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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Caring For Your Pony

As a technical writer, I know how important it is to read manuals before attempting to operate machinery or household appliances. Unfortunately there are not many resources for those of us who are attempting to care for a pony.

Since Pony created a manual for the care and operation of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, I decided to reciprocate by putting together a guide for those of us who love ponies and want to see them happy.

Feeding Your Pony
A pony can be very finicky when it comes to food. In my experience, ponies prefer beer, red wine or lemon drops to actual sustenance. Ponies pick at their food and, before cleaning their plates, often throw their forks down in disgust saying, "I can't eat anymore". Fortunately, this means you get to eat the rest of their french fries.

Your pony will enjoy a homecooked meal from time to time. If, however, you once experienced a bad relationship and were completely unappreciated in spite of the fact that you used to cook every single damn meal for your ex - I mean, pony - for seven years and have vowed to never again cook for a man, it helps to find someone else willing to cook for your pony. If you can't get a housemate to cook for the pony, it only takes about half an hour to bake a chicken breast in the oven and that doesn't really count as cooking for a man - er, pony -if you make him help you.

A word of warning is in order: Never try to feed mushrooms to your pony. He will throw a fit.

In spite of his distaste for many foods, you may find it surprising that a pony can consume an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting. Don't try to stop him.

Taming Your Pony

Many people ask me, "Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, what is the hardest part about having your own pony?" After I joyfully tell them about the hardest part of my pony, I usually realize that's not what they meant. So I will promptly change the subject and begin telling them about the most difficult part of having a pony. Taming him.

Ponies must be approached with caution. They spook easily. If you are too quick to nuzzle your pony, he'll become startled and attempt to flee. This is not a personal affront. Ponies just take some time to get over the hump. You should practice patience and perseverance with your pony. He will be worth it.

Sometimes your pony may act a bit temperamental. If his stable is too cold or his horseshoes aren't fitting properly or if a server crashed at work and people are calling him to fix it, he may act a bit grouchy. Your job is to smile at your pony and tell him you understand. Then, if he continues to act out, you should make fun of him until you get him to laugh. If you are lucky, your pony may even reward you for cheering him up by nuzzling you a bit and rubbing up against you or even letting you ride him.

[Note: Riding your pony is not something to rush into. It may help to practice riding something smaller at first. Fortunately I have ridden some very small things in my life and have had plenty of practice.]

Keep in mind that your pony, although a stud, is not intended for breeding purposes.

Cleaning Your Pony's Stable
Your pony, if he's like mine, is perfectly capable of keeping himself clean. He will be very hygienic and will often smell like freshly laundered clothes even if he's been out at the bars all night. This is a miracle that can't be explained. Just enjoy it, and be sure to inhale deeply when you hug him.

Your pony's stable is a different matter. Sometimes it might get a bit cluttered with dishes or cocktail weinies may be left on the stove, but this is because your pony is busy, busy, busy and just has too many projects going at once. Given his hectic schedule, you should never complain about his stable. Just be grateful he takes time for you at all. It may help your pony's mental health to convince him to leave the stable for awhile and come visit you. He will usually comply if you ask nicely. Ponies are sweet that way.

I hope these tips were helpful to you. I have to admit that I don't have a lot of experience with ponies, but I am learning a lot every day and am proud to share my advice with you.

You and your pony will be very happy as long as you make sure your pony always knows you appreciate him. Enjoy the ride!

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