Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Good advice already posted....we do a lot of ponying of young ones...it's a great way to get them out in the world and behaving without having to think about a rider on them or worrying about horse 'monsters'.
- Do start in a paddock/ring to her used to being right next to your horse without any fussing. Some youngsters start out being uncomfortable working so close to another horse and/or want to fuss/play.
- Do use your most experienced, sane horse that you feel absolutely comfortable on. Having an experienced horse that is very light, neck reins, and responds effortless to your leg allows you to concentrate on the filly without having to think about your own horse. An experienced pony horse is worth *gold* as a teacher to young ones.
- Do try and keep the ponied horse on a short lead at your hip, and practice on both the left and right. A long lead will allow the horse to cross over in the front, (if too eager) in the back (if lagging), and can easily wind up getting wrapped around your foot/stirrup. Also, you would be surprised at how easy it is to get the lead rope wedged under the tail of of your horse if the ponied horse crosses on the back side. If the ponied horse continues to be too eager or lag, start doing circles to get back to the pace you want.
- Never wrap/loop the lead around your hand...that can be a real 'ouch' at best, or getting dragged off your horse at worst.
- Opinions vary about whether to ever wrap the lead around the horn to keep a horse from getting away from you. Over the years, I've found that in most cases, if you need to let the lead go and you're not in a potentially dangerous place, just let it go...and the ponied horse won't go far. Just circle back, calm the horse, grab the lead, and continue on like nothing happened. On rare occasions, I will wrap the lead around the horn just to calm the ponied horse down for a moment, but make sure you have a very trusted mount and you don't get your hands or legs in the way.
- Do always be extra careful...you've got 'twice the horse'.
I'll say it again....it is GREAT training, and with practice, nothing beats being able to train a horse to pony right at your side from a walk to a gallop.
BTW, I agree with others....unbroke at 5 years is not a problem...there is nothing wrong with bringing a horse along 'slow'.
On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.