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RE: Re:next ride season...Ihope
From: superpat [SMTP:email@example.com]
Being able to "pony" them on trail rides with experienced horses has proven to be extremely comforting and reassuring to them. I am fortunate to have trails where I feel reasonably safe letting them just trot along behind with only their halters on.. . I have gone on group rides where someone has brought along a "baby" and things have gone quite smoothly.
Any thoughts on this????
[Karen Sullivan] Actually, I do it all the time, along with another friend.We both agree to deal with each other's youngsters and the consequences. We also live near trails where there is no access to traffic and it seems safe.We also use trails where there are not likely to be other riders; take dogs that run around and through the bush.
I do believe there is a definate difference between ponying a horse and letting it follow free. If ponied, it really only learns to go the pace of the pony horse, and I have had many that balked at streams or bad footing. Don't get me wrong, it IS important that they learn to pony nicely, but they learn far more if they are loose. They have to make their own decisions about where to cross water and to put their feet-In my opinion it builds a lot more confidence.
By the time they are ready to ride; they are relaxed and confident on the trail, a bit more fit, and very important, much better balanced over uneven terrain.
Since this is something you may be doing with a youngster, the obvious
concerns about not over-doing it with speed or miles apply!.
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