Ponying the Horse Tips

 Ponying the Horse- Continuing Quality Conversations

I find when ponying, many folks focus on getting the ponied horse to follow the movement of the ridden one.  This can create mindless movement in the ponied horse and contributes to what seems to willingly compliance (as long as nothing specific is asked of him) but he is not thoughtful, mentally directable, or physically adaptable. 

I use ponying as an opportunity to continue the Conversation I have started with the horse while initially working from the ground. This includes directing the ponied horse's thought, the specificity of his movement, and the adaptability of his energy.

There should be no drag or heaviness on the lead rope, the ponied horse should not be staring/pushing/imposing at the riding horse, avoiding the world around him, and he should not feel challenged by the spatial pressure of working alongside another horse.

The tool of ponying a horse can expand understanding and acceptance of spatial and physical pressure, offer the chance to learn to interact with the human despite another horse nearby and encourage ponied horse to search for what is being asked, irrelevant, of ridden horse's movement.

If folks don't prepare both the riding or the ponied horse, and things can quickly escalate into unnecessary stressful and potentially dangerous situations when concepts like softening to pressure, letting go of a thought, and pausing to check in with the human haven't been established beforehand.

I suggest start with leading both horses at the same time. Can you have two separate conversations? Can you create a spatial boundary so that neither horse is directing the other, but instead they are individually "checking in" and available to your input? Can you move one horse around the other? Can you work with both horses on either side of you? Can they both mentally and physically pause and process in real-time? Does either horse show signs of defensiveness toward the other?

Are you able to track both horses' feedback and address it? Are you clear on how and when you communicate something? How is your balance when standing on the ground and communicating? Do you have to move your feet a lot to get a change in the horse's behavior? 

As with everything I teach, first, we need to establish and refine the quality the "ingredients" before trying to accomplish the "final" outcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!