One sunny day in midwinter I decided to take her out and went up to Frankstown acres to see Bill Yeager. I didn't use a saddle since it was chilly and riding bareback help keep the majority of the body warm. The bit was a broken or hinged bit that is very mild on a horses mouth. It won't do for a hard to manage brute, or as I found out, a spirited filly who had been standing in the stable and eating well.
On the way home I let her out along the flats past Aunt Jane's place. Then down the hill. Well sir, going down hill at, a gallop, bareback, is not recommended for the faint of heart Tiny had get-home-its and wasn't gonna listen to the mild tugs on the reins. Just try to get leverage to pull back when you're bareback and downhill at a dead run.
We passed Chippy Walkers place as a blur and hit the flats past Shepard's. Movin on! I was sure problems would arise on the turn for home by the church but I didn't anticipate the real problem. Still in a dead run, Tiny hit the turn. Oh Hell. There was an ash pile there about four feet high and ten feet across. It was right there! A desperate leap, a caught foot and down we both went. I had a death grip on her ribs so in the fall my leg was on the bottom. We slid out across the asphalt on her hip and my leg.
Hair and hide marked the course of , our slide and when we both got up, both were bloody. She just stood there and looked at me. Didn't say a word. She had screwed up and she knew it. I didn't even,take the reins, I just limped the few hundred yards to the barn with a most docile, head down filly at my shoulder.
We stopped at the watering trough in the barn and with a rag, I tried to get some of the cinders and blood off her bald hip, and off my battered leg. I know that cold water and my rubbing kinda smarted her hip but she just took her punishment like a man. I wasn't so cool. That durn leg hurt and I was mad.
A couple of greasing's later, the hair started to sprout again and by summer you couldn't see the scar. Mine too!
When Tiny was loose" she was impossible to catch. She would let you get close, tantalizingly close, then with a flip of her tail she bounced out of reach. She loved it.
I tricked her into the barnyard one day and closed the gate. It was a heavy gauge woven wire gate almost six feet high. When I tried to chase her into the barn, she eluded me and at a dead run made for the gate. Oh Hell, it was closed and she had a head of steam up. Oh well, over or thru it. She elected to go over and damn she cleared it. Six feet! And she was only about that high! Maybe 48 inches. What's that, 12 hands? I rode Tom that day. Bitch!
Plum Twp had a farm show. Several as a matter of fact. Tiny and I always entered and always won 1st place. One year they decided a pony race would be fun. It was. I won. There was one other kid who had a pony near Tiny's size. Good pony. Spotted it was.
The race was on the front lawn of the high school which was really the back lawn because they built the school "ass end to". No matter. I rode bareback, as several others did. Ready, Get set, Go. Real professional.
The crowd which had gathered was mostly at the finish line....Straight across the finish line. It was a tight race for, a while, between the spotted pony and me but I had maybe two lengths on him near the end when I realized there was a wall of people there. Nellie bar the door! Now these ponies were not slouches. I'll bet they could move at least thirty miles per hour! No one got run over but only because they moved at thirty one miles per hour. Eeaugh!
Tiny was sick. Damn. Overfeeding and no exercise in the winter and she was hunched up like the Notre Dame infamous. Head down, eyes listless, real basket case. The cure, cut down on feed and tie a ten pound bag of hot salt her loins. Change the bag every two hours. Okay. Did the Vet say this? Nope, George Grosz did and you know two days later the pony was well.