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Pony In Training Turns Heads On San Francisco Public Transportation

by Amber King

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You can see a lot of strange things while taking advantage of a big city’s public transportation. Some of those things you wish you could have avoided, but meeting a traveling pony is definitely a pleasant surprise. Bay Area Rapid Transport (BART) commuters were treated to an unusual sight when they came across the cutest passenger on the train. That passenger is named Sweets, and she’s currently taking Twitter by storm.

Sweets is a rescued Shetland Pony, and she was traveling through the San Francisco Bay Area with her trainer, Vanessa Gilliam. The newly-nicknamed BART pony might have looked like she was just along for the ride, but she was actually hard at work. Gilliam is training Sweets to one day be an official support animal.

A Pony in Training

Gilliam specializes in muscle therapy, and she’s a firm believer that mini horses and ponies like Sweets make great support animals for people with physical disabilities. Like dogs, horses can be trained to perform specific services and to stay calm in public. Horses also live longer than dogs, so they’re able to form long-lasting bonds with their handlers.


Sweets isn’t finished with her training, but she’s well on her way. As part of the process, Gilliam tries to take Sweets to as many public areas as she can. They often get a lot of confused stares, and the rules on allowing horses into public areas is usually a bit fuzzy. The unconventional pair was stopped for a few minutes before being allowed to board the train , but they were eventually allowed to pass. A BART representative told NBC Bay Area,

“The station agent consulted supervisors who called the legal department for advice. The legal department advised the agent to allow the horse and person in.”

Besides public transport, Sweets has been on many other adventures. She’s been to restaurants with outdoor patios, has taken rides on elevators, and she even went to a movie theater to watch a screening of The Lion King

Thanks to her public transport training session, Sweets is now her own version of Internet famous. BART pony is trending on Twitter, and her picture has been retweeted hundreds of times. If her newfound fame ever wears off, Sweets has a promising career as a support animal ahead of her. 

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