Between October half term and February half term, kids ponies tend to get unruly. It’s too dark and cold for their young riders to do much during the week, so they’re only exercised on weekends and they’re often living in.
I think parents underestimate the effort required on their part to keep ponies under the thumb: minimal effort may be required during the summer, but in the winter it can be very time consuming with the chores, let alone exercising them on top of that.
If, or when as the case now is, I get a pony, I’ll be looking into getting a sharer, who’s slightly older and more advanced than my jockey, and enlisting the help of a small teenager to do some squashing if the pony gets above themselves.
Otherwise, the pony will have a variety of calorie and behaviour burning exercises such as lunging, ride and lead, and long reining to keep them sensible enough for my child to ride. Then it will be a more enjoyable, confidence building and educational experience for their riders. And I’ll have a few less grey hairs!
I’ve recently had a fun job of exercising a little pony for her owner. She’s ridden by the owner’s young son and had a share rider over the summer, where she unfortunately learnt a few bad habits.
It’s inevitable unfortunately. Ponies are highly intelligent and rapidly learn how to take advantage of small jockeys and their lack of strength.
One of my favourite things when I was growing up was getting to ride the naughty ponies. They weren’t necessarily that naughty, but as soon as they started pushing the boundaries, cutting corners, stopping at jumps, one of us teenagers got to ride them in a lesson.
Our job was to push the pony back into their box; stay around the outside, canter when asked, jump the jump correctly. Not only did it remind the pony of the correct expected behaviour but it also gave them a good experience as they…
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