Jealous Pony

Last week I posted about Simon’s new toys.  Which he does seem to be playing with frequently.  Everyday since then I have had to go find the blue ball that I leave on the ground for him.  Some days I find it in one direction, other days it has been left in another part of the field and a few times I have found it on the other side of the fence.  I have only caught him one time in the action of actually playing with the Lick It and hanging horse ball but I do think they get a lot of action as well.

Caught in action playing with his hanging toys.

I plan to hang the ball on its own down from the Lick it so its two toys hanging.

Over the weekend my husband and I were giving Simon some attention and we had the dogs in the field with us. Simon enjoyed the attention and chased the dogs a little, in total enjoyment.  He made a point of showing off for Rich, in typical Simon style.  The fun had about ended and we were about to feed Simon and head on out of the field when Ash, my husband’s Australian Cattle Dog noticed the hanging horse ball.

Ash has his own horse balls in his dog yard, and his ball obsessive mind went into drive and Ash was all over that ball.

Mean while Simon trotted around the side of the barn, and saw Ash playing with his toys.  He went from fun playful pony, to pissed off, get off my toys pony.  Simon aggressively chased the dogs off, sliding alternatively up to me and Rich, shaking his head and spinning off to the dogs again, keeping himself firmly between his toys and them.

Hilarious, it was.

After a little more action, Ash stopped for a quick dip in the water troth, and out of the field he went, so Simon could settle enough to eat his dinner.

Simon Got New Toys

My friend Lindsey picked me up two horse Jolly Balls at an auction a few weeks ago and I got them from her over the weekend.  Monday I hung the red one up behind the barn and I put the blue one on the ground in front of the barn. Simon checked them out but had little interest in them while I was there.  He was much more interested in what I was doing and if it might involve him getting treats.  

The next day I found the blue ball down the field, clearly played with.  This is the same day that a watermelon flavored Lick It I had ordered from Tack of the Day arrived.  So I hung the Lick It up, and moved the red ball to hang from the bottom of it.  I also moved the blue ball back in front of the barn.

 Yesterday afternoon I caught Simon behind the barn playing with the red ball.  Woo!  He stopped when he saw me and followed me around instead.  I also found the blue ball on the other side of the field.  When I picked it up to move it back, Simon grabbed the handle.

 

Hopefully all these toys help keep him busy and he won’t be spending time trying to pull off his shoes and looking for ways to cause trouble. 

 

Caught in action

The Big Pink Ball

Simon is one of those mischievous ponies that likes to mess with things in his field.  And since Simon doesn’t have any of that natural instinct for self preservation around other horses (really, he just stands there while they beat him up), he is in his own field, which happens to be the riding field. 
 
The riding field has about a dozen jumps, an assortment of games equipment and two water tubs.  Simon knocks down jumps on occasion, and he loves to push the bending poles and traffic cones over.  One time the ground was frozen so hard, that when he knocked a bending pole down, the steal spike on the bottom snapped off.  He has broken a good half dozen poles, more flags than I can count and one time, he shredded one of our barrels.  I assume he attempted to climb inside of it and then thrashed around breaking it into a couple dozen pieces before spreading them all over the field.  I have caught him walking around with flags hanging out of his mouth, and another time I caught him half inside of one of the water tubs.
 
We added electric wire around his field because he started to use the fence to pull his shoes off and was attempting to climb over it.  A few times he was found standing in a complete tangle in the fence, just waiting to be rescued, and more than once he has come in from the field covered in wire rubs and cuts from rescuing himself.  Electric fixed that problem, but it didn’t do a thing to stop him from tearing down the jumps and games equipment. 
 
So about a month ago when I was at an auction with some friends we picked up a big pink horse ball for Simon.  It is very similar to the exercise balls that are popular with palates.  Actually I am not so sure there is any difference other than the one I got Simon says “Horse Ball”, or something like that on it, and the palates ones do not.  We thought Simon could entertain himself rolling it around instead of the water tubs. 

I introduced him to it and he rolled it around and kicked it a few times.  Then he ran off bucking and circled back to push it around again.  After a few rounds I took the ball up and put it away to save some of the hilarity for the next day when I had someone around to enjoy it with me.  Not surprisingly, the next day he had very little interest in it.  His lack of interest in the ball has persisted and the jumps and meager amount of games equipment we leave out are still being knocked down and the ball remains in the same position in the field, untouched, day after day. 

Jumping a few weeks forward, I was at Goodwill, and for a few bucks I picked up some children’s golf clubs.  I envisioned Simon and I starting to play a fun new game with the golf clubs and the pink ball.  We could try knocking it through the bending poles or over jumps, and when we have someone to play with we could set up goals!

Last night, I tacked Simon up, grabbed the golf clubs and headed out to give it a try.  I grabbed up the pink ball and Simon took off bucking up the field, where he stopped to watch me and the ball from afar. 

after bucking off up the field
I spent about 20 minutes on the ground, with Simon in hand, bouncing the ball, kicking the ball and having him push it with his nose.  I rewarded his bravery with pony treats and although he wasn’t terrified of it, he seems to have developed a weariness about it. 
 
It made me laugh that this pony that doesn’t seem to spook at anything and has never flinched at games equipment has to be bribed with treats to stand next to a big pink ball.  

He watches as I approach him while carrying the ball

Eventually I called it and hopped on for a ride before it got too dark.

I suppose we are just going to have to spend more time getting accustomed to the ball.    

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