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training ponies to be kid friendly

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  • training ponies to be kid friendly

    So we have a great pony on free lease, sweet, kind, safe and cute to boot. Problem is she's learned a few "pony" moves over the years, like turning her head but not her body when the child asks her to turn. She also has will put her head down and shake it at the canter. So when I get on her to school she shapes up in about two seconds, but she knows exactly what she can get away with when a child is up there.
    So I've made a copy of Dover's Daisy reins to keep her head up, but what else can I do? Just plan on schooling her first every ride? How do you make my work stick with a child up there? Thoughts, stories, anything to help please!

  • #2
    Find a kid that is small but knows how to ride. The pony has figured out that your the boss and isn't going to pull that kind of stuff with you. I am also guessing you are a bit larger than the children you give lessons too. You need a kid that feels like a beginner rider to the pony but in fact can school the pony almost as good as you could. Instruct said kid to ride like a beginner. Then if the pony is naughty or doesn't respond you get after it. For example she should simply open the inside rein to ask the pony to turn. Second time she should add a little more pressure or tap with the outside leg (as if it was a bitty one up there). If the pony trys to pool the "trick" add the a crop or spur to get a response. Repeat until you no longer have to get after her. When pony is good it should get lots of rewards and good boys/girls. The trick is for the rider to do everything (besides the getting after or riding a buck if the pony throws a fit) as if she was a beginner itty bitty rider.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
    inside of a man.

    -Sir Winston Churchill

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    • #3
      My daughters pony had tricks also that he'd pull with her. What I did is I first rode him on and off. When he pulled the tricks on me instead of just correcting him (like pulling his head back up) I would repremand him. If he went to put his head down he got a kick and then a pop with the crop if he didn't listen to the kick. Also what helped is teaching her to lunge him. There is a reason why the say you lunge for respect. She also started carring the crop with her so when he did it I had her pop him and he figured out she wasn't going to put up with it anymore. Once she got his number he has been amazing with her and she no more needs the crop. Also the turning their head only is that when the pony is moving or standing? If the pony is standing and they are trying to turn them to walk off and the pony doesn't move the body make the child hold the head there. The pony will get tired (it may take a min. or two) of standing like that and try to walk out of it. When the pony takes a small step to get out of it tell the child to let go and KICK and push with their seat.
      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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      • #4
        most ponies ( and some horses for that matter) will test their riders. i had an old lesson horse who was slow as all get out with the weaker lesson kids. if i even walked towards him the old man would nearly bolt forward.

        unless the pony is a regular little pill ( doesn't sound like it) the best medicine is to teach the little ones to learn to stick to their guns and to be consistent.

        these are life lessons, not riding lessons alone. i always told my younger students that, unlike with people, in this delicious world of horses you GET TO BE THE BOSS. children are taught to cooperate, be polite and compromise. often it is hard for them to grasp the "i AM the Boss of you" mentality. when they do, it is kind of liberating for them!

        the best anaolgy i ever found for the standing and turning the head thing " if you are on your bicycle and you turn the wheel without pedaling, does the bike turn? no? then pedal, darn it."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by fair judy View Post
          most ponies ( and some horses for that matter) will test their riders. i had an old lesson horse who was slow as all get out with the weaker lesson kids. if i even walked towards him the old man would nearly bolt forward.

          unless the pony is a regular little pill ( doesn't sound like it) the best medicine is to teach the little ones to learn to stick to their guns and to be consistent.

          these are life lessons, not riding lessons alone. i always told my younger students that, unlike with people, in this delicious world of horses you GET TO BE THE BOSS. children are taught to cooperate, be polite and compromise. often it is hard for them to grasp the "i AM the Boss of you" mentality. when they do, it is kind of liberating for them!

          the best anaolgy i ever found for the standing and turning the head thing " if you are on your bicycle and you turn the wheel without pedaling, does the bike turn? no? then pedal, darn it."
          Absolutely AWESOME advise, I plan to take it to the ring tomorrow! my daughters medium pony has her number BIG time!!! I will use all of this and let you know if I get anywhere LOL!!
          Kim
          If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.

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          • #6
            a word of caution. i had several parents who came to me with children who were a little timid. their parents were a little non-plussed when these usually tractable and maleable youngsters discovered that they had POWER.

            my mother always maintained that riding turned me into a little terror. to this day when i really want something, i go after it. riding is far too expensive a sport to be only about the simple mechanics, it is one of the very best preparations for a successful life i know. it teaches delaying of gratification, being sensitive to the needs of others, time management, planning, and ability to stay on task.

            good luck with your little ones. i miss teaching those lessons more than anything else.

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            • #7
              Kids need to be pony friendly too. Teach the child to look where he or she wants to go (not at the pony's ears) and carry their hands rather than firmly setting them on the pony's neck or hanging on the pony's mouth. Changing the hands and eyes will change the body position and give the child control.
              ---
              Betty Holmes-Fox
              Glenmore Ponies

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