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Tiny ponies
September 3, 2010 9:21 PM   Subscribe

There is a Horse in the Apple Store, a story and a meditation on exceptional things that "no one, for whatever reason, notices."
posted by nbergus (70 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
My first thought was: A service animal? Seeing-eye horse?
posted by yeoz at 9:33 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't see a horse. It must be Somebody Else's Problem.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 9:36 PM on September 3, 2010 [14 favorites]


Haha, that was more entertaining that I expected it to be.
posted by Nattie at 9:39 PM on September 3, 2010


I think most of us have those moments where you are just like "whoa."
posted by maxwelton at 9:42 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


Maybe everyone else had actually seen a service horse before? This felt a bit like someone gushing over seeing a German Shepherd in a Wal-Mart after they met a blind person there...
posted by Scattercat at 9:42 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I dunno, this guy seems to think everyone around him is oblivious. And yet, he tries to act like he doesn't notice it, and the apple store guy has no idea that he'd seen it.

So maybe lots of people had seen it, but just not cared. If it was a service animal, it would have been somewhat rude to stare.
This felt a bit like someone gushing over seeing a German Shepherd in a Wal-Mart after they met a blind person there
Yeah.
posted by delmoi at 9:44 PM on September 3, 2010


Fuck the Apple store. I'm amazed to learn they make tiny horses the size of dogs. All of a sudden I want one.
posted by kafziel at 9:45 PM on September 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


The Apple store fulfills pony requests now?
posted by blueberry at 9:45 PM on September 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


Today I learned that service horses are a thing.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:48 PM on September 3, 2010 [36 favorites]


I was driving home one day from the grocery store and saw a dude walking a pony along the side of the road. I immediately pulled over my truck to check this out. Now, I happen to live across the street from the part of the University of Arizona's Agricultural Center which includes a field of horses. As I walked over, I noticed that the poor pony was lying on his side trying to get up and, when he finally did, he took a few minutes to get steady on his feet again. His owner said that he takes the pony on walks to see other horses occasionally and, apparently, the pony had been so excited to see them that he flipped himself over and knocked himself silly.
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:51 PM on September 3, 2010 [42 favorites]


A pony!
posted by rdc at 9:54 PM on September 3, 2010


Seeing-eye Horse

That's going on my list of clever internet handles.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 9:57 PM on September 3, 2010


The ball was passed around six times, while the gorilla waved hello.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:57 PM on September 3, 2010 [13 favorites]


I sent an e-mail to Steve Jobs to see if this was the new iPony Nano I had heard about on the Apple News sites. Here's what I wrote;

Steve,

Your presentation the other day was pretty cool, but why no mention of the iPony that was obviously released today, judging by the pictures from the Apple Store doing the rounds on the web at the moment? Are you ashamed of it?


And I got a response! Here's what he said to me.

Neigh.

Sent from my iPhone


Not a particularly enlightening response, but typically brief, as is His way, which should prove to you all that it's real and not totally made up.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:03 PM on September 3, 2010 [22 favorites]


I didn't know service horses were a thing until now either. So all of you enlightened commenters leaving your "oh big deal" comments can just put a horse in it. Are these tiny ponies naturally occurring or some kind of modern mutant technology?
posted by palidor at 10:21 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Are these tiny ponies naturally occurring or some kind of modern mutant technology?

Been around for quite some time, actually. There are at least three breeders in my general area on the Seattle Eastside.

My wife is always surprised when we hear of seeing-eye horses. She says all the ones she's met have been mean little sunzabitches.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:26 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


She says all the ones she's met have been mean little sunzabitches.

If they're from down Enumclaw way, they have reason to be mean.
posted by maxwelton at 11:00 PM on September 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


This is my first exposure to them too. Wikipedia, ever helpful, remarks that:

"the average life span of miniature horses is from 25 to 35 years".

This means the considerable investment in training pays off for a much longer time than that for dogs (which are great too, of course).
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:01 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, if they could figure out a way to make it trendy and profitable, ponies would make into the Apple business model.
posted by captainsohler at 11:18 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was thinking of getting a tiny pony, but a goat seems like a better option. Goats will eat the weeds out of your lawn and provide goats milk from which you can make wonderful cheese.
posted by humanfont at 12:21 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seeing-eye Horse

That's going on my list of clever internet handles.


It sounds like a euphemism, frankly.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:23 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of part of a motivational speech I heard while dragged to a Landmark Forum "training" / cult indoctrination:
But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the boy clambered to the top of the manure pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. "What do you think you're doing?" the psychiatrist asked. "With all this manure," the little boy replied, beaming, "there must be a pony in here somewhere!"
The true believers oooh-ahhhed in appreciation of having a positive attitude. I just kept thinking "No, there is no pony, and you're covered in shit."
posted by benzenedream at 12:43 AM on September 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


Count me in amongst the "newly-enlightened to the existence of seeing eye horses and tiny ponies."
posted by bardophile at 1:59 AM on September 4, 2010


My sister raises miniture horses, it's always an odd thing to see one running along side a dog that is bigger than the horse...
posted by HuronBob at 3:47 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Honestly, if I saw a dude with a little pony in the Apple Store, I would think

a. Hey, that dude has a little pony in the Apple Store.
b. He probably has some sort of reason to have a little pony.
c. He's not wearing a shirt that says "ASK ME ABOUT MY PONY."
d. He probably gets assholes pestering him constantly about what's up with the pony.
e. It's really not much of my business why he has the pony.
f. So, neat, yeah, and on about my day.

I suspect that most people in the Apple Store noticed the pony, and chose not to scream and clap their hands and roll around on the floor in double-rainbow delight. Just because you don't flip out every time you see something a little out of the ordinary doesn't mean you didn't notice it.

“Okay, one last question, Jason,” I say to the acne-smacked employee. He looks sharp in that t-shirt.

...and, with that, any sympathy I had for our douchebag narrator is gone.
posted by Shepherd at 4:00 AM on September 4, 2010 [13 favorites]


I was thinking of getting a tiny pony, but a goat seems like a better option.

Plus, it has more RAM.
posted by oulipian at 4:00 AM on September 4, 2010 [25 favorites]


Okay. This is probably a real stupid question with an obvious answer, but my coffee is still brewing.

Why does the Guide Horse Foundation site have braille at the top of the page?
posted by Splunge at 4:33 AM on September 4, 2010


How is this a good FPP? Someone brought an animal into a store. Someone else wrote an over-the-top essay about it.
posted by John Cohen at 4:43 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


d. He probably gets assholes pestering him constantly about what's up with the pony.

I'd tend to think that would be one of the recognized hazards of taking your pony to the Apple store. Is someone an asshole for pointing out other, somewhat obtrusive things?

"Excuse me, you've a bit of tissue on your shoe."

"Oh? Thanks so much."

versus:

"Excuse me, you've a small horse following you."

"Well, yes."

"Just thought I'd let you know."

"Not the sort of thing I'm likely to miss, is it?"

"Never can tell."

"Ah."
posted by Mooski at 4:47 AM on September 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Man, MeFites are socially inept. If you want to know about the horse, you just go up to the person and say "NICE HORSE". If they feel like telling you about it, they will. Jeez.
posted by unSane at 4:52 AM on September 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


John, it's about the not so radical insight that we miss the forest for the trees, that everything is amazing but nobody is happy, that we are living in the future etc.

I don't mind being reminded from time to time.
posted by vectr at 4:54 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Moar pony stories, please.

My mom had a pony when she was little. She also had an aunt with a monkey and an uncle who raised pirahnas in a tank and fed them bits of ground beef. I suspect she grew up in a zoo but she denies it.
posted by sugarfish at 5:21 AM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you want to know about the horse, you just go up to the person and say "NICE HORSE". If they feel like telling you about it, they will. Jeez.

Why not go straight to the source, and ask the horse?
posted by emmtee at 5:27 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't see why this is so surprising. Everyone knows horses horses love Apples!
posted by drlith at 5:47 AM on September 4, 2010


Louis CK nailed it without making fun of anyone's acne or thinking everyone should turn cartwheels because somebody has a support animal.
posted by Shepherd at 6:06 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Apple store fulfills pony requests now?

No, no requests. THIS is the pony they are offering. You will take THIS pony or you will get NO pony.

Also, the horse's batteries can't be replaced, the reigns provide no tactile feedback, and you cannot replace the saddle without violating your contract.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:11 AM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Apple announces the newest in mp3 and video capability the iPony.
posted by Fizz at 6:27 AM on September 4, 2010


Oh sure no porn in the app store but pony play is just fine. Just another example of hypocritical sanctimonious bs.
posted by humanfont at 6:40 AM on September 4, 2010


So the new iPony is just like other Apple products. It ages rapidly and when you're done all you have left is a bunch of shit everywhere.
posted by Fizz at 6:48 AM on September 4, 2010


i'm not nearly as 'polite' as you guys. i would totally go talk to the person with the pony & find out as much about it as i could. maybe pet it for a while. shit. everyone's got an apple something-or-another these days. i don't know anyone with a pony. i do, though, have a friend who has a pet goat, chauncey.
posted by msconduct at 6:56 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


How... how does the pony not poop all over the store? I mean, service dogs (as well as most regular dogs) can hold it, and whine if they need to go, but can a pony be trained like that?
posted by kpht at 6:56 AM on September 4, 2010


I too am curious about the pooping.
posted by Artw at 7:02 AM on September 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


i do, though, have a friend who has a pet goat, chauncey.

That's cool. But don't call me Chauncey.
posted by Splunge at 7:07 AM on September 4, 2010


Huh, from guidehorse.com: "Despite common belief, horses do possess bladder control, and many horses develop the habit of "going" only in a specific area. For excursions under 6 hours, the guide horse can be relied upon to maintain bladder control. Just as dog owners are required to utilize pooper-scoopers, Guide Horses on long excursions can be fitted with a plastic lined poo-bag that catches droppings and allows for easy disposal. "

This is worded in a way that suggests they're the same, but I think there's a big difference between a dog who is trained to poop outside and a pony who needs a bag to catch his crap when he poops inside the Apple store.
posted by kpht at 7:12 AM on September 4, 2010


Wait, though. Every guide dog I've ever come across has a vest or harness clearly denoting their status so people don't distract the dogs or give them trouble entering establishments that bar non-service animals. I'd think if the horse in the apple store was a guide horse, they'd also have one for the same reasons. This seems more like "lady with random pony in apple store" than "guide horse." Also, no poop sack.
posted by kpht at 7:18 AM on September 4, 2010


I have no experience with ponies, but a little experience with horses. First of all, they are smart. At least as smart as dogs. Maybe not Border Collie smart, but smarter than a lot of breeds that are service animals. They can be trained and are just as loyal and protective.

As for the pooping, I've seen horses make their opinions known by making nickering noises, clicking hooves, and bumping with their heads. Just because they don't bark doesn't mean that they can't communicate. I don't know for sure how they would let their owner know that they needed to go, but I'm sure they have some kind of system. There's also the whole "things come out 12 hours after they go in" system where you feed the horsey they take him to go however much longer after he's eaten. I don't know what the digestive timing would have to be but it wouldn't be hard for the owner to figure that out.

I'm also one of the people who would not have been able to contain themselves if I saw a pony in the store. I'd totally ask the guy if I could pet it. There is a guy I've seen here in my town waiting for the bus with a Service Pony (it might be a miniature horse) I really wanted to stop the car to bother him for awhile but my husband convinced me that I would be seen as a crazy lady and that it wouldn't be a good example for my kids. I still hope to run into the horse guy doing my shopping.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:18 AM on September 4, 2010


benzenedream: I just kept thinking, "No, there is no pony, and you're covered in shit."

Metafilter: There is no pony, and you're covered in shit.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:28 AM on September 4, 2010


Tangentially related: Last week, I was in an Apple Store, and a salesman walked over to me with an iPad. Instead of trying to sell me an iPad (as I'd expected), he handed me the tablet, which had "Can I help you today?" written in large print on the screen, and a keyboard below.

Suddenly, I realized that the salesman was deaf.....and that it really didn't matter. We conducted our business via the iPad, and that was that. I managed to squeeze out the best ASL "Thank You" that I could manage afterward (sadly, I'm not good enough to even remotely know how to say "I need a copy of the Final Cut Pro Upgrade"....)


As for the horse: I was half-expecting to read that this took place in NYC. New Yorkers have an exceptional talent for tuning out unusual and batshit insane occurrences (because, after all, New York is a pretty surreal place on the best of days).
posted by schmod at 8:22 AM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I hate anyone that ever had a pony when growing up."
posted by ericb at 9:08 AM on September 4, 2010


I bet Haley Joel Osment sees horses.
posted by joni. at 9:11 AM on September 4, 2010


So adorable! I found a profile of I think the same horse, her name is Confetti, was owner-trained, and will probably live to be 50. There's a video in there too.
posted by papafrita at 9:14 AM on September 4, 2010


I see your tiny pony and raise you a tiny donkey.
posted by Biblio at 9:18 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course a pony would be in an APPLE store. Where would you expect it to be? A steakhouse?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:24 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


We have a "tiny pony" in the neighborhood. It's a unicycling bagpiper. He goes up and down the street ever so often, tootling on the pipes. Some people stop and gape, but once you've seen him 10-15 times you're like, oh, that's just the unicycling bagpiper. No big deal.
posted by redsparkler at 10:20 AM on September 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


iLittle Pony.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 10:26 AM on September 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


That essay was a lot better than I was expecting. But I do think the situation could more correctly be described as "Bunch of people in Apple store are far too cool to acknowledge that there's a tiny horse in the Apple store."

My aunt works with service dogs. Yes, the pony should be wearing some kind of vest to indicate that it's a service animal. Heck, you can buy them online. And no, they don't require a certificate or anything.

An exhaustive article on this complicated situation was also in the NYT a little while back.
posted by ErikaB at 10:30 AM on September 4, 2010


Palmcorder's Nearly Perfect System for Meeting Other People's Animals Without Being A Dick:

1) Approach respectfully and tell the owner "Your (dog, pony, marmot, pygmy triceratops) is (beautiful, great, wonderful)."

2) Let the owner decide how much to engage you. If they say "thanks" without making eye contact, or if they're otherwise terse, move on.

3) If the owner smiles and starts to tell you about the pet, go to step 5.

4) If the owner smiles but the conversation stalls, ask a question about the pet. (i.e., "How old is she?" "Is she a border collie?" "I didn't know glyptodons came in puce! Is that common?") Then goto step 2.

5) Ask if you can "say hi" to the animal. This is better than asking to pet the animal because it implies that you'll greet the animal properly and let it decide how sociable it's feeling, instead of just groping the poor thing right away.

6) If the owner says yes, get down the the animal's level, offer a hand to sniff, and if the critter's into it, you can PET THE FUZZY SNOOGUMS!

Note: If the animal zooms up and tries to introduce itself before you have a chance to greet the owner, you can go directly to step 5.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:57 AM on September 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


Of course a pony would be in an APPLE store. Where would you expect it to be? A steakhouse?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:24 AM on September 4 [1 favorite +] [!]


Only in France!
posted by proj at 11:47 AM on September 4, 2010


as a note; the last part of the article where explains "tiny pony" as a term for underappreciated everyday wonders is exactly what the much mocked magnet questioning ICP song "Miracles" is about. Discuss.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:20 PM on September 4, 2010


Another picture.
posted by homunculus at 12:27 PM on September 4, 2010


I sort of liked the article, but found it a little mean spirited. Is it really necessary to make fun of some kid working retail? I definitely recommend the Louis CK stand-up routine linked upthread.
posted by codacorolla at 1:22 PM on September 4, 2010


Oh, if they could figure out a way to make it trendy and profitable, ponies would make into the Apple business model.

The Seeing iHorse.

Of course.
posted by dhartung at 3:34 PM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I know where Kool Kieth got it:

Dr. Octagon please come to the office come now
Oh fuck! Patient just died in room 105
Cirrohsis of the eye
Nurse come in please where are you?
Fuck it he's dead
Oh shit there's a horse in the hospital!


General Hospital
posted by mr.ersatz at 4:59 PM on September 4, 2010


Thanks for the thread link, homunculus.

Here's a giveback for the punlovers amongst us.
posted by mistersquid at 5:34 PM on September 4, 2010


Well, sure, they can have a pony, but they can't put collision detection in a smartphone.

I work with regular sized ponies and horses doing volunteer work for a therapeutic riding program. There's a really large dog and a really small horse there that are about the same size. They get along quite well.

This guy's writing style was fine, to me. He was pretty up front about his immaturity. I can't get to the article now, but there was a line in there about "Yes, I giggled about the horse pooping, because I'm nine."

Who doesn't want to be nine again? That's what I thought it was about.
posted by lysdexic at 9:25 PM on September 4, 2010


I, for one, am extremely happy that service horses are a thing. I kind of wish more roles in society were fulfilled by tiny horses. Pizza delivery? Mail?

Thanks Mefi! This had made a fairly low grade day slightly better.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:50 AM on September 5, 2010


Here's another way to put the "tiny ponies" sentiment, from Indexed.
posted by nbergus at 1:19 PM on September 5, 2010


Hey... I first learned about service horses on MF, too... over 18 months ago.
posted by hambone at 8:17 PM on September 5, 2010


I liked the article because I like the idea that there are unusual or amazing things happening around us all the time (also why I like Neil Gaiman stuff, I suppose). Then I read the comments here and learned that there are such things as Guide Horses. Then just to be sure I googled it, and came across this image, which is like, just so cute.

Thanks, MetaFilter!
posted by Monster_Zero at 8:49 AM on September 6, 2010


Oooh, now I finally have a Pony Request to make...
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:32 PM on September 6, 2010


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