Pony training: tips and equipment list

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Pony training: tips and equipment list

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  • Pony training tips
  • Lunge cavesson for shetland pony

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    04-03-2013, 05:24 PM
Pony training: tips and equipment list

I'm getting ready to start training my two Shetland ponies. Warrior will be two and Scout will be a yearling.

I know it isn't adviseable to do a lot (or any?) lunging at such a young age. What age would be appropriate to start lunging? What would you recommend doing in the meantime?

I have been working with my trainer on training my horse. I really like her methods. First, we did a bit of work in the round pen, but not a whole lot (in my past training efforts, 99% of the work was round pen work). We then did a lot of work with lunging with him wearing a caveson, and then with the bridle. We worked with getting him to bend and flex with a dressage whip (just to tap him while using the reins to direct him) and got him used to rein pressure from the ground, using long cotton reins while walking next to him.

I would like to start the ponies similarly, so I'm trying to make a "shopping list" of things I'll need.

Currently, the only thing I have is a pony saddle and a lunge line. My "wish list" at the moment is:

Pony sized caveson (is nylon okay? My trainer has leather but I haven't been able to find a pony sized leather caveson and they tend to be quite pricey, anyway).
Cotton training reins
Pony bridle
Saddle pad (I really like 100% wool pads, but haven't found any pony sized ones)
Cinch (I have a Weaver air flex for my horse and so far I like it. I also have a mohair for my other horse but haven't tried it out yet)
Round pen
Driving equipment (I'd love to teach them to drive, but haven't the faintest idea where to begin with that)

Any assistance with my list (including where to buy the items) would be appreciated. Training tips are also most welcome.
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    04-03-2013, 06:19 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
My recommendations for each are different, because their ages are very different maturity-wise. Either way, no lunging at all until two- and only at a walk and LIGHT trotting in large circles, 15' radius and wider. 20-25' preferred.


Go ahead and start mouthing him. Have him wear a bridle over his halter when he's working so he gets used to it as a piece of equipment.

Yielding to pressure at the poll, shoulder, hindquarters, nose, mouth, and legs. You want him to eventually move over with even a light tap and the verbal cue 'over' to any part of his body.

Ground driving. Can be done in a halter until he's sufficiently mouthed. Drive him over obstacles, on the trails, around your farm...everywhere.

Teach him to be sent through things.


Don't mouth him just yet. Wait until he's a year and a half, atleast. It will be hard to find a bit that fits him at this age. He'd probably need a 2 1/2 " or 3".

Yield to pressure.

Sent through things.

Once he's closer to two, you could start ground driving him as well. Then when they're both ground driving well, once they're 3 or 4, you can send them to a trainer to be trained to drive, or find a trainer that's willing to train you to train them.

Other than that, my recommendations for what equipment to buy, is not to go out and spend money on a cavesson. I never used one and I never really felt like I needed one. Don't buy side reins or draw reins. Invest in a bridle with blinkers and maybe a super cheap nylon bridle just to introduce them to bridling with. Its a HUGE pain to try and bridle train them with the blinkers and figure eight style, plus the noseband and such. Ask me how I know xD

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