Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
I'm also not a fan of riding miniature horses. We have a few mini x shetland crosses (the smallest being 37" and very sturdy) that are ridden, but you definitely should never ask him to carry more than 60 lbs including the saddle even when in riding condition.
To saddle train our shetlands that were too small for me (85-90 lbs and 4'11) to ride, I first taught them to lunge completely off of voice command. When I say woah, I expect them to plant their feet and not budge, when I ask them to slow down- they do it immediately. I then teach them to ground drive first with a halter then with a bridle, teaching them to steer effectively. I desensatise them to thumping around, screaming, kicking, etc- and generally never do teach them to listen to leg aids simply because kids are squirmy, and I'd rather it respond to just the voice commands, seeing that it is going to be carrying such small kids. After they lunge and ground drive well, I add the saddle. Once they're comfortable with all of that, I usually put one of our 25 lb chicken feed sacks on their back and walk them all over, lunge them, ground drive them- etc. Only after that will I even think about putting a child on them, and only under leadline.
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