my next horse will be a Connemara; love them for the reasons others have stated. Depending on what discipline you want to show in - could be difficult in show hunters, not an issue w/ jumpers or eventing/dressage. I've seen some very lovely movers in Connemaras. I watched the Connemara class at Upperville a couple of years ago - some lovely lovely animals showing and wondered why in the heck why they aren't more popular in the large pony divisions - we know they can jump... I think if you're looking for a good all arounder small horse - connemara could be the way to go; all arounder for a 16 hand horse - ISH or RID could be the way to go to...mine might not have won a lot of top ribbons but is always in the ribbons - so I'll take consistency any day.
Where to start. Connie's and the part Connie's are amazing. Some of the ones standing at stud here jump pony GP's which are 1.35m. I have seen well bred warmblood youngsters being bred that never reach this height. I've seen crosses that are 16 hands plus. Athletic as anything. On our eventing team this year we had a cross in Portersize Just A Jiff.
Their minds are second to none. We have a client that has a couple pure breds and some crosses. The ones he didn't use a Connie stallion on are different than the half Connie siblings. Not as nice, not the stride nor the power and can extremely difficult.
Suffice to say I am a huge fan. I have recently seen some Connie warmblood crosses and wow they have been stunning athletic individuals. I am really a big fan of what the Connie has to offer.
COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.
"I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.
One of the best horses I've ever ridden was a Connemara/Holsteiner. He was small, about 15h, but had the absolute best brain EVER. He was really green, especially to jumping (he was 5), and went towards everything I asked him of with an open mind and a huge heart. He was a brave little thing...had him solidly jumping 2'6"-2'9" courses by the end of about 5 months. He did quite well at shows too...he was super flashy, and had a beautiful, huge trot.
I was at a show with him and asked him for an Ammie-tastic long spot, and he took it....swam over the jump and toppled on the landing. I flew head first into the dirt, and couldn't get up (it turns out I had a pretty gross concussion). He stopped dead in his tracks, right next to me, and softly nuzzled my neck until I got up. That guy had heart. I loved him so much...coolest little dude.
Go for it!
Originally Posted by MistyPony
In all my years of riding, gravity is the one thing that has never failed on me!
I'd say Connemaras are kind of like the terriers of the horse world... smart, loyal, determined, stubborn, always full of personality. I just rode a Connemara/TB mix the other day, she was so much fun. Super athletic and enthusiastic. The other part Connemaras that I know, half siblings, are polar opposites from each other. The medium used to event, but when her owner rode her, they kind of kicked butt in the show ring without fail. She'd get stubborn if you didn't ride her exactly how she wanted you to, but if you figured her out she'd be an angel. Her half brother is fondly called potato because he's so dang slow. Everyone at my barn has ridden him during some part of their beginning years. By the time I "graduated" from him, I was galloping him around bareback and jumping him without reins to scare my mom. Once he figures out he likes you, he'll actually move his butt
tl;dr: Lots of personality and athleticism, super versatile breed.
I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know it alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
Hannah B. Nana: 50% horse, 50% hippo
Fiona: can't decide between jumpers or napping
I am a Connemara convert! I have a 4yo purebred gelding (bred by Windly Isles) that i bought when he was just turning 2. He is 4.5 now - almost if not - 15h, he is big bodies, big boned, has a lovely canter, a good trot and an lovely walk - he has more horse like gaits and feels like a horse - not a pony. The only that that really gives it away is his pony head and cute pony ears!
He is aimed at dressage but anytime he sees anything on the ground he veers towards it to jump it - i think it is just part of their DNA.
my pony is the bestest. he is funny, smart, loves to work - it was a bit of a challenge to get him really forward but it was a fitness things for him and now he is an energizer bunny.
he makes me laugh every day and he impresses me with his really great temperament - not a mean bone in his body - and a real literal in your pocket personality - he would come in the house if allowed! He is very sensitive, but level headed. I wish I had gotten one eons ago!
I have done 99% of the work on him since backing - my trainer rides him periodically and he doesn't look out of place on him (and my trainer is a guy and maybe 5'10"??)
so i guess i will sum up: you cant go wrong with a Connemara .... the only bad thing is - they are hard to find which is too bad.
As for Art's offspring - aren't the oldest now just coming 4 in jan? I am really curious about them as I have considered Art for my WB mare and i want to see them going under saddle.....
I plan to own a connemara as my personal horse for as long as Im riding. My current horse is a Connemara paint cross mare. She's so smart and personable and has a "can do" attitude all the time. She is a joy to take out on the trails and work in the ring the next day. They are so hearty and built well with strong bones and easy keepers with great feet. They are not always refined enough to do well in the hunters but are great athletes for eventing, dressage, low lever hunter stuff, etc. Love them!
Many great comments here. I do have a barn full of Connemaras. ALmost all of the "serious" Connemara breeders are "converts" from other breeds, that should tell you something. In my opinion as a whole, the breed is superior athletically across the board. There are still relatively few in this country- with a "living" population of about 3500 at any given time. Yet peruse the results from horse trials etc on any given weekend and you will be amazed at how often you will see a Connemara or Connemara cross placing well. For the number competing it's phenomenal.
As mentioned I have a barn full including purebred and half-bred prospects and an *Ardceltic Art rising 3 year old.
You've gotten plenty of input here, but I'll add my 2 cents' worth. I don't have a Connemara myself, but would love to have one. I board at a barn full of them, as the instructor has bred a number of them and has a hard time letting them go She recently sold two half brothers to a family who wanted reliable large ponies for their girls to trail ride & show. They're sturdy, good tempered and brave, excellent jumpers with comfortable gaits. They're more like small horses than large ponies, although they can have some of that pony mischief in them. My instructor currently has a 2 year old colt, a yearling colt and a weanling filly. If I could manage a second horse, I'd take the filly, she's already showing a great personality. Although the yearling stud colt is sweet too....if only I had the money & the time....
Love them, love them. We have an almost 28 year old pony mare, fabulous pony & derby jumper in the past. (Too hot for the hunters). Great for eventing. My 3 kids grew up on her & I keep her as a forever pony. Had her 16 years. At 25 I gaveher Adequen for her birthday for the rest of her life. She goes out 4-5 times a week in Drill & teaching small ladies to ride. Still loves to jump(only a few small ones for a thrill) Gentle as a lamb with children, dogs & cats. I wanted a bigger model for myself but less goey & hot. Found a 15.2 Conn x Quarter horse cross from Ontario(Hideaway line). Bottom line, as a senior, I wanted a sensible trail horse for urban trails, drill team, low level everything but jumping. I knew with this breed jumping came with the package, so I have always has a line up of juniors wanting a part lease for the jumping part(she can go from the hunter ring to the jumper ring same day & stay sanely quiet). She is so bomb proof and independent on trails. Very sweet, kind & versatile. True -these ponies will stay with me for life and many connie owners keep them.
PS- If your not so brave or athletic, look into the Quarter horse crossed with a Connie
Bookend's Celtic Rockstar, a now 3-year-old (I believe) by Ardceltic Art, is listed for sale on the Bookend Farm's website. I don't know how current the info there is, and I have never seen this horse personally.
I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne
Another convert here. I bought a 2 year old half bred from a breeder 2 and a half years ago and he's just the best horse ever. He's almost 15.2 and really big boned, so he "reads" as much bigger. He's such a calm guy. He's a big mover, but he's really comfortable. The primary market for Connies is actually middle aged women! They aren't always great kids horses (some of them are). Lots of great sires out there besides Art. What sized pony do you need? What part of the country are you in?
Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!
Any idea where to find them? I found one in Vancouver, but that is a bit far.
I emailed ArdCeltic Art's owner, and she said that, other than the one in Vancouver, the people who bred to him intended to keep, not sell, the offspring.
My rising 3 year old is for sale. He's pretty cute and out of a fabulous old style mare. He is still intact but that can be remedied pretty quickly. I am about 5 hours from you. If you look at my farm photo album he is the 2010 colt. Also have a short video of him on my farm facebook page. Let me know if you can't find pictures or the video. I would love for him to go to a home like yours.
As many others have said, Connemaras and crosses are wonderful. I have a Conn/TB mare who I just adore, and everyone who has ridden her agrees. That being said, she's absurdly smart, quite stubborn, and can be opinionated. You definitely need to make her think everything is her idea . But once we got in sync, she is amazing.
As previously mentioned, it is easy to fry them. Unfortunately even though my mare jumps great, she never got over some bad early experiences and could never relax jumping. She is quite quirky but in general very easy to work around. She's been a great dressage horse for me and I would definitely consider another Conn cross in the future.