Have a go at…teaching him to push a ball around with his nose.
Why? It’s a great way to encourage your pony to problem solve, and because it’s an easy task for him to get the hang of he’ll feel super pleased with himself. I find that ponies interact with the ball in different ways, so it’s a great way to encourage their personality to shine through.
With your pony in a headcollar and you holding the leadrope with a little slack in it, walk towards the ball, then stop and allow him to investigate it in his own time. Don’t force him to go up to the ball or roll it towards him as this could spook him.
If he touches the ball with his nose, nudges it with his hoof or interacts with it in any way, give him a reward. This can either be a scratch on his withers or a tasty treat.
Continue giving him a reward every time he touches the ball, which should make him want to pay it more attention. If he doesn’t quite get the hang of pushing it himself, you can gently move it away to encourage him to follow.
If your pony’s acing this game on the ground, and he’s totally happy with the ball touching his body, have a go when you’re riding him. It’ll be loads of fun and you can pretend you’re rounding up cattle in the Wild West.