Sunday, February 10, 2013

Meet the Pony!


I've been promising this post for awhile now!! Finally getting it done :)

Everyone, I'd like you to meet Shadow.

He is a 12-ish hand tall Hackney Pony.  But don't let his size fool you, he's got attitude enough to face off with the biggest of foes. He used to be a show cart pony, and he has quite the trot, he lowers his bum and picks up those little knees and just motors along. He does pony lessons for the more confident beginner riders. You can see a lot of his pictures on the farm website: Laughing Buck Farm

But, as of late, he's been getting to have fun with me.  We are re-introducing him to the world of harnesses and carts.  Since it's been so long, I've just started from the ground up.  It's been two months now since I first started working with him for Rosemary (who owns him). We started out doing just ground driving, and then progressed to pulling a "drag".  This drag is meant to simulate the shafts of the cart and get the pony used to something making noise and bouncing along behind him.  It was a bit exciting for awhile, we had lots of "scoot n boot" moments, a few bolts and frantic scrambling... but once he figured out that that thing behind him really wasn't going to go away and that it wasn't going to eat him, he hunkered down to business.  Me happily jogging behind.

I tell you what, I didn't realize how out of shape I was post-baby... Ha!!

After he was going good in the drag, I tied a tire on behind it to simulate weight.  Much to my surprise he actually worked a lot better with that than just the lightweight drag by itself.  Then, this past week we hitched him to the cart!  It's a super cute, 4 wheeled pony sized wagon.  And it's rattly, and noisy, and much heavier than the little 2 wheeled gig he was hitched to when he was a show pony.  So, getting him used to the new feel and sounds of the wagon has been priority. Especially stopping and starting, because the cart with somewhat "rock" when he stops it, it makes him feel imbalanced and he wants to move off again right away.  It doesn't help that he's a fidgety guy to begin with, energy should be his middle name, he wants to go go go and standing still is for wussies.... Today we just focused on walking, and stopping, and walking, and stopping, with the wagon in tow.  He was actually very good about it today!! We shall continue on with that sort of work from the ground (we are just leading him), once he understands more how to use his body to stop and hold the cart, I'll get on board and go from there.
Standing still like the good pony he is
Now that y'all know who this little booger is, I will be sure to keep you up to date on his cart adventures!


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