Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good Tool

When breaking and training a horse, especially one that is a little more than nervous (Acacia), ponying is an amazing tool! Now this is not something I use all the time, however here are the benefits of ponying a horse.

I, personally, believe that a horse can learn by seeing things. So if an unbroke sees other horses being ridden maybe, just maybe it won't seem so scary. Maybe not. Maybe horses don't associate things that way, but to me it makes sense. To me I've seen some proof to the theory.

OK the benefits of ponying. First off you need a solid horse to pony off of, once that is handled get on your horse and walk around holding on to the lead rope of the horse you are ponying. I would never recommend tying an unbroke horse to your horn or anything. WAY too dangerous.
Next you can walk and trot with them. Get them used to moving when you and the horse say it's time to move. Also get right next to the unbroke horse and brush against them with your legs, almost mimicking as if you were on the unbroke horse. Plus being next to the unbroke horse will get them used to you being over their head, which is very weird for them. Pet them and reach your arm around their neck, pet their forehead and just touch them where you can. MAKE sure you really spend a lot of time brushing up against them with your legs and body, this will make it so that the first time you do actually get on, the horse won't react if you accidentally bump them with your legs.

Ponying on the trails is good too, to get a horse used to the sights and sounds of the "wild" outdoors without a rider to get in the way or get hurt.

Trained horses are an amazing resource to use for the untrained ones. And if you have the luxury of having a horse you can use as a pony horse than it's worth it's weight in GOLD!!!!


GoLightly said...

Great Post:)

SolitaireMare said...

Interesting theory and makes sense to me. I've never ponied a horse myself but I can and have seen the benefits of the practice.

ponykins said...

Just make sure your good ol' pony horse will accept a rope under his tail, cuz chances are,sooner or later, it's gonna get there when you pony. Yee haw!

Anonymous said...

I'd love more info on how to go about doing this! I want to pony my Pony (with a rider) off my Boy on trail rides.

Trainer X said...

Start by getting the horse used to ropes around it and dragging behind it. ALL over it's body and legs. Use a rope or a lunge line. Ride with the rope hanging down and then when you feel your horse is ready to "pony" off of for the first time, use a horse that is quiet and easily led and that is friendly with your horse. Pony them around the arena together and there is your start to ponying :)

thestablehand said...

It's also a great way to work two horses at once when you're pushed for time, and very handy if you're bringing a green horse back into work. I use this technique at least once a week, just to get the work into my horses.

autumnblaze said...

I read a pretty recent article saying foals learn this way. One of their suggestions for 'imprinting' - I quote it because they found it did more harm than good in most foals they studied. They suggested instead working with mom. If momma mare is relaxed and happy around the crazy people - foal will learn to be relaxed and happy around the crazy people.

Makes sense to me too to pony etc. I think it makes sense because they're herd animasl - how many don't want to cross the scary puddle first? They assess the outcome of their buddies situation if they can.

I've never trained/ponied but I think it's a great tool for those who do.