I wrote the following story about my first pony several years ago and posted it on my website, but I thought that I would re-post it here for the cousin who reads my blog.
Perhaps not all, but a lot of ponies are evil or at least that was my perspective as a child. My first (and only) pony was a black gelding named strangely, for some unknown reason “Blackie”. He looked innocent enough, but inside he was completely deceitful, conniving and totally evil.
I loved him unconditionally, after all, he was a dream come true. What little girl wouldn’t want a shiny, glistening, beautiful Black Horse? I had waited all my life for him, all five years of it!
My Father had always had horses before he had gotten married and started a family, so trying to be a good Father (I think??), as soon as he was able and had the acreage he bought Blackie.
How was he to know the horrible danger that he was exposing his precious 5 year old Angel to. As far as I know he didn’t have anything against me?
He taught me to saddle and take care of Blackie. He tried his level best to teach me to ride him. He was limited in this area because Blackie was too small for him to teach me by example. Dad did the very best that he could, considering that we were dealing with an extremely intelligent, sophisticated animal.
Blackie was multi talented. He had excellent Math skills. He could precisely calculate the distance from the top of his saddle to the lowest portion of the nearest limb. This skill was useful in removing anything that might be occupying the saddle at any given time. He was also quite gifted in navigational skills, as he could always find his way back to the barn with no assistance from the rider because usually there was none on this back.
Then there was his uncanny ability to tell time. He always knew exactly when one minute had expired. That was the amount of time that he would allow me to ride him before running off back to the barn if there were no low limbs around. Again, demonstrating his wonderful navigational skills even with a rider on board, as it didn’t much matter where I wanted to go anyway.
He was also excellent at judging human character. He instinctively knew that my Father’s tolerance level was less than mine. So therefore, he never bit me when Dad was watching. He also knew exactly how much pressure to administer so as not to leave a mark!
Of course the day finally arrived when my Father could no longer tolerate my pony coming home riderless or it may have been my endless crying that he could no longer tolerate. Whatever it was, as I was saddling up one day, he put his foot down and in his “I mean it” voice he said, “This is your last chance, if you don’t get him under control and let him know who’s boss this time, we’re selling him!”
My heart rent in two, I was devastated! My dream was about to be destroyed. So off I went to the nearest low limb, but this time I totally lost it. My temper raged, I thought about how stupid Blackie was! Didn’t he know that he was about to be taken away from my loving care?? I had never been so mad, with my small fist I came down repeatedly between his ears, yelling at him at the top of my lungs. When my little fist got sore, I resorted to the ends of my reins against his neck! A very shocked and dumbfounded pony stopped dead in his tracks and asked, “Where was it that you wanted to go again?”
That was the day that I learned to ride and although I very seldom resort to violence with a horse, I learned that it does have its place.
From that day forward, Blackie respected me and kept his “evilness” in check. He never did love me though, some horses never do, they simply try to get along as best they can with lowly, ignorant humans.
It wasn’t long after this that I was ready for a real Horse. We sold Blackie to my poor, unsuspecting cousins. Sometime later, I was visiting my cousins and we decided to ride him. I put his blanket on and turned around to get the saddle. When I turned back around the blanket was on the ground. I put it back in place and reached again for the saddle only to find the blanket back on the ground. The next time I replaced it, I waited and sure enough he reached around like a flash and pulled the blanket off with his teeth! I replaced, he displaced, I replaced, he displaced, he should have belonged to a rodeo clown.
A few months ago, I was talking to my cousin and she said, “I have something to show you.” She reached into her purse, pulled out a picture and handed it to me. I looked at it and saw an old decrepit looking black pony. I said, “Surely, he’s not still alive?” She said, “No, but he only died a few of years ago.” He had to be around 40 years old! I was amazed! I looked back down at the picture and sure enough it was still there, after all of those years, that evil gleam in his eyes. I am positive that if I had been there the day that that picture had been taken, he would have bitten me when no one was looking. Oh, how that hurt...