I have a PERFECT 13hh Camelot rescue pony who is my soulmate. I named him Dr. Watson. I’m DYING to do some kind of job(s) with him to help us earn our keep. Making a living (or a fraction of one) with your horse-partner seems like a beautiful way to bond, so it is really important to me, plus it will ensure that I can keep him (though I will always do anything I possibly can to make sure we can stay together). He rides and drives and is not scared of anything. However, he does prefer being ridden/handled by me rather than strangers, so pony rides are out unless it means I sit the kid in front of me as I ride. Ideally I think our job would involve driving him in some way.
We live in New York City and he is boarded at a stable in Manhattan, so I’m able to take him anywhere in Manhattan, and possibly the outer boroughs, though I may need to find some kind of truck/trailer situation if we go too far. However if the situation seems lucrative enough I may be able to rent my own truck and trailer for this purpose.
I was thinking of licensing him as a carriage horse and driving him at night (I would be the only one driving him), but with all the controversy going on, and the fact that he is smaller than most of the horses they use these days, I’m a little bit afraid to. I do drive a carriage at night but not with him. I use horses that aren’t mine for that. I’d have to get a scaled-down carriage for him, probably the Voitures Roberts pony vis-a-vis. The stable I’m with told me they used tons of horses his size ‘back in the day’ and they all did just fine, but as the years went on people (idiots) started to complain so they eventually phased them out in exchange for the giant farm drafts they use today. So it may not be the best idea, but I don’t know–I would think that if the carriage is an appropriate size to him, it would be no worse than anything else and I wouldn’t get attacked anymore than I already do just for using a horse for work.
I’d like to know what anyone else might think about those potential risks.
Here are a few other ideas I had - maybe you guys could let me know how far-fetched these sound or what seems the most practical regarding my situation:
—Driving him at an open air/living history museum (does that pay at all? and where are some around the tri-state area?)
—Presenting myself and him as some kind of act or ambiance as a rider at Wild West City, NJ (no idea if they’d even be open to the idea)
—Getting a scaled down carriage and hiring us out to private parties nearby
—I’m an artist, so I had this idea of creating some kind of art wagon and selling my work while driving through the city or Central Park (though this would require some crazy negotiating with the Health Department, Dept of Consumer Affairs etc. and a lot of legwork and pulling strings with the authorities)
—Along similar lines to the above, building a wagon through crowdfunding etc. as a kind of historical traveling art exhibit (if I didn’t sell anything directly from the carriage I may be able to avoid the Dept of Consumer Affairs)
—Taking steps to train/register him as a visiting therapy animal (this would be so cool!)
—Doing some kind of outreach program in schools, bringing him in and showing kids about handling horses and what incredible animals they are (maybe I could put some kind of art twist on it)
Right now I’m teaching a class on Tuesday nights at the stable he’s boarded in, “Sculpting with horses as live models” where (obviously) I teach people to sculpt horses, in front of real horses. This is great but there is nothing athletic about it, unfortunately.
Anyway, I’d LOVE any feedback or ideas anyone here might have. I adore NYC and I think it’s really important to share with the people here the incredible role horses played in human culture as partners. This city wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for horses.
Here is Dr. Watson! http://i.imgur.com/3WdSUBt.jpg (he is fat and needs to work! )