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How to feel confident riding a new pony

Posted in Flatwork

Are you keen to supercharge your riding skills? Why not try riding a new pony? It might feel nerve-wracking to begin with, but you’ll learn so much. Let’s get started...


Whether it’s a different pony to the one you ride in your lessons, you’re borrowing a friend’s, or you’re lucky enough to have a new share, loan or pony to call your very own, riding a new pony is something every rider experiences. 

Every pony has his own personality and ability, and getting to know him is a key part of your story together. But you’re not alone if the thought of riding an unfamiliar pony is daunting – that’s totally normal! Luckily, there are things you can do to help your confidence. 

Why ride a new pony?

Riding lots of different ponies will help you become a better rider because you’ll learn new skills, overcome challenges and feel more confident as a result. If it’s a particularly nerve-wracking thought for you, just imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve done it!

It can also improve your relationship with your own pony – you might learn how to do a tricky dressage move on a schoolmaster then teach it to your pony, or have your first canter in an open space and realise it’s so much fun! Getting used to ponies’ different ways of going will make you a more adaptable rider, which means you’ll be able to get the most out of every pony you ride.


Keeping a journal of things you’ve learnt, what you found tricky and your achievements is a great way to track your progress! 

How to ride a new pony

The number one rule is to keep it simple until you feel ready to take the next step. Don’t rush yourself just because your friends are watching or the pony is capable of more – it’ll only knock your confidence if it doesn’t go to plan! 

Before you ride a new pony, why not watch someone else ride him first? Getting to know him and finding out more about his habits and how he likes to be ridden will give you a real boost. When it’s time to get in the saddle yourself, why not book a lesson? Your instructor will help you get the measure of a new pony so you get off to a flying start! Remember to have fun along the way, too – riding’s meant to be!


Why not ask your pal to video you riding so you can work out what needs improving? You’ll also have amazing memories to watch back, too! 

Aced it!

The more ponies you ride, the more confident and full of riding knowledge you’ll feel. Get to grips with a new pony and you’ll be so happy and bursting with pride! So, now it’s time to go ace it!


Ride lots of different ponies as often as you can! Take every opportunity that comes your way – you’ll thank yourself later!

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PONY Magazine - Spring 2024

Spring 2024

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