Jack and Paula Curtis


"Helping People Understand Horses"

Ponying

For those of you unfamiliar with this term, it is used to describe doing  ground exercises with one horse while riding another.   This type of work is excellent for all horses, from young horses just starting their training to older horses that need conditioning. 

For the horse that may not have had a human on its back it familiarizes him with a human above him directing his movements. 

For the older horse it conditions his legs and his back in preparation for strenuous riding and competition. 

Most of the ponying work is done out on the trail and in fields utilizing the natural terrain to condition the horses body and mind.  Hills of different grades help the horse learn to properly balance himself.  When  a horse becomes very good at being ponied we will even pony it over fences, allowing it to negotiate a jump without the interference of a rider. (although we will pony horses with riders)

For conditioning ponying will focus on long slow distance work that is fundamental to any training/conditioning program.  Long slow distance work is done primarily at the walk an the trot with some slow cantering, to condition the horses cardiovascular and metabolic systems.  By properly conditioning the horses in this way you help insure their future soundness.

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