In good company

Our super-handy tips for riding near other ponies


Riding with friends is the best, but it doesn’t come without its trials and tribulations. Don’t forget that ponies have their own brains, so we can’t always predict what they’re going to do next, especially around their pals! So, let’s look at how you can keep yourself and your pony safe while riding with others. 

Clued up

The same set of rules are followed worldwide to help keep everyone safe and it’s important you know and stick to them, so you don’t get into a tricky situation or cause an accident while riding near other ponies. The rules include…

  • left to left If you’re approaching another pony who’s on the opposite rein to you, always pass with them on your left-hand side
  • one horse’s distance Leaving a minimum of one horse’s distance between your pony and the one in front will prevent him from getting injured should the pony in front kick out 
  • fastest takes priority If you’re riding in an arena, the person who’s working in the fastest pace has priority of the outside track

Did you know?

If a pony’s wearing a red ribbon in his tail, it means he kicks. So, always give these ponies extra space to protect your own. 

Feeling fizzy

Some ponies are easily excitable when around their friends, which can make it really difficult for you to get what you’re asking – whether that’s a simple transition or a tricky dressage move you’ve practised 100 times and nailed over and over again! Luckily there are ways to help keep him in the zone.

The best way to get your pony focused is by keeping him busy. Use clear, consistent and firm aids, avoid letting him look around too much and reward him when he listens. If you can, find your own space to ride in and avoid following another pony, otherwise he might be reluctant to leave them.

If your pony’s a superstar at home around other ponies, but at a comp he becomes much harder to handle, why not ask your instructor to come along? It’ll put your mind at ease knowing they’re there to help.

On the look out

Whether you’re heading out for a group hack, riding with your friend in the school or warming up at a comp, you always need to be aware of your surroundings and what the other riders are doing. Watch out for riders who might be having trouble with their pony and keep your eyes up so you can see where others are going because it might determine your next move!  

If you’re riding with a friend for the first time, ask questions about their pony. That way you can avoid potential problems and have the most fun together!

Jump around

If there are jumps involved, it’s a really good idea to call out which fence you’re jumping just before approaching it. By doing this, you’re politely asking other riders to keep the run up and getaway clear. Make sure you’re listening carefully to people calling out jumps, too – if you’re too busy riding a circle and lose focus, you might get in their way or crash into each other.

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