Because I am short of stature, I have a mounting block (yes, I even need it to get on a PONY! LOL) and I usually lead Split over to it and line him up. He never protests. He just stands quietly while I shinny onto his back. When I first got the mounting block, he wasn't sure what that big, green plastic thing was and wasn't too keen on getting near it. However, we clicked and clicked and he finally figured out that a) it wasn't going to kill him and b) he got a treat every time we stood next to it! But the treasure eluded me. I was hoping that at some point Split would INVITE me to ride, i.e., I would love to have him - at liberty - walk up to the mounting block on his own and "invite" me to hop on. Haltering is easy - I show him the halter and 9 times out of 10, he will walk up and simply put his nose into the nose band, letting me know he's willing to play or ride. But he never walked to the mounting block of his own volition.
Yesterday I carried the mounting block out into the paddock and plunked it down in the mud. Then I fiddled with the halter and lead rope (I don't use a bridle), straightening everything out and as I was doing that, I noticed Split moseying over from the other end of the paddock. I assumed he was going to come to the halter. But NO.........He walked over with a very peppy step, ears up, nickering. He walked to the mounting block, lined himself up perfectly, then turned to look at me, clearly saying, "OK, Mom! Hop on! Let's go!"
I think my heart actually stopped for a second. I was speechless, that's for sure! I was totally gobsmacked - completely over-whelmed with emotion. A little gesture from a little pony, to be sure, but it meant the world to me! You can have all the championship ribbons gathering dust in my closet. They pale in comparison to the "award" I got yesterday - my pony INVITING me to go riding! There are no words............................
To understand the soul of a horse is the closest human beings can come to knowing perfection.