Posted by: shannonc | March 2, 2010

Pony kinetics


Need to reduce rate of bucking to zero or near-zero in order to prolong life and walking ability of pony owner. 


Manipulation of factors affecting the reaction will achieve the rate reduction goal. 

  1. Grain concentration.  As grain variable decreases, activation energy to achieve bucking increases. 
  2. Temperature.  A variable not easily controlled.  With decreasing temperature, rate of reaction increases.
  3. Catalysts: innumerable.  Include saddles, bridles, riders, blowing tarps, other horses, and the like.
  4. Pressure.  As the request-to-work events increase, so too does the likelihood of misbehavior.*

*See Discussion section for description of rate factor reversal. 


In this experiment, we reduced the pony’s grain slightly, increased the pressure of work requests, and managed catalysts present in the reaction by introducing them in stages – the rider catalyst being last (and minus her whip for the moment).  The longe line “reverse catalyst” was used for this element of the experiment.  It was determined that the temperature variable could be controlled by selectively applying the pressure factor only in favorable conditions; however, since the relationship between rate of pressure and temperature cannot be reliably dictated in nature, we did not attempt to control it in our experiment.


We found that controlling reaction factors did impact the reaction rate creating the bucking product.


It is well known in thermodynamic law that the entropy of a closed system never decreases; therefore, it was necessary to reduce the net calorie intake of the subject to reduce the available energy to the system.  Once we were able to confirm the revised total energy level of our system, we moved on to the catalyst controlling elements of our experiment.  We found initially that introduction of catalysts even at a reduced rate increased the rate of reaction and produced much bucking.  At this point we were not able to coax the rider catalyst anywhere near the reaction as she insisted on the molecular barrier of the longe line for protection.  With repeated pressure on the system, however, we found that substrates were used up quickly, leaving nothing volatile for the catalysts to act upon.  Introduction of the rider catalyst at this point generated none of the undesirable product at all.

We found further that this experiment is repeatable, and interestingly, observed that pressure has a unique impact on the reaction:  when total work requests are few, pressure increases the rate of reaction; however, continued increasing pressure to the 3-4 requests per week threshold resulted in pressure having a reverse effect, actually decreasing rate of reaction.  More study is needed to explain this phenomenon, but it was noted that on the third and final day of experimentation, beyond the pressure threshold, even the presence of a uniquely challenging temperature condition known as “wind up the butt” did not result in bucking even with the rider catalyst aboard the reaction. 


We conclude that careful consideration and manipulation of factors impacting the rate of reaction in the case of bucking can in fact result in decreasing the total product without triggering the equilibrium process (i.e., reverse reaction), which the rider catalyst referred to as “a special circle of Hell.”  It should be noted that continued attention must be paid to the individual rate-determining elements (e.g., concentration) in order to maintain a balance ensuring the continued health (if desired) of the bucking vessel.  Or, as the rider catalyst claimed, “naughty ponies do not get carrots.”

Our experiment concluded after two consecutive pressure events triggered no reaction.  We can only hope that the soundness of our experiment is upheld under the stress events expected to continue indefinitely “as long as the fuzzy little monster wants to maintain his living arrangements.”




    I especially loved the “wind up the butt” comment……but LMAO at “as long as the fuzzy little monster wants to maintain his living arrangements.”

    I’m at that point right now with my fuzzy little monster….You want to live here???? They you shall STAY IN YOUR FIELD! Alpo!

  2. Now you’re talking my language! :D Might be interesting to see the results of this experiment on another subject …say, a gray OTTB?

  3. @ Sarah – Oh no! Has Buck been escaping? Is he jumping trash barrels again?

    @ David – Do you mean a Blue experiment? I know I am cursing myself for saying so, but he’s never bucked. I wish he were sound enough to ride, but I don’t think he is quite yet :( Maybe you meant Eske ;)

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