Cinnamon is a large pony mare who joined us for retirement from California over six years ago. Paradigm Farms has been lucky enough to meet two horses from Cinnamon’s family. Cinnamon was the first horse her family retired with us, and we introduced you to Cinnamon’s “brother” Silver in this blog post.
There are a lot of unknowns about Cinnamon’s history prior to joining her family. Those involved with her guess her breeding to possibly be a Quarter horse/Welsh pony cross. Her exact age is also unknown, but guesstimates put her at about 24 years old.
Cinnamon and her mom met at her mom’s trainer’s barn in California. Cinnamon had had a limited show career in the pony jumpers in the Chicago area prior to coming to California. The trainer who had her in the Chicago area had trouble finding a pony jockey who could ride her effectively, and her show record was less than impressive. Her name at that time was Zealot, if that tells you anything about how hard she was to ride!
It is unclear how Cinnamon made her way to California from Chicago, but somehow she made it there. Her mom’s trainer had taken Cinnamon as a trade in lieu of a cash payment for a commission that was owed to him from the sale of a different horse. Cinnamon’s mom wasn’t looking to buy a horse, and definitely was not looking to buy a pony. She was already riding and showing horses and no one, not Cinnamon’s mom nor her mom’s trainer, had the thought that they should look at Cinnamon. However Cinnamon was there and she needed a rider, so somehow her mom ended up taking a test ride on Cinnamon.
That first test ride can best be described as love at first ride for both Cinnamon and her mom. Cinnamon’s mom said she had a huge grin on her face from the moment she began riding Cinnamon, and the last thing she wanted to do was get off. She said she felt a sense of freedom riding Cinnamon that she had never felt on another horse or pony, and she loved Cinnamon’s energy and her feisty attitude. Everything that had made Cinnamon a difficult ride for everyone else made her the perfect ride for her mom. That test ride happened in January 2005. Cinnamon’s mom changed her name from Zealot to Cinnamon, and Cinnamon has been part of the family since that day.
Initially Cinnamon’s mom leased her for three months to compete at the Indio winter circuit. Cinnamon and her mom did their share of winning throughout the circuit, and at the end of the circuit Cinnamon became a permanent family member. They continued showing in the pony jumpers that year and solidified their partnership.
During their second year of showing together Cinnamon’s mom had two goals for them. Her first goal was to go to Pony Finals and be competitive in the Pony Jumper Championships. Her 2nd goal was to see how high she and Cinnamon could finish in national points in the year-end standings. Cinnamon delivered in a big way on both goals.
Cinnamon and her mom traveled to Lexington, Kentucky from California to attend Pony Finals as part of the Zone 10 pony jumper team. The Zone 10 team was at a big disadvantage. Teams are allowed to have four riders, and the worst score can be dropped from each round with only the best three scores counting. Zone 10 only had three riders on their team that year, so they had no drop score and every round had to count. In true underdog style, the Zone 10 riders rose to the occasion and won the team National Championship in the Pony Jumpers with no drop score. Cinnamon and her mom also went on to finish second in the national points rankings in the pony jumpers that year as well.
Cinnamon and her mom went on to have another highly successful show season the next year. That was their last year showing together as Cinnamon’s mom had outgrown ponies and moved on to showing horses. Cinnamon was leased to another girl to show and had a couple of other riders, but no one was ever able to have as much success with her as her mom. Most people found Cinnamon a very tough and challenging ride, but her mom always found her to be the perfect ride. After about a year Cinnamon’s family decided to retire her. They didn’t want to try and keep forcing a match for Cinnamon through other leases. They also didn’t like the idea of selling her and having her possibly wind up in the wrong hands which was a definite possibility for such a feisty pony. Retirement was the best choice for them, and that was how we originally met Cinnamon’s family.
Cinnamon made the trip from California to Tennessee in early October 2009. It is hard to believe that it has been more than six years since Cinnamon came to our farm. Cinnamon has a big personality in retirement just as she did when she was being ridden. She walked off the trailer after her long trip from California and took in the view for a minute. After sizing things up she decided the farm was to her liking. She dropped her head and immediately began dragging me around looking for the best patches of grass. She didn’t take no for an answer and after arguing with her for a few minutes I gave in and let her drag me around. A few days after her arrival she joined some other mares and ponies, and her big personality came out again. She let everyone know that she wasn’t going to be told what to do, and that was that.
Cinnamon quickly went from being independent to being completely dependent and herd bound. Her big personality is still very much a part of Cinnamon to this day. Cinnamon is one that always has to do things with the buddy system. If we need to take her very far from her friends she has to have another friend come along with her. If we try to do anything with her solo it is completely pointless. She will drag us around, screaming and throwing a fit, until a friend is brought over to join her. In Cinnamon’s mind the friend needs to be no more than about three feet away. If the friend is three feet and one inch away, she commences the screaming and dragging.
Interestingly, Cinnamon is one of the only mares on the farm that has never fallen in love with Norman the pony. They will hang out and graze together at times, but she has never been caught up in a Norman spell. I don’t know if it is because they are both ponies or exactly what has made her immune to Norman’s charms. Since Cinnamon herself is a pony she always has one of the mares anxious to be her friend. Through the years MyLight has often claimed Cinnamon as “her” pony much of the time, with Calimba also staking claims on Cinnamon at times.The mares and ponies never lack for interesting social interactions. Cinnamon has taken full advantage of retirement, and she spends her days grazing, playing and doing whatever she wants to do.
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Cinnamon as much as we have over the last six years!