International Centre of Excellence for Rider Biomechanics

The Herd


  • Height: 13.2hh
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Colour: Chestnut
  • Breed: New Forest
  • Age: 16
  • Owner: Karin Major
  • Joined Overdale: 2009
Chico is lucky to be with us at all. At the age of 6 months (or possibly younger), he was one of a lorry load of 96 ponies heading for a meat man, when some kind soul bought the lot to save them.

Chico subsequently found his way to a home near Karin with another Mare and her foal from the same lorry load. We don’t know when he was separated from his dam. Chico and the other foal, Kaiser, managed to escape from their field on a number of occasions and several times were found by Karin and returned to their field by her. Their owner came to say thanks and subsequently asked Karin to do some handling with them, firstly just catching them, teaching them to load and then caring for them whilst she was away on holiday. On her return the owner had decided to sell them, so Karin bought Chico and her friend Jackie bought Kaiser, they were then 2yo.

After Chico was backed, he was ridden by Karin for a while, then went out to a couple of loan homes to gain experience. He returned to Overdale in 2009 where he is now ridden by both experienced adults and children, in lessons and on courses. In November 2015 he suffered a severe injury from a kick to his left hind, which resulted in him having 7 months off work, with regular trips to the equine spa and other bodywork. He is now back in action, although not quite as nimble as he was previously.

Chico is generally the boss of the ponies. He is very bright and forward going, needing only light aids, but can be tricky to steer.

He loves to canter and jump, although since his accident we keep the fences small.

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31aug - 2sepaug 3110:00 amsep 2Mary Wanless Course - 2 days

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“Karin, thank you so much for teaching me how to ride. Having spent 30 years and thousands of pounds on lessons, being confused and never feeling in control, i.e. always anxious and not really enjoying riding.

I found you and after only a handful of lessons, where you’ve explained everything so clearly and identified several reasons why I haven’t been in control.

Today’s lesson was great and I feel for the first time in my life that I’m riding, more in control and loving it… if only I’d found you all those years ago.

Now back to my breathing and my riding hat!”Louise