PONY Magazine – March 2021

Page 1



tthis his eesme sme TRIES ENDURANCE

win! A bridle,

This Esme keyring

Revamp your


in 2021 ALL ABOUT


rug & headcollar


pony breed

Awesome matchy-matchy



best pony owner EVER!

0 3

Be the

13 January – 9 February 2021


770032 425980



HAVE THE perfect

Mar 2021 £3.99 Issue 874


Scales of Training

Point of

contact How to ride your pony on a perfect contact


iding your pony on a contact is the third step in the sales of training. There are lots of reasons why you should do it, and having the perfect rein contact isn’t just about making him look pretty! It happens when he’s lifting up through his back, pushing with his hindlegs and stays relaxed so his head drops naturally. We’re going to let you know loads of tips about how you can teach your pony to work on a contact, and why it’s so important!

Collection Straightness Impulsion

For your pony to s to stay true contact, he need supple, be d in a good rhythm an two st pa e th t too. Check ou rn lea to g ma NY PO issues of is th ve hie ac to w ho t abou ales of with the first two sc ! ng traini

Contact Suppleness Rhythm

The scales of traininGg 14

PONY magazine

p Top Tiwo rk on a

get connected the should ride your pony on a contact is so The main reason you flow through his body. energy that comes from his hindlegs can working correctly, and ected conn is That way, every part of him mouth. You can his to back his gh throu rs, from his hindquarte his sides with ezing sque create the energy in his hindquarters by n with his ectio conn a ing your legs, at the same time as creat reins should Your . reins the on feel of mouth by having a little bit to your elbows, so you run in a straight line from your pony’s bit him. have a smooth line of communication with

Back to basics

It’s super-important to remember that riding on a contact isn’t just about your pony arching his neck. Encouraging him to lift up through his back, rather than dipping it down, is really good for his physical health, as he’ll able to carry your weight better. It’ll also help him build up all the correct muscles in his body so he becomes fitter and stronger.

Correct: This pony is engaged through his back so his head naturally drops. Working like this, his muscles will become stronger, so he can easily carry his rider.

did you know?

When your pony rounds his back, the vertebrae in his spine move further apart. This is really good for him, because it stops them rubbing together and causing friction.

Loosey goosey

The first step to teaching your pony to work on a contact is to ride him long and low. This is where you ask him to lower his neck down towards the ground, and stretch his nose out and away from him. It’s a great way to stretch out his back muscles, and teach him how to engage them. Then, when you ask him to work on a shorter contact later on, his muscles will be strong enough to do it properly. Ask your pony for a long and low contact by... • lengthening your reins and widening your hands • squeezing the reins a little with your fingers to encourage him to soften to the bit • wrapping your legs around his sides to keep him moving forward • looking up and ahead so he doesn’t lose balance and fall onto his forehand

Incorrect: Even though his neck looks arched, this pony is in a fake outline. His back’s dipped so he isn’t using his muscles correctly and he won’t be as flexible when you ask him to bend left or right.

With a young horse, or one who’s never been asked to work on a contact before, it can take months of long and low stretching before his muscles have built up the strength he’ll need for a shorter contact. Be patient and don’t rush things, as riding him like this first will mean he’ll have the solid foundations in place to work correctly in the future.

Top tip

It can take tim e to build up all the muscles your pony need s to stay in a consistent cont act. So, start by asking for hi m to work on a contact in short bursts, and build it up over time.

WARDS ONWARDS AND UP g lished enough in lon

tab Once your pony’s es ghtly n start to ask for a sli ca u yo and low work, en his wh is is Th ct. nta ional co shorter, more tradit the is d o to the ground, an head is at a 90 angle t. tes ge ssa l need for a dre type of contact you’l by s thi ce for u don’t It’s important that yo a t will never achieve tha as , ns rei the pulling on e us ca o long term. It may als true contact in the his s an me ich overbent, wh your pony to become ards his chest. tow far too head curls in her make sure all the ot Instead, you need to ctly, rre co body are working parts of your pony’s for k as To . ould come easily then the contact sh long the as y wa me tly the sa this, ride him in exac poll his so t shorten your reins and low contact, bu hest point. is the now at the hig

PONY magazine


Hat cams can affect the performance of your riding hat.

this me estries ENDURANCE

Check out some awesome info about endurance riding with This Esme


’m really lucky that I’ve been able to try loads of different equestrian sports, but I was especially excited to have a go at endurance. I’ve never done it before and really wanted to find out more, so when Team GB rider Beth Langley invited me to join her on a training ride it was a definite yes! Here’s how I got on...

All about Beth

I jumped at the chance to visit Beth and her enduranc e horses.

Endurance – the lowdown Endurance rider Be th Langle


Beth’s been involved in endurance riding since she was a child. She’s competed for Wales and Team GB, and won a team bronze medal on Tissy at the 2012 European Endurance Champs.


PONY magazine

If you want to spend quality time with your fave pony and create an epic partnership with him, you should really consider giving endurance a go! It’s just like going for a super-long hack, but you’re aiming to complete the distance within a set time. Also, you must finish with a sound, healthy horse – if he’s goes lame on the ride you’ll be eliminated. The great thing about endurance is anyone can have a go, and you can get started by doing fun rides. If you love it, the next step is to join Endurance GB and enter a competitive ride, which start at 16km. You can try endurance through the Pony Club, too!

did you know? Any horse or pony can do endurance, and Beth started out on an 11hh Welsh Pony!

did you know? Tissy and Beth met The Queen when they were presented with a prize at Windsor Horse Show!

Meet and greet There’s just something about me and grey horses, and I was over the moon when Beth told me I would be riding her grey Arab, Tissy! At just 14hh, this mare’s a pocket rocket and, even though she’s 22, Tissy’s showing no signs of slowing down. Beth was joining me on her young horse Qantas, who’s six and still in training. He’s not done an endurance comp yet, but Beth has high hopes for him in the future.

did you know? One of my equines has done endurance before! Mickey competed in Pony Club endurance with his previous owner.

Another This Esme challenge, another grey horse to ri de!

Health check In endurance, the health of the horses is super-important, and they’re checked by a vet before and after a ride. Sometimes they’ll be vetted during the ride, too! The vet will start by listening Practising the trot-up. to the horse’s heart rate, which must be under 64 beats per minute (bpm). They’ll also check his muscle tone and respiratory rate, and watch him being trotted up to make sure he’s not stiff or lame. To find out if a horse is hydrated, they’ll carry out a pinch test, which is where they lift up a small area of skin on his neck between their thumb and finger. It should spring back to being flat straightaway – if it takes more than a couple of seconds, the horse isn’t hydrated enough and shouldn’t compete.

PONY magazine


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.