Tonight, Strawberry learnt about reins. There is a way that a progression in training feels, that is somewhere between "easy" and "correct", but not quite easy- just, natural, you know? I may not have thought about it until my Trainer introduced it, but once the training has begun, it fits completely with pony persona and movements and logic. It was that way with reins tonight. Of course it is important for a pony to be able to interpret her Mistress's signals without looking at her or hearing her, necessarily. Of course reins running through my bridle and down my back can control the pony's movements. It makes perfect sense. What a fun new trick!
The other thing that occurred to me tonight is that while Strawberry is a show animal, she is also, and perhaps more so, a pet. She belongs to a sweet, strict, beautiful Mistress who commands her entire attention, and it is Strawberry's main mission as a pony to make her Mistress smile or laugh. Together they are a show team, training and presenting with dressage and obedience, but at rest they are just a lovely young woman and her pet pony.
I have never felt that Strawberry is 'submissive', or describes any submissive part of me. She feels like her own fully formed being, with a will of her own, her own motivations, a strong part of a strong partnership. She is a tamed animal so her reliance on her Mistress is total, but within that dynamic she is independent and individual. I wouldn't expect nor want any two ponies to exhibit the same behaviours. All animals, after all, are unique.