The weather’s perfect for riding and you’ve arranged to meet a friend for a long hack. All you need to do is bring your fave pony in from the field and tack up, then you can set off and have some fun. But, when you step into his paddock, he takes one look at you holding his headcollar and trots to the far corner of the field.
If this sounds familiar, you’ll know that it’s super-frustrating to own or ride a pony who isn’t easy to catch. But it’s something you can improve by spending time building his trust. As well as making him easier to catch, you may even find that he comes to you!
I want to be free
It’s important to work out why your fave pony’s behaving like this, then you can make some changes that’ll make him less worried about being caught. Here are a few possible reasons…
Why? He’s worked out that you only catch him when you want to ride.
What to do Make sure you also bring him in for things that he finds enjoyable, such as to give him a tasty feed or a relaxing grooming session.
Why? He doesn’t want to leave his field mates.
What to do Bring in another pony at the same time, as long as their owner says it’s OK.
Why? He knows he’s going to be stabled for a few hours, away from the tasty grass in his paddock.
What to do To make sure your pony doesn’t get hungry or bored when he’s inside, give him some suitable forage to munch on and a stable toy to entertain him. He’ll be happier if he has some company, too, so ask if he can be stabled near another pony.
Stay calm and don’t get frustrated with your pony, as this will make him even less keen to come to you.
Find out how to change his ways in April PONY, on sale 13 March.