December 6, 2017



Some years ago I was at a horse sale. Seth brought in a cute little pony. A real small pony. About 30 inches tall. It was a beauty. And well broke. But not for kids. That last line kind of hurt the sale.
I don’t suppose any of you need a pony? Or a whole bunch of ponies.  Ponies are bad. They are evil. I remember from when I was young.  
I think my pony’s name was Laurie or something like that. And then she was followed by Scratch, my brother’s pony. A pony is a real small horse that should be ridden by adults. Mean adults. They will scrape you off on trees. They will lay down and roll when you ride across water. They will step on your toes when you try to tighten the cinch up. I think they lie awake, or stand awake, at night, trying to think of ways to hurt small children.
Our daughter was always addicted to ponies. We laid the blame on our wonderful neighbor, Edith. Carmen spent a lot of time with Pete and Edith. They were wonderful friends, wonderful neighbors, and wonderful teachers of life. With one flaw. Edith liked ponies. And she always encouraged us to get a pony for our kids. I don’t like ponies.
So instead we got our kids good horses. They won the world in barrel racing. They won high school awards in steer wrestling. We did have one pony. It was pretty good but would lie down when it got in a bind. Which isn’t really a bad thing.
Some years later, after Carmen had been a national champion, was married, and had children, I ran into a friend that raised miniature horses. And over an evening of adult beverages I arranged to buy one. For Carmen. She went with me to pick it up. We loaded “Short Go” in a trailer-load of bred heifers. Just opened the door a crack and shoved him in under the heifers. You can’t hurt a pony.
As we drove away, Carmen, national champion barrel racer, mother of two wonderful children, commented to me, “Dad, this is the happiest day of my life!”
I blame Edith.
Last week I stopped at my friends place to look at his “hobby.” It has kind of exploded on him. He originally had four or five miniatures that he drove on carts in parades and around home. He loves his ponies.  
He’s really good at raising ponies. He is a little weak in the marketing department. Do you know what happens when you raise something and don’t sell something? You get a lot of something.
He has 40 bred mares, three geldings, and 25 weanlings. I mean there was a miniature burro. There were a couple of yearling mules. Little mules. There were palomino ponies.  Buckskin ponies. Spotted ponies. There was a palomino stallion, a buckskin stallion, and a jackass. A little ass. Miniature.
He wanted to sell them all to me. I agreed to take the 25 little ones if he gave them to me and filled my pickup with fuel. That is where negotiations fell apart.  
Never insult a man that loves his product. Edith would have loved them too.