Well, to be more specific, school ponies who are ridden by many tiny children and develop bad habits as a result. Yeah, those are the bane of my existence.
I took a step back when I saw "spurs" written next to my name on the assignments list. The two horses that I've used spurs on were Twister and Corbin, and those were always an adventure. Of course those dang spurs made me late to mount up because finding them was an adventure. The reason as to why I needed spurs (and a stick for some) is because Sammy, the pony, has a habit of just stopping randomly. Yes, I'm talking about on the flat. She just stops, no warning at all.
Of course, since I think I know everything, I concluded that establishing a forward moving pace from the beginning would discourage stopping. Coach wasn't quite ready when we I got on, so I did a couple of laps in a nice, marching walk to get started. She complied after some persuasion and maintained it for a while. When Coach S made it to the arena and told us to pick up a trot, the pony stopped and absolutely refused to move. Little bugger one upped me too damn quick. Touche, Sammy, touche.
She did get going after some not so gentle persuasion, and it was smoothish sailing. We didn't really get a left lead canter, and the right was only maintained by adding spur every other stride.
Fortunately, I was able to survive the gymnastic set up, which makes Sammy one of two horses that I can actually do a gymnastic on. Life is complicated. Pony decided she was ready to go when we added in the barrels, and for likely the first time in her life she experienced a half halt.
Ponies are weird, man.