Help with a green pony!
Hello everyone. I have a 5 year old pony that I broke last year. She is a "quarter pony" standing 14 hands. I've having some difficulties getting her to get off the bit. She leans and pulls but comes back with half halts. I lunge her in the pessoa lunging equipment which has done wonders but I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips to help me get her to stand up and off the bit.
You might have to ride with pony zen hands. Make her carry herself (make her carry her own front end) by never ever giving her something to lean on. Your koan is Give, Never Pull. She pulls, you give entirely, BUT instantly ask for work (ahead of leg, upward transition, leg yield with opposite bend she pulled to). Instantly. Your hands give; the leg takes. Constantly use the leg to ride her rear up into her front when she and you would otherwise pull. Teach her a solid whoa on just a neckstrap, then an exhale. Stop longing in any side reins she can lean on (none or maybe a Vienna rein). She has to learn to carry that forehand herself.
We can never win the war of pulling with ponies. We have to train ourselves, and them, such that the hands/reins are merely cues, telling them how we wish them to carry themselves. I have learned this through the master Haflinger mare, who can pull arms from sockets, yet halts on an exhale.
i would also suggest moving from pessoa to side reins. the pessoa tends to make a horse lean because of how it is designed.
also, remember that lateral bend/suppleness leads to longitudinal bend... in other words teaching the horse to move off your leg and bend on a curved lines/circles is the key to teaching the horse how to work to the bit.
also be sure you are asking for energetic but not running work, spending most of your time on bended lines, giving on the heavy rein so your contact is even.
you might also see if you can find a good trainer to help you.