Today I did some work with a teenager and his nappy pony, which reminded me of this little mare.
Today’s pony seeks confidence from those on the ground, not his rider, so drifts towards anyone standing in the school, such as me! First of all he stops, and then he just plants himself and switches off. I noticed the empty look in his eye today when he planted himself.
We worked on me leading him from the ground before gradually taking a back seat, and his rider taking over more, but keeping the situation very calm and quiet, with plenty of verbal rewards.
We started to make progress, which pleased me, but I really think that long reining this pony would build his confidence up by getting him to walk without a leader and enable him to go out along the lane alone. Thinking back, I spent a lot of time long reining Matt and Otis when they were youngsters and I’ve never had a problem with napping or a lack of confidence, but that may be coincidental.
I`d like to tell you a little bit about my project pony, in the hope that some people can offer a bit of advice on her next stage in life.
Technically, she`s not mine. She belongs to the riding school, but has been more of a pet for the last ten years. She was born on the farm and broken in at three or four, but never really progressed very far. She had a reputation for being “a nappy bitch” and having a wicked corkscrew buck when I arrived. “A waste of space” and a “fat lump” who you wouldn`t want to ride.
When I first met her in the field in November she was indeed a bit of a blob. But a very attractive blob. She`s just my stamp of horse: 14.1hh Welsh Sec D cross with a good amount of bone, bright bay, two hind socks and a…
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