School of Riding, Education for Horses




Ponies can have such a bad reputation. This is not a surprise: those miniature versions of horses are often very smart, but also difficult for an adult to ride because of their small size, making any sort of training difficult. However, if their role is to take young kids through their first steps in the saddle, it is best if ponies can understand what is expected of them clearly in order to give confidence to our young riders.

Ponies need training just the same than the big guys if not more: the fact that their job is going to be to teach young beginning clumsy riders, mean that they need to understand all the cues very well, and not be put off when those are given at the wrong time and meddled in an array of false cues (moving legs and shaking hands). The more clear understanding they have of what needs to be done, the more confident they are. And the more confident they are, the more patience they have when the cues given by their apprentice riders are tough and incomprehensible.

When getting a young pony, if the animal’s job will be to teach a young kid, realistically, it needs to receive a year or two of professional training, followed by a progressive switch into lesson work with increasingly greener riders. If the pony has a good head, it can be occasionally used with complete beginners during the training process, especially if the work is done on the lunge line. Having the animal in a facility where there is a constant supply of young riders with experience is an indispensable part of pony training. That is why I could devise a program especially suited for ponies:

1st part: full time professional training.

2nd part: some professional sessions, some done with a young rider on board, and possibly, the occasional use in a Kiddie lesson.

3rd part: the pony gets introduced to group lessons, still gets private sessions with a young experienced rider, and a couple of times each month with me to keep track of the progress and spot any confusion before they become hard to fix.

The amount of time needed in each stage will depend on the pony’s dispositions and age. For example, the first part might take only 1 month if the pony is older, has some experience, and mostly needs a tune up, but up to 12 months or more if we start a 3 year old that already needs to “unlearn” some bad habits.

Throughout this process, if the pony’s owner is old enough to ride, a lesson program could be devised as part of the pony’s training (no additional expense). If and when the pony is ready, it could be taken to Pony Club events where there is always some instruction by experienced teachers. Taking the pony to independent shows where my presence would be required is possible, if it can fit in my schedule and for an additional fee to be determined depending on location and duration of the event.


1st part (full time training): $1,000 per month,

2nd part (part time training, plus coaching of young rider’s work):                           $ 800 per month,

3rd part (occasional training, plus coaching of young rider’s work, plus use in group lessons):                                                                      $300 per month,

Does not include boarding.