Yes but...



I hear this all the time. "yes, but you have __________" and insert whatever I may have that others don't have. Mostly it has to do with training and my living situation.


No matter what, you are going to hear excuses from those that don't want to put the time in to train their pony. Yes I live in wide open country and though that is wonderful for me it doesn't mean that my ponies automatically are calmer than ones that live in trees, subdivisions, boarding barns, etc.


Sky came from my mom's place that is situated in a subdivision with lots of trees, tall fences, neighbor hood dogs, other horses and cows. But everything is close in. Here you can see for literally miles and miles. It took her almost a year to settle in living here. Not only can you see for miles but the WIND blows all the time. It blows the sage bushes and tears other bushes loose so they can blow down the road directly at you when you are out driving. It blows plastic bags across the road in front of you or feed bags get stuck on the barb wire fences and then flap and flap. Sky was deeply unsettled to be able to see so far. She was incredibly spooky for that first year. We took things slow.


Though I do have wide open spaces this does not mean that my ponies are automatically easier to train! Nor does it mean that we don't have our problems. We still do. One thing I HATE to see when I'm out driving Zorro is a huge black garbage bag stuck on a fence. Because if there is one thing I know, it's NOT going to STAY stuck. LOL! I can't count the number of times one of those suckers as come loose and blown directly at us down the middle of the road. Of course Zorro is sure the hounds of hell have been unleashed and they are coming to kill him and it's all I can do to keep him on the road, rubber down. And of course because I live in wide open spaces I can see the darn garbage bag for at least a mile before it finally comes loose to attack. It just never fails.


I often hear of people saying they can't start their training because they don't have a round pen. This is one of my favorite excuses. Because I don't have a round pen either. LOL! And yet I have started and trained several ponies here at my place. And I started my young horse without a round pen. We did get one after moving up here, when I had my big horse, and I found I never used it, so I sold it! So no, you don't need a round pen to train your pony. I started Zorro at liberty in the dry lot. Then when I built my pony track I kept up his training. The track did make things a little easier because it was narrow and at some places on it there was only one way to move and that was forward, but if I didn't have the track I would have continued his training in the dry lot, or in the field, or in my driveway.


If you don't have boots for your pony then train it in your pasture. If you don't have a spot that isn't slippery then do some simple training in your pony's stall or shelter. If you don't even have that you don't have to make your pony move to get some training done. Use that time to work on being really awesome at having his feet picked up or learning to move away from pressure one tiny step at a time. You can work on loading and unloading in the trailer on yucky days. If you don't have a trailer you can practice stepping on a piece of wood. There is always a way you can work on the little things with your pony. Because it's the little things that turn into the big things.


Just know if you are going to message me and say yes, but... I will have an idea of what you can do in your situation! And you probably won't like my answer. Because it will never be, "Oh, you're right. You don't need to train your pony."

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© 2023 by The Essential Horse. Mindy Schroder.