Meet Poe

       June 19, 2013

This past Sunday my husband and I drove down to Floyd and picked up a pony.  He was a bit too smart, and had learned to take advantage of small riders in an ornery pony way.  But was said to be handy and sweet.  He also already had the basic ground requirements like loading, tying, leading, washing, clipping, etc.  He sounded like a games pony prospect and he fit my other criteria.  So I decided to roll the dice.

When we got there he was a little excited, but loaded right up into the trailer without hesitation.  Although he did start stomping around, so we grabbed his coggins, shook hands and said thank you to his very kind (now previous) owners, then took off on the three hour drive home.

When we got back to the barn, we put Simon and Linus out into the big field and brought Poe, the new pony, into the barn yard and let him loose. Simon and Linus spent a good 15 minutes, running, bucking, farting and all out showing off.  Simon would slide up to the fence between him and an interested Poe, and start digging up the ground and arching his neck, before flashing his tail and taking off across the field again.

Once this all settled down I tacked Poe up.  It looks like Simon’s saddle will fit him, and I just stuck Linus’s bridle on for the ride since it had a simple D ring snaffle on it and is easy to adjust.  Rich went with me and we took Poe down to the riding field where I started off lunging him.  He did great, and clearly knows this drill.  Although I am not sure what his woe cue is, and it took a bit to get him to break down from a solid steady trot.  Next I climbed on, and noted that he stood pretty patiently while I did so.  Then I hacked in a circle around Rich in lunge fashion.  Poe was great.  Very responsive, he pulled up on the numerous “woes” I sprinkled into the hack, and had a supple mouth.

Next I moved out and trotted around the riding area, changing directions repeatedly, and spent some time shifting my weight and leaning around.  And then I trotted through bending.  Poe was interested and curious why I was shifting my weight, but never attempted to scoot under or away from me.  After 2 trots through bending I shuffled some mugs at a trot and took note that he did not so much as flick an ear when I rattled the mugs and loudly clanked them onto the poles.

My final trial for the day was with flag.  I rode up to the cone and pulled one flag and flipped it up and over the pommel of my saddle.  Poe reacted by scrunching up some.  This is very common, as flags being whipped around behind a pony’s head and next to his face can be reminiscent of a whip.  Even for a pony that has no whip fear, it can still be disconcerting.  Poe did not try to dart off or freeze up, which can be a common reaction, but simple scrunched and went on extra alert.  I had Rich stand near the cone and I trotted past it picking another flag, with less movement, and then Rich rewarded him with a treat, while I patted his neck and told him “good boy”.  Next I trotted back and forth past the cone, picking and placing the same flag back and forth, making more and more elaborate gestures with it.  Poe was not bothered.

Figuring that was a good start, we ended on a great note, and untacked.  Poe stood politely to be hosed down, and then fly sprayed up.  I stuck one of Simon’s old (slightly large) fly masks on him, and showed him the hay in the barn yard and let him loose.  Rich and I watched him wonder around, take a short roll and investigate for a bit, and then we gave everyone their tiny dinners before leaving them all to their own devices for the night.

The following morning, I opened the gate from the barn yard to the big field, allowing the ponies to intermingle.  Knowing that Simon needed to come off the grass that afternoon, and they would all be in the barn yard together, I wanted to allow them to sort some stuff out on their own while they had a lot of space to work with.  Poe cautiously slipped out past the other boys.  Simon was only interested in what I was doing, and Linus was only interested in what Simon was doing.  It was very anti-climactic.  After a bit I decided all was ok, and headed out to work.

So far I really like Poe.  Poe being short for Napoleon.  He is an unregistered POA, black blanket app.  He has the thin mane and tail and pink nose, which is typical of the breed.  I was told he is 13.2h but I think he might be an inch shorter than that.  Although I need to measure him to be sure.  He does seem a tad shorter than Simon who is 13.2 ½, but Poe is also shorter length wise, with a more compact build.  Regardless of height, I felt comfortable riding him, and like I had enough pony under me, but would still be able to reach things.  I am looking forward to seeing how quickly he takes to games, and also installing some power steering (ie, neck reining) and getting to know him better.

Updates will be forth coming!

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Scary – meeting the other boys through the fence.


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We started off on the lunge line.


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Next we walked and trotted around the lunge area.


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We went through bending!


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And we shuffled some mugs.





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