Lil' Richard has been with us I think since 2002. That makes him somewhere around 16 to 17 years old. Most of his life has been at leisure.
He has guarded our driveway.
He has lounged in the yard when he was supposed to be on weed and grass trimming duty and Guard Duty.
He is the farm comedian and Morris's good buddy.
He has been a frequent escape artist. He normally just goes to our neighbor's place up the road to visit with her horses.
She shuts him in the barn and feeds him breakfast, then gives us a call.
We usually just drive over and take him home like this.
We got him because his prior owners could never keep him in an electric fence. He'd lay down and roll underneath it. So we tie him out in the summer time and in the winter he gets a pen.
So this fall I was thinking about how he might make a nice little moped of sorts. Instead of being of being a lazy weed whacking, grass mowing, 'guard' pony, he could 'get' a job.
I could use him to ride up to the ridge and get the mail. Or if I wanted to go berry picking, I could take him. He is easy to get on and off.
I put a leg over him once just to see what he'd do and he did a little buck.
Well, I took him inside to the round pen on Saturday and decided to see what we might learn together. I wanted to see if Lil' Richard has any smarts.
His first reaction was to buck and rear then run like a ninny around the round pen as hard as he could. It probably felt good after being cooped up in a pen.
After he started to slow down I began to work with him.
He didn't want to look at me, he didn't want to pay any attention to me at all.
He acted as if he'd never been handled before and that was okay with me.
After about 15 more minutes of ME telling him when he should move and when he should whoa, he listened.
I stopped him then and groomed him.
He did one right thing in 15 minutes and that was good enough for me.
I didn't want to over work him as he is out of condition.
He did however enjoy his grooming session and stood like a statue.
He has always been good while being groomed. At least we have that as a good starting point!
With the mild weather I'll be able to do more work with him. I hope to get him to moped status in a month or so.
If nothing else, it will be an exercise in seeing if I can train an old horse/pony to do new tricks.