Beeing a Horse Development Specialist I come in contact with a lot of families with ponies that gives their owners a lot of problems. Because of indistinct rules, and lack of consequence and reward at the right times, the ponies never learned how to deal with the situations they are exposed to. They live their lives in constant misunderstanding and their young owners, who should be training, competing and having fun with their horses are losing their confidence, getting scared and sometimes even getting hurt. I therefore decided to get myself some ponies to give a really solid foundation from the start. By that I mean that they will learn how to be tied up, trailer loaded, shoed, clipped, led by the hand and ridden in all kinds of situations. So when the time comes, they will be brave and confident companions to young riders – life would be fun, for both owner and pony.
The ponies I got myself is Chieftain, an 8 year old Connemara gelding from Ireland, and the filly Puck, a 7 year old riding pony from Holland. During these first few days I have been giving them both some time to acclimatize, and I also introduced them to the rules of my society and what will be our common language.
First of all, the ponies need to be soft and calm when I touch them – all over their bodies and with all kind of materials. I can use my hands, the rope, fabrics, plastics, sticks and a lot of other things. It’s important that I desensitize them for a stick or a whip as I will use that as an extension of my arm further on. You can watch some short films from our first training session on facebook: John Ricketts – Horse Development Specialist.