In the films below you will find some different riding exercises I use working the ponies.
As you can see, for the moment, Chieftain and Puck are both quite uncomfortable being ridden, caused by previous experience, and they have different ways to try to get away from the problem. Puck has a tendency to block her brain and run, while Chieftain gets really tense and either shut down or try to run away from the problem. So, at this stage I need to make them feel safe and secure with a rider on their back, and I need to change their bad habits.
The main purpose of these exercises is to get the horse to find a better way to problem solve, to make them comfortable with us moving around and putting a lot of pressure on them. I want to make sure that if the young rider makes a mistake outside later on, they will not take off in panic. As always, the horse will be rewarded as soon as he tries to stay soft. It’s also important to keep up the desensitizing exercises to teach the horse how to stay calm and soft in body and mind.
We are already beginning to see some signs of the qualities, and possibilities, we will find in the ponies when the foundation work is done. At this stage, Puck has shown quite an amazing improvement in her movement and can now actually use herself properly and move out, while before she had such a short step caused by stress.
I’ll get back to you with new films as we move along!