I am a 10-year resident of Santa Monica who occasionally goes to the Sunday Farmers’ Market, and when I do, I fork over 6 bucks so my 3-year-old daughter can ride a pony named Blondie (“Pony ride operator lacking some permits,” May 6).

The ponies do not “plod all day,” as Jennifer O’Connor wrote (“Pony rides aren’t cool,” Letter to the Editor, May 8). They plod between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. — 3 1/2 hours.

O’Connor also wrote that children may hit, kick, or pull the ponies’ manes and tails. They “may” at other pony-ride venues, however the owner of these particular ponies puts on and takes off each child, children never make skin to coat contact with the ponies, and children who cry or lean to one side are unstrapped and handed back to their parents.

I have seen employees feed and water the animals, as well as sweep up after them. Children do not hold halters, so no ponies are leaving the market “sore and chafed from their halters being tugged all day.”

Yes, pony owner Tawni Angel should have an active business license and an animal permit. And I would happily sign her petition defending pony rides.


Mariel Howsepian

Santa Monica

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