s and loves trail riding and wandering all over home and horse shows with Vivian.
Ever patient at the ring, Juanita is content to hang out and learn courses and watch or show that she’s still got it in short stirrup classes. In the barn, Vivian is always grooming or bathing (or braiding or finger painting or clipping) Juanita, then off to ride her without tack (just over her blankets in the winter).
Vivian showed Something Blue to a Championship at the Winter Equestrian Festival this year when she got to visit and train with Joey Currais. She’s competitive and loves her ponies – it is pretty obvious where both of those qualities come from.
In the pony divisions today, ponies need so much – so much quality, so much training, so much forgiveness and kindness, and so much drive to win. It is easy to see why the ponies from Double G Stables win so much.