No, he’s not a pony: Life with West Seattle miniature horse Jeb

Story and photos by Katie Meyer
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

You might already have met this unique fellow during his walks around West Seattle, or at public events including last Sunday’s Summer Streets party on Alki, but we wanted to find out his backstory – so, meet Jeb: He enjoys long walks in Schmitz Park, gallops through the snow, and getting his back scratched. He’s a vegetarian who loves granola and the occasional tortilla chip. He stands 38 inches tall (at the shoulder) and has been known to show a marked preference for blondes.

(“How YOU doin’?” Jeb puts Zoolander’s look to shame)
Some of Jeb’s family members, local artist Mimi Miles and her teenage daughters Celeste and Hope, met us in the big back yard of their home to give us the scoop.

“He’s definitely got attitude,” Hope quips, as Mimi scratched Jeb’s ear, then elaborated on Jeb’s idiosyncrasies: “We’ve had him for 5 1/2 years; he’s 8 years old now. He’s devious. He’s very much a boy. He’s got that thing – he can be really sweet, then he can turn around and be a total brat. Jeb likes for everything to be done the same, he likes routine. He knows I give him his vitamins at 9 o’clock; if it’s five after nine, he starts to whinny – and he knows when the girls are supposed to come home from school.”

Celeste: “When we feed him, if we don’t feed him at the right time in the morning, he freaks out!”

Mimi: “As they leave for school, they feed him, and if it’s 7:15 and he hasn’t been fed yet, he’s upset. When he’s upset, he stands in front of the kitchen window and whinnies at us.”

With obvious affection, both girls pet and talk to Jeb – and with obvious affection, he placidly leans against them and snuffles their shirts – until our camera comes out. As we start taking pictures of Jeb, Mimi advises that “he’ll probably be curious about the camera. He’ll probably want to chew it. He knows we’re talking about him.”

Jeb gives us a cool glance, and ambles toward a tree. Near the fence, a wooden trellis shades a small flower bed. “He goes underneath this,” Mimi says. “He has all these favorite scratching spots in the yard. He backs against the fence with his rump and scratches and makes this funny little face when he gets the right spot. He has that tree over there that he goes underneath, and he goes over there by the patio and rubs his chin.”

(Ladies love Jeb, here with Celeste Miles and a visiting friend)
Is Jeb a pony, or a horse?

While he’s become known as “The West Seattle Pony,” Mimi clarifies that Jeb is a miniature horse — “but he’s at the very large end of miniature. Ponies have shorter legs. The woman told us when we bought him that he is a miniature horse. But he grew a little bit after we got him; I was thinking he’d be little, but he ended up being a little bigger than we thought he would, and he kind of has the body shape of a pony. We’ve been told since then that he possibly has some Icelandic, a little Shetland; we think his thick mane and coat comes from the Icelandic.”

Following Jeb as he moves to the fence to greet some neighborhood children, we confess a strong desire to put braids and ribbons in Jeb’s mane and put sparkly stickers on his hoofs. When questioned if the girls do that with Jeb, they give some rueful chuckles and explain that when they tried to, “he won’t look at anybody, and he’ll stand in the corner. He sulks.” Mimi laughed in agreement: “Oh they tried a lot, remember you guys would do it?-but he would always look really embarrassed about it. Didn’t you, Jebbie?”

“When they get older, then he’ll be more mellow and then we’ll probably be able to do that stuff,” says Celeste. (We noticed a gleam in Jeb’s eye that said “don’t count on it!”)

How did Jeb become a West Seattleite?

“He was a Christmas present for the girls,” Mimi says (as we secretly think Best. Parents. EVER.) “The yard has lots of open spaces, and different areas for him. So, we thought we could do it. One day my husband Dan said, ‘you know, the girls had been begging and begging for a pony – they’ve always gotten really good grades and you know? I think we can do it.’ It was rainy the week before Christmas that year, so I kept the curtains closed and my husband Dan and I built this stall over against the fence; the girls couldn’t see it. Jeb was here two days before Christmas and the girls didn’t even know he was here!”

Remembering the whirlwind of Jeb’s adoption, Mimi grinned as she says “I just ran up right away – didn’t even think it through, I just got him – I went up with a friend to Mount Vernon and got him from a farm and put him in our Volkswagen Vanagon, we took out the middle seat and put him inŠI had my friend’s boyfriend drive, because my knees were knocking and I was thinking, what the heck am I doing?! Because I knew nothing about horses – but Hope reads everything, so she knew. Once he was here I’d ask, Hope, is this right? Is that right? And she’d be say, yes-because she’d read every book she could find on horses. It’s worked out really well.”

We recall the “Save Mimi’s Miniature Horse” petition that was at Husky Deli years ago (proprietor Jack Miller is Mimi’s brother), and ask, what that was all about?

“We only had one complaint from someone concerned whether it was legal. You need 10K square feet, which we have – but they thought because we have the house and the studio that the horse wasn’t getting 10K square feet,” Mimi replies. “The city came out, and they has us do a petition in support of Jeb, and we did a booklet of information showing other cities that allow miniature horses, and the size of the worlds’ largest dog – which is way bigger than Jeb – and pictures of the girls caring for Jeb, how much attention he gets. Between having the form at the deli and having it outside here on the fence, in two weeks we got more than 500 signatures in his favor.”

Jeb the Social Animal: As Celeste and Hope stay with Jeb near the fence, chatting with more kids that have stopped by while enjoying the sunshine, we walk with Mimi across the yard toward her art studio. “It took about three months of having him – we took him out into the green strip” (an open area next to the fence, where the street ends) “and kept him in here, just to get him used to us. Then we started taking him through Schmitz Park, and that’s where he gets his run most of the time is through the park. Sometimes we tether him and let him graze on the little green strip there.”

“He walks along with a lead rope and when we get to the park, we put the lead rope over his back and he will walk with the girls through the park. We take him up to Pathfinder some times, and to Schmitz Park. When the girls are crammed for time, we’ll take him to Madison around the outside part, or we’ll take him down Fairmount to a spot down there at the bottom, in the greenbelt; he loves it there too.”

(Jeb horses around with Hope Miles)

Besides quickly learning what time his meals should arrive, Jeb has revealed a good memory for the places he visits: “We walk him through the park a lot and go to visit my mom – she lives on the other side of Schmitz Park – and he knows which house is hers. So we get up out of the park, the trail, and he runs up the hill and goes into her back yard. He knows which house is Grandma’s house.”

“He still thinks he’s in charge. There’s a part of him that’s still thinks he’s a stallion, where he wants to run the show,” Mimi continued, saying “If we all three take him, it’s like he wants to herd them along, and you can’t go ahead of him – he has to be the one leading the way, or he tries to nip you to kind of keep you in place.

“He’s definitely a city horse now, because we took him up to see the mules that pull the hayride, and he freaked out! We took him on a hike last summer, and he has that ‘little horse syndrome,’ you know, like that ‘little dog syndrome’ – we ran into other packs of people with horses, and he was charging at the big horses, even though he’s a quarter of their size. And the big horses were scared to death of him!”

Mimi’s studio is a small structure connected to the house by a concrete patio. She has a degree in ceramics from the University of Washington and is pleased that her work is showcased at Alki Arts this month. As we around at look at the two kilns, the pottery wheel, a massive slab roller and colorful examples of finished custom pieces and works in progress, Mimi tells us that “I do figurative sculpture – I do it on the wheel, so it’s wheel-thrown figurative pottery.” She takes the kiln up to “cone 6” (2215 degrees Fahrenheit) for the sculptures, and shows us some sculptures that are on a back shelf drying to “leather hard” stage before glazing and firing. It’s a peaceful, bright space and she’s often joined by friends or relatives who drop by the studio to create artwork. “Whoever is up that morning!”

(Original tiles and a custom creation by Mimi Miles)

(Wheel-thrown figurative sculptures drying before being glazed, then fired)

Hope and Celeste join us – and Jeb moseys over to where we’re gathered, his ears swiveling to catch everything. “This is what he does. He hangs out and listens to what’s going on.” Celeste goes inside to get a treat for Jeb, and Mimi says “See, he can hear the rustling in the kitchen, he’s thinking it’s food, right, Jebbers?”

Hope pats Jeb’s neck and says “He wants to come in the house.” We ask if Jeb is allowed in the house, because we surely would have him inside on the couch all the time, watching TV with us and eating Cheesy Puffs.

“He goes into the kitchen, but that’s it! He knows where the ‘snack drawer’ is so he goes in to the snack drawer. Sometimes when it’s just pouring down rain and miserable outside, we’ll bring him in and dote on him for a while. Mostly all he eats is hay and the grass that he gets around here – and he gets the occasional apple or carrot that comes down with the visiting kids in the strollers.”

Celeste bring him a small bit of granola, which Jeb happily lips from her palm. Mimi: “See how his mouth is turned up? He does that, that’s his “smiling.” On days when it’s raining and stuff, his mouth goes down. Or if we’ve been gone on a day trip and we’ve been gone all day – his mouth goes down like he’s mad at us.”

We attempt some photos of Jeb’s velvety muzzle. Jeb tires of the fuss, tosses his head and looks pointedly away from the camera. “He gets shy,” Mimi says. “He doesn’t like us to get too mushy with him, do you Jebbie?”

Humbled that our meager photography skills were bested by such a cute and cunning quadruped, we gave Jeb a moment to regain his composure as his ears flick around again to listen to Mimi: “We’ll have dinner parties out here in the summer (the small concrete patio between studio and house) and he just hangs out here by the front. Every time Celeste or Hope walks by, he does this funny deep snicker. The girls are just everything to him.”

Jeb the Playboy: We walk back across the yard and stand in the shade beneath a large tree as Mimi describes how playful Jeb can be. “Jeb gets a gallop going in the yard. He runs up and down and around the treeŠwindy days get him all stirred up and he just gets going really fast! My husband plays this chase game with Jeb, and I’m usually “home base” – for some reason Jeb thinks he’s safest with me. So he runs over to me to be safe, then he runs off, and Dan chases him, and Jeb bucks and all that stuff and then he comes back to me. It’s like, “Mom!” When he’s really happy, when we take him to the park and stuff, he bucks, that’s his feeling-good sign.”

The girls pat Jeb and ruffle his mane. “He’s afraid of soccer balls, like balls that you play with,” Celeste muses. Hope chimes in “yeah, and plastic bags that are rolling in the wind.” “But we were trying to get him to not be afraid, like coming up and getting him to smell it, he thinks they’re alive because they roll around. And we wanted to play with him but he kept running away. We couldn’t get him to not be afraid of the ball.”

(Jeb, spotted on a neighborhood walk in April and photographed by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
“A couple years ago when we had that really heavy snow, we had a couple days where it was really deep,” Mimi says. “Usually we hold on to him because of the cars, but because NO ONE was out driving, we just let him go and he just galloped – he would gallop two blocks down and then come charging right back to us. We were walking over to the park and he was just doing that back and forth, full gallop – and Jack got four or five calls from different people saying that our horse was loose, and then my brother Joe, my mom, all these people were getting calls because people were panicking, you know, because he was just running SO fast, his little head was down, and he was just – when you walk on snow, we were slipping all over the place, but with his hoofs, he had great traction and he was having so much fun!”

We thank Jeb and his family for the visit, and move to leave the fenced-in yard, only to notice Jeb had stealthily maneuvered himself between us and the exit.

“Jebbers!” Mimi chides him gently and explains that “he does this Billy-Goat-Gruff thing where he blocks the gate so the girls have to stay in the yard with him. We don’t have to worry about him running away; every once in a while the gate gets left open, and he’ll just hang out and eat grass. He’s so cute – he doesn’t really want to run away – I think he really likes his life.”

46 Replies to "No, he's not a pony: Life with West Seattle miniature horse Jeb"

  • pam May 27, 2011 (8:33 pm)

    We LOVE Jeb.

  • cjl May 27, 2011 (8:38 pm)

    Jeb is such a great animal to have in the neighborhood! I love seeing him when I take my dog to the green space behind his house. I play ball with my dog and Jeb comes over to watch or let me scratch him behind his ear. He’s a great horse!

  • k May 27, 2011 (8:42 pm)

    best neighbor ever!

  • Spana May 27, 2011 (8:42 pm)

    Lil Sebastian!

  • Jill Loblaw May 27, 2011 (9:16 pm)

    So, sweet!

  • karen May 27, 2011 (9:17 pm)

    I had no idea a miniature horse was allowed in the city!! What is the code on that – my daughter would be so excited!!

  • ad May 27, 2011 (10:41 pm)

    I <3 Jeb too.

  • Lorelee May 27, 2011 (10:59 pm)

    We love Jeb too (except our dog). I’m glad he’s so well loved and cared for!

  • SarahScoot May 27, 2011 (11:20 pm)

    He looks an awful lot like Li’l Sebastian (may he rest in peace).
    Edit: actually, Li’l Sebastian did not have white down the front of his muzzle (snout? Whatever it’s called on a horse).

  • a bird May 28, 2011 (12:13 am)

    “Jebbers” may look harmless and cute…BUT He is still a horse. A real horse. He BIT the daylights out of my 4 year old daughter’s arm at the Alki Summer Fest. We asked the owners if he was friendly and if she could pet him. They said yes. He was snacking on some grass. Mid bite he turned around and chomped the meaty part of her upper arm. She screamed her head off. There is still a bruise!

    I am a horse person. This is NOT a safe horse.

    Because Jebbers has been treated like a large dog rather than an equine, he thinks he is the herd leader and can do what he pleases. It is a very dangerous situation.

    The owners should do a little research on ‘horsenality’…

    Even little horses are equines and need to be treated as such if they are going to be safe among humans. Especially children!

  • nbp May 28, 2011 (1:57 am)

    we met jeb with the girls in schmitz a couple years ago. when we asked what the best part about owning a pony was, one of them replied “Everything!”. We love jeb.

  • breezygirl May 28, 2011 (5:22 am)

    Sweetest thing EVER!!!!!

  • Lola May 28, 2011 (5:34 am)

    I first saw Jeb a few years ago when I happen to be driving down the street around Christmas time. I had to do a double take as I thought was that a real Pony? A friend of mine and I walk our dogs and I told her about the Pony so we walked up there one day with the dogs to see Jeb. He was munching on his hay and the dogs were watching him. I think the dogs just thought he was a really big dog. I have also seen the girls walking him down the street to the park. I love it that he gets to go see Grandma. Love you Jeb.

  • Traci May 28, 2011 (8:14 am)

    Fun article, thank you! Thank you for clarifying that Jeb is a miniature horse and NOT A PONY. I wonder if my landlord would let me have one? :)

  • westseattleperson May 28, 2011 (8:22 am)

    Lil Sebastian! Ha, love that show.

    My husband and I have both seen Jeb out on walks. Makes our day :)

  • who is 'we' May 28, 2011 (8:50 am)

    cute story, hope we run into him someday.

  • Idahome May 28, 2011 (9:01 am)

    Bird –Jeb probably had an itch on his back and in an effort to scratch it, happened to get your daughter. Sorry for her..hopefully she isn’t scared of horses now.

    Horses will give warnings before biting or kicking such as laying their ears back and shaking their heads. They are animals of “flight” and not normally of ” fight”… Of course ther are exceptions.

    I encourage you to not judge all horses by this unfortunate incident…horses and little girls are powerful combination. I hope you encourage your daughter to try again with a different horse.

  • Horseowner May 28, 2011 (9:09 am)

    I have been thinking about this all night since the article was published. I have to back up some of what bird stated in her comment. Miniature horses are still horses and need to be treated as such. I currently board my horse at a farm that has three minis. For those enchanted by the idea of having a “backyard pony” please keep in mind that miniature horses still need to be have their hooves trimmed every 6-8 weeks, their teeth filed down about once a year, and need to be given horse-specific vaccines twice a year. You also need to know what you are going to do if your horse colics (potentially deadly). The nearest equine emergency clinic is Pilchuck, north of Kirkland.

    The family in this story also did not mention what they do with Jeb’s poo. Even minis make a lot of it. Think Great Dane, but more frequently. Also, horses–especially small ones– can live for up to and beyond 30 years. Truly a lifetime commitment.

    Jeb’s family sound devoted and responsible. Their relationship has worked out well. As a fellow devoted horse owner, I recommend anyone think twice before adopting any horse. (Actually, any animal.)

  • donquixote May 28, 2011 (10:08 am)

    MAN, This horse is horrible. Always making noise, disturbing the peace, destroying the neighborhood.

    Just kidding. We live very close, and Jeb has never been a problem of any kind. The kids love him, and it’s great to see Celeste walking him past the house. We’re happy to have him in the neighborhood, and I’d trade half of our neighbor’s dogs (whose owners let them bark all hours of the night, let them leave poop in our yard, and growl at people on the sidewalk) for more of him.

  • Tuesday May 28, 2011 (10:17 am)

    West Seattle’s very own Lil Sebastian!

  • Westbird May 28, 2011 (10:48 am)

    I have seen Jeb and the girls walking a couple of times now. And I just love the fact that there is a mini pony living in the neighbourhood. He is so super sweet! This article a was a real treat to read both funny & informative- Thanks for covering it WSB!

  • karen May 28, 2011 (10:57 am)

    I grew up with horses. We had a boarding stable when I was a kid and over the years I’ve worked with horses in a variety of situations. I back up what others have said: a miniature horse is a HORSE. They have very different needs than a dog. However, for those of us that live in the city and can’t have a full size model. . .
    Still, I’d like to see the actual law/rule/whatever that says I can have one of these guys.

  • westseattleperson May 28, 2011 (11:05 am)

    and… out come the uptight Seattleites…

  • SJ2 May 28, 2011 (11:21 am)

    Very cute!
    @Bird, I am sorry your daughter got bit. Yes, he is a horse, but not all “parelli” followers have well behaved horses. A lot of the worst horses I have come across and have had to retrain were “parelli” trained horses.

  • Neighbor May 28, 2011 (12:27 pm)

    On of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life was when Jeb was running around loose in Schmitz Park. My basset hound had never seen a creature so big and ran howling bloody murder all the way around the loop completely freaked out. He was around 12 yrs old at the time and he never moved so fast in his life. I wish I had gotten that on video. Howlin’ basset being chased by a mini horse… it really was something.

  • Martha May 28, 2011 (12:36 pm)

    Did you know that miniature horses qualify as service animals according to the ADA? Other than dogs, they are the only animal that qualifies. We discovered Jeb during a walk through our neighborhood years ago. He was in his backyard munching away. It was like MAGIC coming upon him there.

  • Mike May 28, 2011 (4:28 pm)

    Seen Jeb being walked a few times near the top of Schmitz Park by the trailhead. Never seen him run out in the road or try to get away from the people walking him, unlike the kids that live near by…. I think Jeb’s a pretty big animal for the area, but if they take care of him and help him get the exercise he needs, more power to the people who have Jeb. I’ve yet to see horse poo anywhere.
    As for the person that let their kid pet him and apparently he ‘bit’ the kid, you might want to take responsibility as a parent for that yourself. You even knew there is a potential chance he’d bite. Jeb has teeth, a big mouth and likes to chew… no matter how well trained a horse might be, they do that at times, just like dogs.

  • Cheri May 28, 2011 (7:58 pm)

    We live in Jebs walking neighborhood and have enjoyed seeing him come by, pointing him out to the grandkids and friends that are over, everyone gets a thrill just seeing him go by. I have watched the girls grow up along with seeing Jeb, which is always nice. The girls have always been very responsible through the neighborhood and seem to be very carefull just where and when they have him. We enjoy seeing him and when we don’t for awhile someone asks about him, glad he is well and still out and about. Keep sharing him with all of us, its great!!

  • Been There May 28, 2011 (8:36 pm)

    One of the many good things about living in West Seattle:)

  • SJ May 28, 2011 (10:53 pm)

    I grew up on an horse ranch and just LOVE them. Mini’s are def. horses and NOT dogs. But this story reads clear to me that Jeb is a horse. Knowing what time food comes, what time the girls should be home, and knowing where fav spots are; When my father was in his 20’s he was into drinking just like all 20somthings. He trained his horse to take him home after a long night. By the time I was little, it didn’t matter where I took her, she always knew the way home, and when she was done with the ride (even if I wasn’t) home we went! haha
    I’m very excited to know that there is a horse here in WS. Yay Jeb! Let me know if you ever need a horse sitter!! Go Jeb GO!

  • Bruce Towers May 29, 2011 (8:45 am)

    l live mainly in Australia and have got to know all about Jeb and his habits.l have been on the land out here with stock horses in the cattle industry for many years and my affection for wildlife, especially horses, l hold highly.
    l am looking forward to meeting Jeb in the next few months as l think he has a unique character. He would be a great human and a great companion.
    l think anyone who knows Jeb would be a better person for the experience.
    Bruce Towers

  • Spank May 29, 2011 (9:34 am)

    Lil sebastian alive and well in West Seattle!!

  • MsEvelyn May 29, 2011 (9:58 am)

    It is quite eye catching to be driving along Steven’s St. S.W., & out of the corner of your eye glimpse something larger than your own dog (a golden retriever!). He seems comfortable & well cared for. What a huge responsibility for this family, yet they seem to be doing “right” for this beautiful beast! (However,I hope this article doesn’t encourage others to obtain one as well…).

  • Alex May 29, 2011 (1:29 pm)

    I still don’t get it. Can people ride Jeb or not? At least the little girls? I get that he’s not big enough to carry a grown man, but could handle a little person?

    • WSB May 29, 2011 (1:48 pm)

      According to Katie, with whom we were discussing the story further after publishing it on Friday, no. The weight limit would be something like 60 pounds, and that was still less than what the two daughters were by the time he joined the family – TR

  • Ladyblahblah May 29, 2011 (1:49 pm)

    @Alex – why in the world do you care if someone can ride Jeb? You do realize that horses existed before people started using them for transportation, right? He is a pet.

  • Alex May 29, 2011 (2:11 pm)

    I often try to ride my cats, but it never works. I guess I just thought maybe these girls had found a solution to the limitations of cats as pets. oh well.

    • WSB May 29, 2011 (2:20 pm)

      I’ve seen people in Gatewood walking dogs that look bigger than Jeb and have wondered if they were suitable for pony-style kiddie rides. You just might need to build a “backyard cottage” so they have someplace to sleep (handy for visitors and relatives, too).

  • mimi May 29, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    I feel that I have only presented the “easy” side of the story of Jeb and should clue you in on what it takes to care for Jeb. For my daughters, he has to be fed and watered before school and after school, and for the first three yrs that we had Jeb, the girls would get up an hr. early and take Jeb out the the “green strip”, the vacated grassy street along side our property to graze before school–in the dark, in the rain, no matter what. Now, since he has become better trained, we can tether him and let him graze. They also have to clean the yard and stall diligently, and this takes a snow shovel and lots of buckets for storage to avoid stinking up the neighborhood. We also had to find some way to dispose of the manure as we found out quickly that composting doesn’t keep up. Right now we have someone who comes and picks up the full buckets to use in their garden. Since minis tend to be nippers, the girls and I have had to spend alot of time working on this with him. Horses also need to run everyday and so the girls and I take him out everyday for exercise–and this means in the winter, in the cold rain, in the dark, no matter what. Our yard, which is very large, is completely grass free and the once beautiful flowers in my beds have all been eaten up. I have to go out to Issaquah to get the hay to feed Jeb and these bales weigh over a hundred lbs. so it takes 2 of us to haul it around back and we had to build a shed to store it in to keep it dry. We also had to find a ferrier to trim his hooves since they grow long and uncomfortable for him. Also if Jeb needs to see a vet it costs us extra since we are out of normal visiting range. It’s alot of work, and it takes all 3 of us to pull it off.

  • alkigirl May 29, 2011 (11:21 pm)

    Thanks for this great story of devotion, love and family. I’ve been thinking about how the responsibility of caring for Jeb is giving the two girls a wonderful opportunity. I’d love to meet Jebbers!

  • a bird May 30, 2011 (1:18 am)

    @ mimi…

    If you already think that Minis are ‘nippers’ than why on EARTH did you let my daughter near your horse?

    All the time you have spent on your horse trying to ‘work’ with him on his BITING has clearly not worked as he flat out bit my daughter last weekend.

    Since you already believe your horse to unsafe, keep him away from children. You are quite lucky I am not a litigious person.

    I actually disagree with you btw. Any horse can be a biter if he is treated like an over grown dog. Not just a mini. I don’t think your horse is a bad horse, I think he has been taught very bad manners. And has been allowed to continue them because of his ‘cuteness’.

    Give me 10 minutes with him and I’ll have him licking his lips and wondering how he got dethroned so quickly. He needs to be taught how to work, to listen and to be the low man in the herd. NOT the leader.

    He is running you.

  • be quiet "a bird" May 30, 2011 (6:23 pm)

    Honestly, “a bird,” your daughter must have provoked the pony to act in such a way. Regardless of the pony’s temper, it would not simply act up at random. You must accept responsibility for your daughter’s actions and that the effect of those actions caused the bruise on her arm, not the tendencies of the pony himself.
    As clearly shown by the comments on this article, Jeb is part of the West Seattle Community and everyone (except you, obviously) loves the charisma he brings to the table. Please back off Mimi, Hope, and Celeste, and realize that the things you are saying are probably hurtful towards them. They let your daughter be in the presence of such a beautiful animal, and in return, you’re snarling your lips and being quite rude towards them.
    All are in favor of this wonderful, majestic little guy. Please voice positive opinions and keep the negative ones to yourself. Nobody really appreciates your “constructive criticism” or whatever it may be.

  • KJ May 31, 2011 (1:13 pm)

    a bird – If all it would take is 10 minutes for you to undo Jeb’s “very bad manners,” I wonder how long it would take for someone to do the same for you.

    Aside from you, everyone in the community enjoys having Jeb around and, personally, it brightens my day whenever I see the girls walking him down the street. Your comments are hurtful and as the previous poster said, “Nobody really appreciates your ‘constructive criticism’ or whatever it may be.”

  • Diego June 4, 2011 (5:09 pm)

    One more big neighborhood fan of Jeb – it’s awesome having the little guy around! His territory is a perfect spot. For the dozens of times we have taken our son to visit him we have never experienced anything but the joy of seeing a happy animal – that’s a lot of work!

    Thanks for a great story WSB & thanks to the Miles’ for making WS all the more special.

  • a bird June 7, 2011 (8:32 pm)

    Seriously people??

    No one wants my ‘constructive criticism’?

    I am a fan of the pony. I am NOT a fan of the way his owners treat him like a dog and not an equine. He is only behaving the way any pack leader would….any way he feels like. Horses need a strong leader and stated in the article – his owners “know nothing’ about horses, as it seems do most of you here on this thread.

    There is NO EXCUSE for that horse’s behavior. AND the only reason he acts the way he does is because he is ALLOWED to! With equines, boundaries are everything. Unless they have healthy boundaries someone WILL get hurt.

    I have trained and raised two rather willful Arabian horses who became my beloved loving companions. Neither would EVER have dreamed of hurting a child on purpose. Because I taught them not to! Infact Clyde my eldest was a child gaurdian and school horse. I was their calm assertive pack leader and because of it had their respect, their attention and ultimately their love.

    My daughter did NOTHING to provoke that pony. I asked the owner if he was child friendly she said yes. SHE SHOULD KNOW. He merely couldn’t be bothered with her so he took a chomp. No Respect.

    The main truth here is that if the owners of this pony had stronger leadership, not only would he be safer around children(HE IS NOT!) they would have a much better relationship with him and he would be HAPPIER. There is a constant tug of war when the “leader” is weak.

    Take a chill pill everyone. Healthy debate is GOOD…. censorship ….BAD. Are we so freaking PC and worried about ‘feelings’ that the truth is gauche now?

    I can practically hear sentinels coming.

    As for bad manners. My mother taught me that its bad manners to bite. Its even if you are a horse.

  • W.S. neighbor June 10, 2011 (12:50 pm)

    Questions for ‘a bird’
    Where you holding your daughter’s hand when she was bit? Where you standing close enough to hold her hand? How far away were you? Did you take the lead as an educated horse woman to instruct a small child on how to approach a horse? What responsibility do you take in this situation?
    Would you feel differently if you were at a petting zoo or do you expect animals to never nip?
    Just wondering ….

Sorry, comment time is over.