Jun 03, 2019

USEA Horse of the Month: Things to Ponder

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff

The 2019 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship has come and gone, but with that a new horse has emerged to claim the title of the USEA June Horse of the Month. Congratulations to Things To Ponder (Due Date x The Things You Do), a 6-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding owned and ridden by Sallie Johnson and bred by Elaine Carroll and Lora Pitre.

Things To Ponder was a member of the championship team (Auburn University's Orange) at the 2019 USEA Intercollegiate Championships and represented Auburn at the 2017, and 2018 USEA Intercollegiate Championship. Things To Ponder also placed third in the 5-year-old division at the 2018 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships and took home three special awards: the Born in America award, the American Thoroughbred award, and the Jockey Club TIP award. At just 6 years old, Things To Ponder has found success at four different championships and already has six top-three finishes on his USEA record.

Sallie Johnson, who has been his rider since the start of his eventing career, explains his puppy dog personality, his love for his stall, and his short-lived racing career.

Johnson and Ponder jumping clean to clinch the win for the Auburn Orange team. USEA/Kate Lokey Photo.

About Things To Ponder:

  • Barn name?

Ponder

  • Favorite treat?

“Pretty much anything. He loves Nicker Makers, carrots, apples, everything!”

  • Favorite phase in eventing?

“He seems to enjoy all three but I think cross-country is probably his favorite.”

  • Personality traits (introvert or extrovert)?

“He’s definitely an extrovert. I would take him in the house with me if I could. He loves being around people and has so much personality. I always say he’s like an overgrown dog because he loves to be around people. If he was a dog, he would wag his tail 24/7.”

  • Likes? And dislikes?

“He loves his stall. He doesn’t mind turnout time on his terms, but he lets everyone know really quickly when he’s ready to come back in. He loves to be groomed and loves baths. He’s the only horse I’ve ever had that loves to be sprayed in the face with the hose. He also likes to play in his water troughs and will put both front feet in them during the summer and splash himself. He’s just a really funny guy. He loves to work and has the best attitude when being ridden. He never says no and always wants to figure out how to do what you’re asking him to do.”

  • Any other fun facts that you’d like to add about Things To Ponder?

“He was a terrible racehorse. He raced four times and never beat a [single] horse so he was done racing as a 2-year-old. I rode him once when he came off the track at Elaine Carroll’s farm, and he went on the bit, was so balanced, and picked up both leads immediately. I knew I had to have the ride on him. He’s been so incredible to produce and I’m looking forward to seeing how far he’ll go in the future.”

The future is bright for the June Horse of the Month!

Hugs for Ponder at the 2019 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. Auburn Eventing Team Photo

Miss any of the previous horses? Follow the links to read about the February Horse of the Month, March Horse of the Month, April Horse of the Month, and May Horse of the Month.

About the USEA Horse of the Month

New in 2019, the USEA is recognizing an event horse each month on the USEA website and social media. The USEA Horse of the Month is determined based on statistics and event results and announced at the beginning of every month. The June Horse of the Month was selected based on the performance of the 2019 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships and Things To Ponder helped secure Auburn’s win (for two years in a row) which earned him the title of USEA June Horse of the Month!

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