Ok, so some people read my blog because they are interested in openness. Others read it because they might be interested in my writing. Still others because I write about collaborative composition. But today's topic is horses. Why? Because as long as your getting a pastiche, we may as well make it complete.
I did some service out to the American West Heritage Center. It was very fun, as usual, and today I was pretty much in charge of the pony rides. For 3 hours I hoisted kids onto ponies, walked in a circle, then dragged them off. Some cried when going on, other cried when coming off. Other parents stood there, holding up the entire line (waiting time: 70 minutes), while they tried to figure out how to take a picture with their phone.
But I digress. I wanted to talk about the horses. Horses are funny. They aren't stupid, but they're not exactly bright. We had mostly 12-14 year old girls leading the horses around the corral area. But when the horses got a little tired, they would stop and eat grass. The girls would gently coax them, talk to them, all to no avail. I've learned that that is not how you get a horse to do what you want.
If you want a horse to give a ride to a little kid, you have to make sure that it doesn't think of anything else. Since some of the girls were just too nice, I got the most ornery horses (usually the smallest ones, the same ones the parents wanted their kids to ride, because the big horses (who are by far the most gentle) looked to scary). To get a horse to obey you hold its head high so he's not tempted by the grass. If he begins to lower it, you have to jerk it back up. I'm sure the passers by, it probably looks like I'm being too rough, but if you aren't in complete control the entire time, the horse will fight you the entire time. Once you make sure it knows that you aren't going to put up with any nonsense, it backs down, and will be obedient for a long time. But every once in a while it will see if you can be a pushover, and if you don't reassert yourself, and do it quickly, you're in for a long fight.
Anyway, if you're in the area, come to the baby animal days festival, put your kid on a pony, and watch where you step.