“That little stinker…”
I was watching my daughter’s new pony pony strategically test the fence as he tried to escape the dry lot. Sure enough, there were a few weak spots. He found them. He escaped four times the first month he was here. Of course not all ponies are this ornery. We have one that is more docile than a lamb. He is never any trouble and I cannot get enough of him! But our little Amish pony is a work in progress. Many pony owners can relate. Here are 5 reasons you have a love-hate relationship with your pony:
They think they rule your barn.
…and they sort of do. Your dog is terrified of the pony. The cats know to stay clear of his hooves. Your full size horse must immediately comply with your pony’s wishes or suffer his wrath. He stands with bared teeth and ears pinned at feeding time, daring anyone to come near the hay. He is not afraid to pick on anyone, even if they are twice his size. Since most adults cannot ride a small pony, they get away with pretty much anything if you don’t do some proper ground work.
They are escape artists.
Your pony is not a fan of the dry lot (at least, my little Amish pony is not!). After all, he requires only the most supple, delectable grass, and that is ALWAYS on the other side of the fence no matter where he is at. His talent for escaping boggles your mind. He refuses to be caught, but you are secretly laughing because it is kind of cute how he gets out and then panics because he is not with the rest of his herd.
They are foodies.
You have spent time with your vet talking about his growing barrel. Your pony has daily exercise and a special diet. You have taken away grain and treats. You have moved him to a dry lot. Yet somehow that little stinker is getting fatter and acts like you are starving him to death. Even though it is frustrating, you still look at those short legs and fat belly and think, “Awww!”
Sure, any horse might nip when you are handing out treats. Your pony has taken this nipping thing to a whole new level though. You were supposed to remove treats from his diet, but somehow his desperate pleas for treats make you continue to hand them out, even though he doesn’t care if he catches your hand in his teeth. With some work, you can correct this behavior!
They don’t really care what you think.
Most horses will go to the moon to earn your approval and make you happy. Your pony? Nope. He does not care. All he can think about is that you actually had the nerve to remove him from the pasture. But somehow that grumpy attitude combined with the frazzled mane makes him more endearing. To make ourselves feel better, we call it “personality.”
We love our ponies! One of them cannot wait to get the halter on and spend time with us, but the other fits the stereotype of an ornery little pony. Like me, this little guy is a work in progress (and making great strides!). But hey, who can resist this face?