When I was young we had only a couple of ponies. My first two Welsh were Brighty and her daughter, Sparkle. They put up with endless hours of wearing rope and lunge line harnesses and giving “Mrs. Beasley” rides around the pasture. My first show pony, a registered Welsh gelding named Spring Valleys Runner (Guy), came when I was ten years old. We did everything together from riding bridleless to winning national championships in pleasure driving. We also learned to jump together. I would ride him three miles down the road, across a four lane highway and over Interstate 90 to my riding lessons with Lyle McKinney at the Ledges Stables. I even rode him with my leg in a cast! But in 1986 my mother purchased the stallion, GlanNant Epic, and from then on we always had at least 20+ ponies on the property. Most of them were ours but then there were all the visiting mares.

  Molly, Mrs Beasley
& Sparkle
Epic & Illinois Icicles Spring Valley's Runner
trots to victory

My mother, sister, and I did all of the chores ourselves. All the ponies lived outside with run-in sheds. The worst was in the winter when we would have to carry warm water from our house to the pastures. The hose was always thawing in the kitchen. It seems like a five gallon bucket weighs several hundred pounds when you’re ten years old. Trekking through the snowdrifts in subzero Illinois weather was never much fun! Putting hay in the mow was never much fun either. It was always so hot and the hay would stick to you. Also, it never failed that you would walk into school or some public place and have hay in your hair - and you’d have manure on your shoes no matter what the season.


I really enjoy doing the ponies. I rode a lot of green ponies and had a few ‘training’ ponies. I don’t think they were naughty, just ‘misunderstood’. They have gotten a bad reputation over the years but I think it developed because they are much smarter than a lot of horses. They do things to entertain themselves. Their brains are always a few steps ahead. If you think about it, they do put up with a lot of stuff. Horses don’t have to put up with so much.


I originally started riding saddle seat because my parents stood the Morgan stallion, Cajun Pepper. I rode with Dick Leadley of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When I was eight I won the Walk Trot class at the Morgan Regionals in Springfield, Illinois. I started riding hunt seat when I was ten with Lyle at the Ledges Stables in Roscoe, Illinois. Lyle gave me the opportunity to ride many different horses and ponies. When I graduated from the junior ranks I did the Amateur Owners for a couple of years on my rather infamous Pass the Buck. Eventually I ended up working for Alex and Linda Jayne of Our Day Farm in Elgin, Illinois. Alex gave me a lot of different opportunities. We traveled all over and were on the road more than we were at home showing in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and of course Illinois.

 Pass the Buck
at the Ledges Stables

Molly's favorite show
Quentin Pennsylvania

5 year old Maggie Jayne and 20 year old
Spring Valley's Runner at Wellington FL 1990

My favorite pony show was the Eastern National Welsh Pony Show held at the Quentin Riding Club in Quentin, Pennsylvania. Hershey Park (Hershey candy bars) was just down the road and all the kids would get together to go to the amusement park. It was a lot of fun because kids from all over the USA and Canada would come to show. My favorite hunter show was the Bloomfield Hunt Show in Michigan. The Grand Prix each week were the greatest because all the big name riders would come to show.


I knew I wanted to be in the horse industry but wasn’t quite sure how. I had always groomed, braided, and ridden for different people but it wasn’t until I went to CSU and started teaching a lot that I realized that I wanted to be a trainer.


My favorite thing is getting to be with the horses. They all have such different personalities. I really like to spend my quiet time grooming them before riding. You get to know so much about them – you know what lumps or bumps they might have or what mood they are in. You get to figure out what they like and dislike even before you get on. Of course, they are always willing to lend an ear when you’re having a bad day and are always eager to see you. The horses are always a fun part of the business.



  Guy as tandem wheeler
Midwest Horse Fair
Madison, WI c1991
Ledges Stables
3'9" at Carl Bessette Clinic
Royal Primrose Farm 1979

About Us   Discover the Joy of Riding  Our Head Instructor
Molly's Pony Story   A Pony Family    Cover Girl
Pony Sales    Horse Sales    @New Homes    Links    PhotoGallery
Riding Camp at Helicon
  © Copyright 2008 - Helicon Show Stables, Inc. - All rights reserved
  Web Development & Hosting by SolsticeWEB NetDesigns