Riding different ponies is an amazing way to improve your riding, but remember that each one’s an individual and will need approaching differently. Here’s all you need to know about riding strong, lazy and spooky ponies.
Worrying about your brakes can mean riding stops being fun, but don’t panic — follow these tips and you’ll have strong ponies sussed in no time.
Keep calm When riding a strong pony it’s easy to think you need to pull, but this’ll just encourage him to pull against you. It’s a battle you won’twin!
Sit tall Having an effective position will help you, as it’ll prevent you from getting into a pulling battle.
Change it up Riding lots of transitions is great for getting him to respond to your aids and keeping him focused.
Not only is riding a slow or lazy pony frustrating, it can be tiring, too! However, there’s loads you can do to get him moving.
Don’t be a nag Lots of riders make the mistake of nagging a lazy pony with their legs to try and get him to move faster, but this can make him switch off and stop listening to you.
Keep things interestingA change of scenery can make a huge difference to a pony who’s become a bit bored of the arena. So, why not school him in the field, or out hacking instead?
Did you know?
Lazy ponies often don’t use their hindquarters properly, which is where they generate energy to push themselves forward. Instead, they tend to pull themselves along with their front legs.
Ponies are flight animals, so it’s natural for them to run from things they think could be dangerous. But, if you build your pony’s confidence, you can help prevent him spooking when you’re riding him.
When your pony spooks, remain calm and reassure him. Ponies are really intuitive and, if you’re worried, he’s much more likely to find something scary.
Riding with a neckstrap you can hold onto when your pony spooks can help make you feel more secure in the saddle.
Get the best out of strong, lazy, spooky ponies with our top tips in April PONY, on sale 13 March.