Horses are something to dream about and
to wish for
Fun to watch and to make friends with
Nice to pat and great to hug
and oh, what a joy to ride!
For you to enjoy me (and for me to enjoy you,
too) there are some important facts about
me which you should know before you try to
handle or ride me.
I am a HORSE
My name in Latin is Equus. From this name
comes the word “equine”, which
means something to do with a horse, and the
word “equestrian,” which means
one who rides a horse.
Getting a horse of your own
you first start to learn about horses
and ponies - how to handle them on the
ground and how to ride them - you should
try to find a horse or pony that has
already had a lot of experience in teaching
other young riders.
Seeking the Best Possible Place to
Ride and Take Your Training Instructions
an establishment will have well-qualified
instructors, calm and patient horses and
ponies to ride while you are learning, and
a proper ring for beginners.
DOs and DON’Ts for Horse and
assume you can just get on any pony and simply
You don’t want to start out with a young,
inexperienced pony, who is just learning about
things himself. The combination of a “green”
(which means inexperienced) horse or pony
and a green rider is usually unsuccessful,
and it can be dangerous.
Not all ponies are alike. There are ponies
you can get on and easily ride. Others are
so green that you could easily be injured
if you have little or no riding experience.
The ponies that are easier to ride are typically
The older ponies have been ridden the most
and will be more forgiving of a beginning
rider’s mistakes. Younger ponies will
be the hardest to ride.
one pony trainer’s technique is the
only way to train a pony
When a novice owner starts to experience problems
with their pony, they go looking for answers.
They will talk to friends who own ponies and
ask them what technique(s) they use for training.
But when they can’t train their pony
with that technique, they assume a dumb or
a untrainable pony. The novice pony owner
needs to know that there are typically lots
of ways to train a pony to do one thing. If
you try something and it doesn’t work,
try something else. This is an approach that
is very commonly used in horsemanship training.
DO make sure you ride your pony regularly
Another problem new pony owners experience
with their pony is they don’t ride their
ponies enough. The best thing you can do to
have a good pony is to ride it and ride it
and ride it. Don’t ride him just once
every couple weeks. Ponies need to be ridden
a lot to make them good riding ponies. A pony
that just sits in his pasture becomes sour!
DON’T think a problem with the
pony is the pony’s fault
If a pony has some problems, it is almost
always a result of the pony owner. Very rarely
is it the pony’s problem – it’s
more likely a problem with the rider. For
instance, if you can’t get your pony
to ride away from home (this is called “Barn
Sour”) it’s likely because you
don’t have control over him. You can
establish control with various techniques.
A good training facility is a good place to
learn control over your pony.
DO try to understand how horses think
Ponies are herd animals. In their natural
state, they travel in groups. When frightened,
they run. They have thousands of years of
the “flight instinct” built into
their brains. To successfully train them takes
patience and understanding on the part of
the rider that they are naturally fearful
DO remember that every interaction
with a pony is a training exercise
Every time you interact with your pony, you
are training him - even if your pony is well-trained.
Even when you pet your pony, you are training
him. Novice pony owners must think through
what they do when working with their pony,
because they can easily and unknowingly affect
a pony’s behavior.
DON’T ever ride a pony or horse
if you have little or no understanding of
Sometimes a novice pony owner will ride their
new pony not knowing pony-riding skills. It
is important to have an understanding of riding
techniques because ponies react to leg pressure,
how you sit in the saddle, whether or not
the rider is nervous. There are so many things
out there that could seriously hurt rider
Let’s face it. In order for a pony owner
to be successful with his/her pony, he/she
needs to understand the pony. The best thing
novice pony owners can do is learn how to
ride, learn how ponies think, learn what works
good for the rider and the pony. Riding a
pony often is just about the best thing you
can do to have a good pony.
May you all have as much fun as we are having!
Good Bye! Good Luck! Good riding!