Whether you’re lucky enough to have a pony of your own or you’ve got a favourite at your riding school, it’s most riders’ goal to build the ultimate bond with their fave pony. The best way to do this is through trust – the more your pony trusts you, the stronger your bond will get and the more you’ll trust him back, which is super-important when it comes to riding.
Trust takes time and patience to build, but there are a number of things you can do to help it along the way, both in and out of the saddle.
Chat to him
Okay, so ponies might not understand exactly what you’re saying, but talking to your fave pony is a great way for him to get to know you and begin to trust you. He’ll find the soft tones of your voice relaxing and soothing, and it’s a useful tool to encourage him to relax if he becomes spooked or worried. Plus, ponies are great listeners, so you’ll find it a good way to get any worries off your chest, too!
Just like people, all ponies are different. While some love a cuddle sesh, others don’t like hands-on attention quite so much. Watch your pony when you’re trying to make a fuss of him – if his muscles look tense or he’s pulling faces, he’s probably not very happy and it’s best to take a step back.
Your fave pony will start to trust you more when you begin to respect his likes and dislikes – so, although you might not be able to bond by giving him a cuddle, you can still connect with him in different ways. Why not take him out for a hand graze? He’ll especially appreciate it if he has to be stabled more over the winter months.
Find out all the other ways to earn your pony’s trust in January PONY magazine, on sale now!