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Spring 2018 £3.65 Issue 836

riding h liday


r e i p Hap

g n i k Hac orld o f go od, w he t y n o p ur yo o d Riding out can Here’s why . ky o o p s ’s he if y l a ci e esp

T

here are so many reasons why hacking is great for you and your pony. It’s super-fun, a fab way to improve his fitness and it gets him out into the big wide world. This not only keeps riding fresh and interesting for you both, but it means he’s experiencing lots of new things all the time, too. Seeing and learning about new things is a must for your pony because it’ll help him in everything he does, from dealing with speedy traffic to busy showgrounds. With a spooky pony it’s important you embrace new things rather than avoid them. He might find things spooky at first, but he’ll soon get used to them – having a pony who’s superchilled in every situation is the aim!

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What’s a spook?

When your pony spooks it means something’s caused him to have a fright. Different ponies react to this in different ways – some startle and stand still, whereas others will quickly move away (by jumping sideways or spinning) from whatever caused them to spook. It’s important to remember that because ponies are flight animals, which means they run from danger, it’s natural for them to occasionally spook. There are lots of ways you can make your pony less spooky and it’s a really important thing to work on, and knowing what to do if he does spook is a key riding skill, too.

It’s important to remember that it’s natural for him to occasionally spook Did you ? knolew ch to hear mu

ab Ponies are , although ou can and y n a e th r e bett lear, they’r is not as c t h en g v e si ir so e t, th vemen , tive to mo g si n in se th y ry n e a v or hear e se ’t n a g c if you ’s nothin mean there it doesn’t . there

Ponies are most likely to spook at things that... l they can hear but can’t see l move suddenly l they haven’t seen before l are different from when they last saw it

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JUMstPart J

Jumping well is all about skill, not the size of the fence. Here’s how to nail it... umping is great fun, but it can be tempting to make the fences higher and higher – it’s all about how big you can jump, right? Wrong! What’s more important is technique, and that you build on your jumping foundations gradually to make sure both you and your pony are happy and confident before moving up a level.

your technique

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too much, too soon Don’t feel pressured into jumping higher than you want to. Confidence takes lots of time to build, but can be lost very quickly – whether it’s yours or your pony’s. Jumping bigger than you’re ready for can result in an awkward jump, a refusal or a run out, which puts you in a more vulnerable position in the saddle and can worry your pony, too. Taking time to gradually build your jumping skills gives you the chance to develop your position and makes you a more experienced rider. It also allows you to gain trust in your fave pony and him to gain trust in you, which is invaluable when it comes to jumping confidence – you need to believe he’ll jump and he needs to trust that you won’t ask him to jump anything that’s not safe.

flat foundations

picture perfect It’s always tempting to make the fence higher than normal when it com es to getting a good photo. But it look s much better when you’re in a strong position and your pony’s jumping cleanly than a photo of you both not jumping your best over something bigger! Nail you r jumping technique over smaller fences and you’ll find you look picture-perfect eve ry time.

Don’t forget to think about your flatwork! A balanced canter with plenty of impulsion creates a strong jump – if your approach is unbalanced or rushed, it’ll be harder to meet the fence on the right stride and produce a clean, rounded jump. While you’re warming up, ride plenty of transitions, changes of rein and shapes in walk, trot and canter. You’ll soon find your pony’s much more responsive to your aids and in front of your leg, which helps when it comes to jumping, no matter what size the fences are.

Top tirpis the

Your instructo best person to turn to s for advice when it come of t igh he to increasing the exactly fences, as they’ll know are ny po ur yo d an u yo what d an g capable of jumpin when you’re ready to move up.

crossing it off Cross-poles are a great place to start when it comes to jumping well. Their shape guides you to the centre of the fence and they’re super-inviting, too. Plus, as the part of the fence you jump is lower than the sides, a deeper cross-pole encourages your pony to pick up his front legs more, so you’re improving his jump as well as yours!

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Safe travels Make sure your pony’s kitted out in all the correct travel gear when you hit the road

Tail guard

Ponies often lean back to balance themselves while travelling, so a tail guard or bandage should be used to protect his dock and tail from rubs. Some tail guards also come with tail bags attached – these help to keep his tail clean from muck stains and are particularly useful if your pony has a light-coloured tail!

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hether you’re travelling your pony in a trailer or box, for a long journey or a short one, it’s super-important that he wears the right kit to keep him comfortable and well-protected. While most journeys go without a problem, it’s always best to be prepared.

Travel boots

to help protect These are designed specifically scrapes, and your pony’s legs from knocks ies while pon er oth by and being stepped on gh, thick tou a from e mad y’re on the move. The nd the arou on material, often with extra protecti hoof area. they fit It’s super-important to make sure otherwise el, trav you re befo y ectl your pony corr it’s easy so , ped they can slip. The boots are sha they and leg, to see how they should fit his g. must be fastened so they’re snu

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Top tip

Some ponies find the feeling of travel boots on their legs unusual to begin with and might walk strangely at first. Walk him around the yard in the boots before you load him up, so he can get used to how they feel.


Cut out and keep

To rug or not to rug?

As well as making sure your pony’s kitted out, there are a few other things you’ll need to take with you. These include...

Whether or not to put a rug on your pony to travel depends on a number of factors, such as... l the outside temperature l if he’s clipped or not l whether he’s travelling with other ponies In the summer, it’s unlikely you’ll need to put a rug on your pony. In colder weather over autumn and winter, particularly if he’s clipped, he might benefit from a breathable fleece cooler, as this will keep him warm without overheating. Ponies generate lots of body heat, which means that when they’re in a small space, such as a lorry or trailer, it’s much warmer than the outside temperature. This is especial y true if you’re transporting more than one pony, as it’ll become even warmer inside.

a full haynet – this will keep your pony occupied while you’re on the move a bucket and water – vital if you end up stuck somewhere unexpected! Don’t forget to offer him water before and after the journey to keep him hydrated a fleece rug – although he might not need one to travel in, it’s a good idea to take one with you in case you’re waiting anywhere or the temperature drops a headcollar and leadrope – to keep him secure in the lorry or trailer your tack – you don’t want to get to a show and find out you’ve forgotten it! equine first-aid kit – to keep you covered in case he’s injured

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PONY magazine – Spring 2018  

Spring PONY magazine is out now! Inside, find out how to fix your canter problems, and jump with the technique of a pro. Have the best summ...

PONY magazine – Spring 2018  

Spring PONY magazine is out now! Inside, find out how to fix your canter problems, and jump with the technique of a pro. Have the best summ...

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