Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes View Post
-Has she had any experience with horses before?
-Is this something SHE has expressed interest in?
If she doesn't have any experience you probably moved too fast for her. If she hasn't expressed interest, then she probably isn't really interested.
If she's interested I would take it down a notch. Continue to work on the groundwork and leadline stuff, but when she's on a lead work on her body position. Give her "games" to do in the saddle. I have my nieces raise their arms up, out to the side, behind, etc. Use imagery to get her to sit up straight, I tell my nieces to imagine someone is pulling a string through their body up through their head.
Once she is more confident and comfortable move to lunging so you can get a better idea of her position. Use the same kind of games to work on her stability in the saddle. Teach her that her hands are NOT for holding on. You can also speed up a little to trot for some fun.
If she does well with that, THEN move to self directed movement. Don't walk around in front of her, it's impossible to see what she's doing and correct her quickly. Set up a cone, tell her to walk to cone, halt, walk around cone, halt, and walk back to you. You need to break it up into manageable pieces and give her real tasks to do.
Last of all. Make it fun! Jump on the horse with her and ride around a little bit, go a little faster and do some fun things with her. Spend 20 minutes putting ribbons in the ponies mane or glitter on her hooves. She's 8 and has a pony, make it a fun thing for her, not all work. Good luck!
I just read your post! Thank you!!!
To specifically address your questions:
1. No. Other than a 5-minute pony ride at a carnival, no experience whatsoever.
2. She asked for this. She tried to negotiate halloween candy and $42 to buy the pony. I had
to take her to the barn a few times while dad was working on the weekends or I missed my weekend visit. My idea was to let her help me with my horse. She met this pony and started talking about her own horse. I made it happen but only after she put the idea in my head.
I will take it down a notch this weekend (we have her this weekend also). I will halter only and have her work on arms out balance.
I also love the grooming ideas. It's a mare, so C would enjoy putting some pink ribbons in her mane.