The moonwalking Shetland pony named Socks has become the internet sensation of the year and everyone is wondering, is the pony really moonwalking or is it an animation? Because so many people have expressed their doubts about whether a pony can really do the moonwalk or not, 42-year-old Mari Williamson, the owner of the moonwalking pony, is speaking out. And the truth is that Socks learned the moonwalking moves with a trainer.
On March 6, 2013, the Mirror, provided some insights as to how Elaine Tait, the local animal trainer worked with the pony for two weeks to get him to do the famous moonwalking moves.
“Since I only had two weeks in order to get Socks ready to moonwalk, I had to work quickly to gain his trust. I had to encourage him to go up on his rear legs as well - usually this is something that a trainer tries to get his horse or pony not to do, but because of the choreography of the ad, it was something we had to do. In order to get him to paw the ground, which is probably one of the most important parts of the moonwalk process, I placed a facecloth to the ground that he would paw. Eventually, he would know to paw the ground without the facecloth being there.”
And what does animal trainer Elaine Tait say about the most important ingredient in teaching the pony how to do the moonwalking dance? Carrots, of course.
So far, Socks' moonwalking moves have been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube. The “advert” or commercial is set to the 1980s track Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac and shows the pony moonwalking to the song.
The 60-second commercial for broadband provider Three shows how Socks impresses other ponies, how he almost tumbles off the cliff by going backwards, and how his moonwalking moves come to a standstill when a local farmer drives by on his tractor.
As unlikely as it seems that a pony can really do the moonwalking moves, as unlikely is it that this pony is a five-year-old stallion who endured having a hairdresser attach 40 clips to his mane for each day of filming.
“Local hairstylist Bjoern Larson fitted Socks with extensions and used luxury products on him for the shoot.”
When Mari, who runs the Benston stud farm on Shetland, was approached last year to supply ponies for the commercial, she knew that if any of her ponies could do the moonwalk it would be Socks.
“Socks is a plucky pony who just loves attention and I think that’s why he was picked out to be the star.”
After spending two weeks of learning how to do the moonwalking moves with his trainer, it only took one week to film the commercial.
Even Mari thought that the final product was amazing and admits that “it was surreal watching it for the first time.”
And what does Socks do with his newfound fame? Enjoy his carrots.
The moonwalking pony didn't need a commercial slogan to tell him, “Silly stuff. It matters.”