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Cowboy Ken 11-07-2010 10:34 PM

Young Rider, Young horse
I bought my kid her first pony about seven months ago, just days before the filly turned 4.
She has had about 2 months of classic dressage training, and the rest of her work, has been done at home in our round pen.
Today we introduced her to a small gathering of gamers.
I have a video of images, and another of her workin her pony in the round pen.
Tell me what you think of the young rider, and her young horse.

I love photographing and filming them as they work together

ImagineThat 11-08-2010 08:42 AM

How cute! I'll be honest, reading your post made me nervous to watch.... but I was impressed. That seems like a great little pony, and I am beyond thrilled to see you teaching your daughter good horsemanship at a young age.
I see so many kids ripping around on these saint ponies.... running them into the ground and yanking their mouth. Congrats on the new pony, and good luck! If your daughter keeps it up, she will be a great little horsewoman!

ShutUpJoe 11-08-2010 09:15 AM

Is she a Haflinger? Very cute video : )

kolorisingstudio 11-08-2010 10:04 AM

First, please take this as me being completely honest, and not trying to be mean in any way. I know it can be hard to hear someone critique your child.

I haven't watched the entire first video, but from the first few minutes, I personally would not let your daughter on a young horse for these reasons:

She has very unsteady hands. See how she keeps lifting her hands everywhere to adjust her reins? That is not helpful in training a young horse. A young horse needs someone who has quiet, steady hands, who isn't accidentally jerking and pulling on their mouth. She also has a very unsteady seat, which can lead to a frustrated pony, because she can not give steady and correct cues as long as her seat is all over the place.

In posting the trot, your daughter is leaning on her saddle for balance. This puts awful pressure on the pony's shoulders. When she takes her hands off the saddle, every time she posts she catches the pony's mouth with the bit.

For a young rider your daughter is definitely NOT a bad rider, she is actually quite good for her age. However, children at that age do not tend to have the necessarily motor skills to ride young horses, and I personally would find her a very well trained, push button, school master. I do not think she needs a dead-head, idiot trained horse at all. But I think before she steps up to a young, green horse she needs to ride a push-button, meaning a horse that is still sensitive enough to give her a challenge, meaning she would have to get her cues and seat right to achieve good results with the horse, but something that will also be forgiving of mistakes.

While this pony may be good-natured, eventually, it is not going to be too fond of someone bouncing around and jerking on her mouth, and she will react to it.

Perhaps finding a nice push button for your daughter to practice her own equitation on for a while would give her the skills she needs to bring a young horse around.

kevinshorses 11-08-2010 10:20 AM

You may want to teach her to post on the correct diaganol. I noticed that she was using the same diaganol going both directions most of the time. Regarding the green horse and green rider there is an exception to every rule but don't be so sure that you have found it yet. I hope you have but many times with a green rider things go great for a while then the pony or horse gets smart about just how much it really has to do. At the very least you and your daughter will look back at this horse in ten years and wish you had been able to get him to his full potential.

Spastic_Dove 11-08-2010 10:25 AM

Frankly I think she rides better than some adults.
There are some obvious things wrong with her equitation, but I don't think there is anything that is going to ruin the pony.
I'm assuming the narrator is also working with the pony and it is not just the child training the horse (I could be wrong). Hopefully this is the case as there are some things that a child of her capabilities will not be able to teach or bring out in the horse.
Ideally an adult would be the primary trainer, but letting this girl help right now seems to have worked so far.

Sure it's a huge risk to put a young horse and young rider together, but I think if you are going to do it, this is the best example I've seen of it in awhile.

I do want to add just to make sure you're not treating the pony as a broke pony. I've ridden some that will trot around like that on a loose rein, and then when they start to learn and gain experience they just turn into monstrous things for a ride or two to see what they get away with. I'll admit I was a nervous wreck when she was desensitizing the pony to the jacket and had her hand on the buckle. If the horse would have decided something was going to eat it and taken off, I'd be concerned about how she would recover.

kolorisingstudio 11-08-2010 10:44 AM

^ While I do agree that he has gone about the right way in letting his daughter ride ( THANK YOU O.P. for having her wear a helmet, and proper boots!!! You definitely deserve parent of the year award for that!), there are some fundamental issues that will cause problems with the pony. It isn't fair to the pony to have to learn what she is supposed to do on top of dealing with compensating for the rider's mistakes.

While this girl may ride better than some adults (and I agree, she definitely does!), she still does not have the basic skills down, and does not have the balance or equitation needed to start a young horse.

Cowboy Ken 11-08-2010 10:55 AM

We appreciate the Feedback keep it coming!
Lots of mixed emotions associated with your child and horsemanship!
and as well, I am finding there can be lots of mixed opinions of it as well.
Being teachable and open to suggestions will do us both alot of good!

riccil0ve 11-08-2010 10:56 AM

I think they are adorable!! And I really don't think your daughter is going to ruin this pony. I do agree about the jacket thing though, I did cringe at that. =\
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kolorisingstudio 11-08-2010 10:59 AM

Cowboy Ken, do you have any lesson instructors in your area? Her taking a lesson once or twice a week on a good school horse would help her brush up her skills, so that she would be better off working with her pony. I love how patient she seems, and she isn't doing a "bad" job persay, but I feel like she would be much better off taking a few lessons as well.

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