I remember fondly my pony as a child, Rikki, a 5 year old Section A Welsh (small) bay pony gelding. Rikki bit me, kicked me, bucked me off, dumped me, and drug me around, but boy did I love that pony!
Rikki also jumped around and got his lead changes (if I happened to spur him just right). He nuzzled me, took me on trail rides, went swimming with me, tolerated my hours and hours of riding, hours of grooming, and played dress-up (new tack, blankets, coolers).
Ponies are evil. Ponies are friends. Ponies are evil friends.
Despite our fun, Rikki-the-Pony was really good at stepping on my foot, knowing exactly when to poop (when I picked out his back feet), scraping me off the outside arena wall under saddle, and of course, biting my finger and NOT the carrot.
I will never forget that pony; I loved him as much as I could have loved anything. Yes, he tortured me, yes he hurt me, but he was my best friend and I learned so much from him……and every kid should have that little torture device that teaches us so much.
But make no mistake; ponies under 20 years old are torture devices for little kids.