Saturday, August 8, 2015

Show your horse the world

Tonight I rode JJ up and down hills in the semi-dark, with a howling, biting southerly wind, and made him canter underneath big thrashing pine trees while other leaves blew across the ground at us. 

Yesterday I schooled him by the Pony Club club rooms while the local emergency services were there for a training exercise - ambulances and fire engines with their lights going, the helicopter flying in and people standing all around.

On Sunday we schooled next to a rugby tournament with plenty of yelling and whistles and hooters and speakers and crowds, and he was very patient with the small children who ran up and wanted to pat him, and the dogs that barked and lunged to the ends of their leashes at him. 


So when people say "I can't believe you ride your horse on the road" or "Wow he's so brave/bombproof", here's the thing. I have gone out of my way to train him so that he is that way! 


If there is a miniature horse convention at the measuring stand, or dog agility training, or a bicycle race with paletons of riders, or someone zorbing down the hill at the park, JJ gets to go and see it, and then gets ridden nearby so that he learns to a) see the world and b) still work despite what's going on around him. 


This is why he's brave, and why I can ride him on the road with buses and cars and motorbikes and cyclists all zooming past and he doesn't bat an eye. 

And don't get me started on the things I've taught him to jump over...

which is why fill doesn't bother him either in the jumping ring! 

Today we're off to our first show this's just a local schooling show but I can't wait to get him back in the ring and ready to roll!

1 comment:

  1. Love the photos!

    Indeed, 'quiet' horses are often that way because of consistent training, not just a great temperament! Love the photo in particular of jumping the bath!

    It's great as a horse owner/trainer to be able to introduce your horse to so many different environments and be rewarded with their calm manner as they come across something new!