Today I went out to the local flea market just to look around. I really hate that place- it's dirty and depressing, in a seedy part of town, and has had gang activity- but there's not much else going on around here most of the time.
I've heard that they sometimes have pony rides there, but until today I've never seen them. There was a Hispanic man there today who had two: one "large" mini horse, and a small Shetland. He would lead one at a time around in circles for kids whose parents paid him $5.
While he was waiting for a customer, I saw the owner, he must have been at least 200 pounds, take the Shetland out to the main aisle in front of his "booth" and mount it. The poor pony kept balking, side-stepping and bucking, and he just grinned and kicked it into submission. The pony was so small that if the man hadn't had his feet in the stirrups, his feet probably could touch the ground.
I don't know if that would really be "abuse" as far as the size of the man to the pony, (because I know that ponies and mini horses are a lot stronger than they look), but the way he kept kicking it bugged me. If nothing else, I would think that it might make the pony unsafe for a child rider, since it kept bucking.
What think ye?