I grew up on a ranch in ND and enjoyed riding my Shetland pony. I babysat for a family who had went to a horse sale bringing back 5 ponies. I had spent the night due to the parents coming home late. The next morning we went out to the barn and I picked a pony to ride home. They said they would come back and pick up the pony after church. Well when I got home I begged and cried telling my Dad that I wanted that pony. So Dad bought him. This was the best little pony as I could catch him out in the big pasture with just a piece of twine leftover from a hay bale. I would always stuff the twine into a pocket and walk to the horses, slip it over his neck and then bring the milk cows in for chore time. He was so gentle and kind giving me confidence. I thought I could ride anything. Of course I did not ever saddle him and just learned to balance and hang onto that shaggy mane. I got tired of the thick mane so decided to roach it off one summer. What a mistake as it was a huge job with an old rusty scissors.
Now I ride a TWH and use a Synergist Saddle that was one of the first ones made. So much better and I love the comfortable stirrups.