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How to help young DD become more capable with her pony?

7 replies

Backinthebox · 26/03/2012 21:36

This might sound like a daft question, but how do I get 4.8yo DD better at riding? She has her own pony, a very sweet Welsh A, and he is a gentle little ride. He is very amenable to her requests, but she is not very clear with what she is asking for. Before that we had an ancient, evil barely-mobile shitland who could not be trusted with a child alone but was an expert on a lead rein and the child could just sit there like an ornament, which was what DD did for a few years. Now we have the welshy, and he's younger and she wants to get going more, and I have no idea how you teach a child to ride. I'm leading her round the fields at home and giving her lots of guidance, and she comes out with me on my horse on a lead rein, but I learnt to ride 34 years ago and how you persuade a child to do things like rising trot are lost in the mists of time.

She is a member of the Pony Club, but they only have rallies once every month and if there is something like a cousin's birthday (like this month) the same day that's a month lost. Is 4 too young for a formal instructor, and should I just keep pottering around with her? I know there are lots of people here who's children have managed to learn how to do rising trot, so there must be some way of getting a child to do it!

Personally I'd be happy to keep letting her potter around, but the recent increase in whining requests to be let off the lead rein and jump things are beginning to send me quite mad!

OP posts:
Mama1980 · 26/03/2012 21:41

Hi my son is 4.3 and has just started having lessons at the local stable, they don't usually take them until they are 5 but he has a pony and has been going there forever. And has been nagging to be allowed to ride off lead, learn to trot etc forever too! So now he is having 30 minute lessons with a formal instructor who is teaching him to control his pony staring right with the basics. So far he has been let off lead once- very closely supervised I might add and he's loving it. He was just ready for the next stage.maybe lessons are worth considering if your daughter is at a similar stage? Smile

Mirage · 26/03/2012 23:19

Mine both had lessons at 4 and never went on a lead rein at all.We bought dpony when they were 6 and 7 and they have a lesson at home once a week.We did a bit of lunging,round the world,touch toes ect,but we mostly hack,DD2 at 6 is cantering and jumping the same jumps her older sister does.

Can you take her and the pony for a lesson anywhere or get an instructor to come out to you? I find that the dds don't listen to me,but will to other people.We have the chief instructor from the PC come to teach and she is really good with them.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 26/03/2012 23:56

If the pony is safe, maybe you could put them in a confined area and then just let her off lead? If the pony is a welshie, it's likely to just eat! We used to build obstacle courses. Weave poles, do a 360 round the milk crate, stop in the box made of jump poles, dismount, mount again, round the world, (with someone to hold the pony). We used to run Gymnkhana games for dd and DS.
If the pony will follow you, you could play follow the leader. It's great for making the kids think they are steering!
Otherwise, just miles in the saddle are what is needed. It took dd ages to get the hang of the finer points of steering and stuff, but we have always had slightly odd, annoying ponies.

Treblesallround · 27/03/2012 09:57

I agree with Saggy; miles in the saddle, lots of games, and off lead rein in a small confined area. It might be worth getting an instructor out (PC is a good place to find one) and see if she's ready. If not you can just leave it a bit longer. I think at her age though your dd just needs to have fun with her pony.

Backinthebox · 27/03/2012 10:19

So keep on what I'm doing then? She is just starting to hack out with me once a week and we are taking her in our paddock to play about twice a week. We are in the process of building a 20m round pen for me to lunge in in winter, but I think that will make a great confined area for her to play in. I will just have to wear ear plugs when I get the 'I want to jump big fences/gallop/go off the lead rein' whine!

OP posts:
Treblesallround · 27/03/2012 13:00

Yep, ear plugs it is!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 27/03/2012 17:32

Can you build some milk crate and cross poles jumps and lunge them round? You can make little cross jumps. Drain Pipe makes a nice jump pole and are cheap and cheerful! We fished lots of ours out of random skips! Smile

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