It Happens! Pony Edition

Lexi Miller. Photo by Tori Weed

We all make mistakes. But horse people, as a group, aren’t always the best at handling them. So TPH reached out to some top riders to share their own show ring bloopers to prove, once and for all, that mistakes really do happen to the best of us!


Ashton Alexander. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Ashton Alexander

At one show when I was super young, I forgot to check my girth. After the first jump, I stepped out for a lead change and my saddle slid way off to the side. I had to halt, get in the center of the pony, tighten the girth up, and then finish the course!”

Miguel Wilson. Photo by Izzy Bosley

Miguel Wilson

One year at Pony Finals I had the unlucky combination of missing at a jump along the outside and the pony not wanting to play that day. I landed on the neck but somehow stayed on, made it to the other side, and we finished the trip. And, if I remember correctly, we also got a four in the two-stride.”

Devin Seek. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Devin Seek

When I was 9, Bibby Farmer Hill was training me on Benjamin Buttons for the medal at Pony Finals. He went around the first round like a star, and I managed to make it back for the second round—one of the only small ponies making it back. This was a big deal for me because I never had to walk the course for a second round before, so I was excited,
but very nervous. 

I was so focused to doing the inside turns since it was a medal that I think I stayed in the course walk the entire time, even though I probably was late getting on and getting ready. On course, I made my inside turn … and then kept turning, completely missing the trot jump! 

I was so embarrassed and might’ve cried the whole way home, but now everyone has a good laugh and I always ask where the trot jump is beforehand.”

Lexi Miller

I was at Pony Finals going into the jumping in the top 30 out of 120+ after the model and hack the day before. I knew I wasn’t going to get an over fences ribbon because the pony’s strongest suit was model and the flat. So I planned on just trying to put a solid round in.

I turned to only my second line and right out of the corner I saw the big one and my pony trusted me. But he three-legged it and we completely took out the top poles and they went flying in front of us. He ended up jumping the pole again in the middle of the line because it flew so far in front of us. 

I was so embarrassed but I finished the round the best I could not thinking about how I mucked out the third jump in my Pony Finals course!”

*This story was originally published in the August 2021 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!