Tuesday, April 7, 2009
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!!!!