Going for a super-fun hack in the countryside with your friends is one of the most amazing things you can do with your fave pony! But it’s really common to feel nervous about being out in a wide open space, especially if he can get a bit excitable. Here’s how to boost your confidence, so you have the best time ever.
Walk this way
It’s best to start by riding out with a friend whose pony’s calm and sensible. Your own pony’s sure to take confidence from his steady role model, and chatting to your pal should help you relax, too. If you don’t have a friend around to do this, you could ask a parent to walk out with you on foot, instead.
Top tip Even if you’re in a group, walking alongside a quiet, friendly pony, can help yours to stay calm.
If you feel confident enough to trot, just try a few strides at first, then test your brakes by coming back to walk. It’ll help make sure your pony’s listening to you, and let him know that he’s not allowed to rush off.
If you canter, it’s best to do this up a hill, as your pony should naturally run out of steam and slow down as he reaches the top. Also, it’s a good idea to canter when you’re heading away from home, because if he thinks he’s on the way back to the yard he might be extra speedy. But remember to only canter where it’s safe to do so and you know the ground’s suitable.
Top tip It’s not a good idea to always canter in the same place on a hack, because you pony may anticipate going faster and get super-excited.
We’ve got loads more top tips to help you get out hacking with confidence in March PONY, on sale 15 January.