Can anyone recommend some schooling exercises?

(39 Posts)
Mirage Sat 22-Dec-12 21:12:37

We've had a pony on trial for nearly 4 weeks now,but due to a combination of dark evenings and bad weather,DD2 has only been able to ride her 2-3 times a week in all that time.Today she rode in the school for the 4th time since she arrived and was a bit silly,spooking at things and yanking the reins.This un nerved DD2 who wanted one of us of walk alongside of her 'just in case'.By the end of the lesson,she was trotting her around cones and over trotting poles on her own,and was quite happy,and dealing with the yanks and spooks without turning a hair.

However,DH wasn't impressed and says that he isn't keen on the pony,too nervy,he reckons.She is,but she had been on the same yard with the same people for 4 years,so she has had a lot of change to cope with.2 instructors who've taught DD2 have said that once DD2 gets her confidence up,the pony should be perfect for her,but if DH won't buy her,that is that.I've got a rally booked at PC over the holidays,and plan to ride every day if we can,but I'm not horsey,so don't know of any exercises that DD2 can do with her to up her confidence and get the pony concentrating on her rider rather than looking for something to spook at.

We've tried riding in a circle at each corner of the school,which seemed to work well,but I don't know what else to try.I'd be really grateful for any suggestions,thank you.

Stinkyminkymoo Sun 30-Dec-12 13:04:16

I have a stupidly spooky horse who can be a right knobber but I love him! I bought a book called 101 schooling exercises which helped both me and DHorse to focus & concentrate and have our schooling sessions a purpose too.

I hope you keep on with this pony, it's worth remembering that if he's new he might just be trying it on to see what he can get away with so do persevere! Xx

Stinkyminkymoo Sun 30-Dec-12 13:12:15

Sorry, just read the rest of the thread. I'm sorry your dd isn't getting in with the pony but did want to reiterate what a poster up thread said about the pony putting her nose to the ground, this is stretching over her back and does feel good for her.

I hope you find a suitable pony soon smile

Mirage Sun 30-Dec-12 18:53:58

Thank you all.We took both ponies to a PC rally today,and apart from a little buck when cantering,she behaved perfectly.She seem so much more relaxed and happy than I've seen her so far,no spooking or flinging her head about.I'm wondering if she was happy to be back in a RS environment,after all it is all she has ever known.Perhaps she finds a private home not as structured as a RS /Livery yard?

I was very proud of DD2,she was very brave and trotted,cantered and jumped very nicely on her own,but she just hasn't gelled with Millie.If she wanted to keep her and there was just one issue,we'd have worked to overcome it,I know it took them a good 5 months of riding every day to really get to grips with dpony and get the best out of her.

Oh well,back to pony hunting,I really don't enjoy it at all.

Mirage Sun 30-Dec-12 21:53:02

Oh my! A friend has just texted me to say that a pony we had on trial a year ago and who threw 3 riders off in one week,is up for sale again,described as a 'super safe child's pony'.He was very distinctive looking and it is definitely him,I even recognised his fancy rug.I had offered £600 for him subject to trial,he is now up for £1500.Wait until I tell the dds!

Zazzles007 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:26:44

Mirage thanks for your updates. I can see that buying a child's pony is even more of a minefield than buying a horse for an adult! confused

I would agree that if your DD2 has not gelled with pony, and possibly may not like her all that much, then it is time to return pony and continue with your pony hunting. Be assured that you are teaching your DD's some great lessons in perseverance, exploring different solutions for a problem and then saying no when those solutions are not viable.

Let us know how you get on smile

Booboostoo Mon 31-Dec-12 07:42:26

Just to add another perspective here...you got the new pony mid-winter and were forced to keep her in 24/7 during the rain. These are about the worst circumstances you could have a new pony in (of course none of it your fault, everyone is struggling this winter), so now you have seen the worst the pony can be. All ponies have naughty/difficult times but you usually don't find out about them until later and what can seem like a deal breaker in a trial, may just be laughed off in a pony you've had for a year.

Is it possible to keep her a bit longer, with daily turnout and a bit of lunging (right before DD2 gets on every time) to see what she's like on good days?

Mirage Tue 01-Jan-13 17:07:14

She has gone back today.DD2 was completely unbothered about her going.confused We are going to try a PC instructors pony tomorrow,personally I think it'll be too good for what we want at the minute,but she says she'll assess DD2's riding ability while we are there,which will be very useful.I have been offered 6 ponies since Sunday,so it certainly is a buyers market at the minute.

We saw the little hunting pony that we tried,out hunting today,in a snaffle and perfectly behaved.I had a chat to the owner and said we'll come back and try him again.The dds both rode good old dpony today in the school,she is such a good old girl,not everyone's cup of tea,but we all love her and I can trust her not to be silly.DD1 is taking her out hunting on Friday with strict instructions that she has to stay by me,any galloping off and she'll be sent straight home.

I have an added complication now,that dpony has to be off her fields by the end of the month,as part of the lease conditions,until 1st April.She won't be stabled so I have arranged for her to go to my dad's farm down the road for the 8 weeks.However,there are no stables there,so any pony that may arrive before April,will have to live out too.I can't have one at home and one a mile away,they'd never get ridden before it got dark and I'd be running myself ragged.Why can't life be simple?

Booboostoo Tue 01-Jan-13 19:30:31

Oh well at least DD2 was not upset the pony left!

Maybe wait 8 weeks before getting a new pony? Getting a new pony and not giving it enough work in the middle of the winter is going to cause trouble.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Tue 01-Jan-13 20:26:48

Can I say something? Without starting a riot? blush
I think... myself... that you are over thinking the whole thing. You have tried how many ponies? 20, 30? To have tried that many ponies, and not found one that remotely suits, you are searching for something that doesn't exist. If you found an absolutely perfect pony, I'd lay money on your DD being bored of it in six months. And I'm not being a cow here, we have had many many ponies and riders through our yard, and none of them were perfect. But, they all had potential, and just needed time, patience and effort to be very nice.
I'm not saying that you need a rearer, or a bolter, but something that needs a little bit of work won't harm anybody, and will challenge your DD. Mine has been on a complete roller coaster ride in the last eight years.
She has always been given something the right basic shape, and had to live with it. I am a terrible worrier, and DD has at times often been totally wet, and we have had tears, tantrums, falls and bumps, I've cried, she has cried... But she has conquered every one. Sometimes its taken months, but she gets there in the end. Having to work through small problems and work at her pony will only make your daughter stronger as a rider.

50BalesOfHay Tue 01-Jan-13 22:06:01

Sorry Mirage, have been wanting to say what Catpuss said. GD has a very, very, (and another very) challenging horse on loan at the minute. She cries sometimes. She'll be a better rider for it. You have to let them fall off. That's how they learn. (That and a billion lessons: GD had 3 a week when we first got Ben) Otherwise put her back on a lead rein pony: if she's tiny and 7 then she'll struggle anyway. Wind it back a bit, let her get her seat, there is no perfect pony, and if you find one you have to maintain it.

7 is young (especially if she's tiny) get her more lessons, let her muck about on dpony, and think again next year.

Sounds harsh, but 20+ ponies is way too much

DolomitesDonkey Wed 02-Jan-13 07:43:39

WTS.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 02-Jan-13 07:51:24

Eeep, don't want to sound like a nodding dog. Have thought a little bit about what I'd like to articulate. I'm not sure how many ponies you've tried recently or what the system has been, but if she's been trying a new pony every 2 weeks for an hour and at the end of the hour mummy says "no way", then I think you're going to inadvertently upset her confidence too.

I think sooner or later you're going to just have to bite the bullet and get on with it. Read a Thelwell book or 6 to get the picture. wink

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Thu 03-Jan-13 20:52:28

I hope I didn't offend Mirage with my post. That wasn't my intention.

Booboostoo Fri 18-Jan-13 17:45:00

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