Kid confidential

Show jumper, Michelle Woolmer and her daughter Ella, three, of Mirdif, share their love of all things equine with Time Out Kids


So Ella, how old were you when you first sat on a pony?
Ella: Ummm… looks confused.

Michelle: She was six months old – but I hasten to add that ‘sat’ is the operative word here. She’s still too wee to have lessons just yet. We’re at the leading stage. She’ll start lessons at around five.

What did you get up to yesterday?
Ella: We went to see Mummy show jumping. She jumped some big fences! She’s the best rider in the world. When I’m a big girl, I’m going to jump big fences on Cherry!

Who’s Cherry?
Ella: This is Cherry! (Laughs and points at the pony.) She’s my favourite. I love her. She eats hay.

Michelle: She actually belongs to the riding school and is just about every child’s favourite pony because she’s so gentle. They all love Cherry.

Where are we going now?
Ella: Over to see the polar bears on the polar field!

Michelle: They’re not polar bears. They’re polo ponies.

Ella: Well, okay. But last week they were polar bears. Today they’re ponies.

Why are you wearing that hat Ella?
Ella: Because my other one didn’t fit.

Michelle: Good answer! (Laughs.)

You’ll be off on your school holidays soon. What do you like to do?
Ella: I’ll be riding Rupert every day! Yay!

Michelle: That’s the pony she rides when we go and stay with family in Ireland. He’s a chestnut like Cherry and very gentle as well. Ella adores him.

Ella: We took Rupert to the beach – it was fun. He liked the waves. But he was scared of the crabs so I had to stay with him. Poor Rupert!

Can you tell us something important about ponies?
Ella: You have to be careful because sometimes they bite. When you give them treats, your hand has to be flat. Ponies also love hay. It’s their favourite food.

What’s your favourite food?
Ella: Chicken. I love chicken! (laughs) I want to trot now Mummy. Can we trot? Trot on Cherry, trot on! Byeeee!

Their favourite…

Lunch spot
PQ in Uptown Mirdif ‘They do amazing organic vegetable soups that we all love. It’s the best way to get Ella to eat her veggies!’
04 288 8046; Open daily, 8am-11.30pm.

Mushrif Park ‘There’s so much to do with the playgrounds, the bike track, barbecue areas and the ponies!’
04 288 3624, Airport Road, behind Mirdif, open daily, 8am to 11pm, Dhs10 per car.

Time in
‘We like to bake cakes in the afternoons. Well, I bake the cakes and Ella helps me to ice them. And we’re going through a Shrek stage – so that’s a regular fixture on the DVD.’

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