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Discussion Starter #21
Okay, little more time, so will continue with above. Turns out our Wal-Mart does not carry an actual cowboy-looking boot with a big enough heel, so I'll look at a discount store in nearby larger town next week.

Re pony skills: Tried to back out, told 4H Leader that maybe my pony wasn't actually trained well enough (plus, told her wasn't expecting going to two fairs, wasn't expecting to have to trailer pony to the saddle club arena where meeting was being held in clubhouse, thought we would learn and be shown what to do then try it at home on our pony), but the leader (who the feed store owner knows and told me she is very good, has just moved to our area couple years ago, has led 4H for 25 years) said she thought the pony would be fine and that she'd sure love to have us come and she'd work with pony and kid. I realized this was the best possible thing as I can learn to hook up the big stock trailer and manuever it in and out of its narrow spot (good for me to learn new skills at this age, oh yeah) and the pony will be much better should my g-dtr ever take this up, so now I am enthusiastic about it.

As said, the pony accepted packing gear, britching, back cinch, everything really well, so tells me she is very tolerant. Then when we do condition walks for packing, I take them in the spookiest situations I can think of; the molly mule following us (not attached or lead) got very spooked at two points, turned around and headed home for short while, especially when 3 deer jumped out of bush, but pony led by me was much more accepting and willing to go forward to investigate; unusual, I thought, as molly is very calm when she's being led.

I'm really trying not to put a child at risk, but want both my pony and the girl to get this experience. Agree it's probably not the best to have an unbalanced kid hauling on the reins, so perhaps the leader will have me continue to lead-line with reins attached to halter (that good idea came earlier from horseforum) until she sees balance and coordination of child improve enough to indicate she can try it herself. Not sure, but think the pony is kind enough and tolerant enough to forgive mistakes.

Re I've been lucky to have just good experiences. Ordered breast collar for mule that turned out to be too small and they took it back right away. Ordered britching for pack saddle that works really good and thick wool pad for mule that is very good. Feel lucky to not be ordering any more for awhile!

Again, thanks to all for the thoughts. I love hearing how people with more experience handle all this new-to-me horse stuff.
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