Training Our Ponies Part 2

Hi everyone thanks for reading it’s been super busy over the last week with all the preparations for our flight to China!!

In my last blog we spoke about fitness, condition and handling. Today we will cover the second half of the training program all which you can use as you wish to help or inspire your own training programmes.

  • Fitness
  • Condition
  • Handling
  • Ride-ability
  • Health & medical
  • Desensetization

Ride- ability & Desensization

This a variable part of any horse or ponies training and a professional rider should be able to observe the requirements of a client and the purpose for which the horse or pony will be used and train the ride ability of them accordingly.

Horses for courses for our ponies they need to be suitable for petit Chinese children in which case they must be light in their aids. I am an adult and perhaps 2-3 times as strong as a child.

What can I do to help the ponies to be light well sometimes I use two fingers on the reins instead of my usual rein grip. I ride with soft boots and carry a schooling whip to sharpen the leg aids. I also ride badly some days deliberately loosing my balance having long reins or swinging my legs around. This falls into desensization as well, as its testing and dulling the ponies reactions to unexpected movements from the rider.

I have also put plastic sacks full of more plastic in the school randomly and turned the ponies out in there so as they become desensitized to something spooky and unusual in their environment.

Many day to day things also help to desensitized that you may not even think about. Grooming, bathing, tacking up & ruging up all desensitized them to touch. More extreme versions of this include bathing, farrier vet and dentist.

Putting the pony’s on the walker or in the school or stables when the very noisy stable vacuum is on, has helped to desensitize them to noise and machinery. Which will all help them to cope with the plane, loading and loud airport atmospheres.

I have also clipped them which is again a form of desensitization and being handled and trained to stand in the wash bays whilst cross tied is good practice for the cargo stalled containers which they will travel in.

Health & Medical

There are strict government procedures in place to protect the quarentine requirements of the countries which horses are being exported to. These varie from country to country. This will include a thorough investigation into all vaccines which must be correct throughout their history and up to date.

However, all horses about to embark on a long journey and particularly to less developed countries should have a full check up or vetting before starting the quarentine process.

It is also good practice to ensure that they have been worked well in advance of the journey and that they are recently shod in front if needed and have had a recent dental.

I would prefer not to have hind shoes to prevent overreaching or kick damage during transit. But this is personal preference.

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Thanks for reading