It didn't take long to realize Shorty had more personality than most people, and he had his own way of communicating. I guess it would be called "Pony Sign Language." Ears forward meant he was happy. one ear forward and one back meant he was a little displeased. If he was slightly pleased he would quietly whinny. Shorty would fight the bridles bit. He would clinch his teeth together. When the bit finally got past the teeth, he was fine with it. He didn't like the saddles cinch around his belly too tight. When cinching him he would bloat out his belly and I would have to gently knee him until he released the excess air.
Shorty was quick to make Dad and Mom's farm his new home. In fact, we couldn't get him to leave it. We discovered he enjoyed following Dad around behind the tractor. And it seemed to be the only way I could get him to give me a ride. One day Dad was plowing the big field behind the house. He saddled up Shorty and put his bridle on. Dad lifted me up on Shorty's back. I was still only six and my feet wouldn't reach the stirrups.
As Dad plowed, I got a nice pony ride. The fresh plowed ground was a little rough with the sod rolled over into furrows, but Shorty went slow. On occassion he'd put his head down and get a bite of grass that stuck up above the furrows and then he'd continue on. We were on the far side of the field and Shorty discovered a furrow that was only half turned over and had lots of lucious grass sticking out of it. He put his head down and began munching on the delicious grass. He spent quite a while eating on it as Dad and the tractor rolled on ahead. Suddenly, Shorty looked up and realized the tractor was 2/3s the way across the field. It was as though he paniced. He bolted into a full run, as fast as he could go across the plowed ground. I was bouncing from side to side in the saddle, hollering at the top of my voice, "Help Daddy! Help!!"
Dad jumped off the tractor, and just as Shorty reached him, Dad leaped in front of him, waving his arms and yelling, "Whoa Shorty! Whoa!!"
But Shorty didn't Whoa. He didn't even slow down. He zipped around Dad and ran all the way to the barnyard gate and came to an abrupt halt. I had been going from side to side all the way, but when Shorty stopped that suddenly at the gate, The saddle spun around to his belly with me still holding on tight. Dad came and got me.