What do we call the shoulder guard the lead pony sometimes wears? They appear to be made of leather (?) but what is the underside? That must get awful hot under there in the summer? Does it rub the hair off the lead pony's shoulder (seems like it could)?
What is the pony rider holding onto to on the racehorse - reins? lead rope?
So being ponied prevents/helps the tb to not pull, take off, get all silly/hot/flustered? Do some racehorses try to be competitive with the lead pony, though (meaning faster than)?
It is called a shoulder guard and is line with fleece. It prevents the horse that is being ponied from biting the pony. It does get hot but it's better than getting bit. Some people also use a flank guard to keep the jockeys foot from rubbing the pony. The pony rider uses a long leather strap looped thru the bit. It will slip out easily if the horse gets away from the pony and steps on it and makes the hand-off to the assistant starters easier. And yes sometimes the racehorse gets competitive with the pony and even worse, sometimes a pony will get competitive.
We call it a bite pad.
Just heavy leather
Can rub mane off.
The pony person has a slip strap. No snap.
Some horses are rammy in anticipation of the race. But a good pony keeps you in the right place regardless of what the horse does. Pony's help keep the race horse quiet and under control