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Fw: Re: ponying & conditioning

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Susan Garlinghouse" <>
> >
> > Having said that, however, keep in mind that a ponied horse is going to
> take
> > the path of least resistance and isn't necessarily going to engage and
> drive
> > from the hindend properly, may not stretch his topline as he should,
> change
> > leads on a regular basis and all that other stuff a rider is supposed to
> > keep him honest about
> Not that I would dare argue with Susan,
> but on the postive........the horse may be able to more in a more natural,
> comfortable frame, than a rider who interferes with their mouth or tries
> keep them in what they think is a good frame.
> Keep in mind, I am a big fan of ponying and turning loose.  What I see is
> that they learn to really put their heads out and down when moving out at
> the walk, and they learn to carry themselves better by the mistakes they
> make.  Probably  our worse case is the horse my daughter rides, who is 9
> now, and started on the trail at age 7......there is still stuff she
> figured out, that we need to work on (especially going downhill). Her
> now age 4 and a half, with a year and half doing hills loose, handles
> herself much better!  What did help the 9 year old the most, after riding
> her out several months; was turning her loose on some long rides to figure
> out some of this out herself.
> With the new Anglo Arab.........this is my worst-case for riding on the
> trail-an energetic, young, strong horse with 2 months pro arena training
> not much else.  I find that is almost a recipe for disaster.  Just in the
> weeks I have been taking her out on walking rides, both loose, and being
> ponied, it has made a difference.  But, I sure cannot see riding her yet
> the trail!  She is just not trail-wise yet, has not seen enough, and not
> nearly surefooted or balanced enough.
> My plan is to keep taking her out to be exposed and legged
> arena lessons when she has already expended excess energy, and perhaps
> trail riding later in the year.
> My yearling (age 18 mos), has been on the trail since age 6 mos.  She is
> more comfortable and laid-back than any of them.......THAT is the horse I
> can safely (hopefully) ride on the trail as a youngster...she will already
> be relatively fit, balanced, surefooted and bombproof!
> So, I think it is a great thing, and wished more people did it!  Sure is
> hard to find young horses that have been anywhere or done anything.
> Susan, don't you think that most horses, left to themselves, will carry
> themselves correctly, and that most problem come from riders on their
> Karen

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