I love teaching children with their ponies, they bring their own challenges that can make it so rewarding. Confidence is key, and once a child feels in control of what they are doing, whether that’s their pony or what’s expected of them during their session, confidence blossoms.
Ponies are another challenge…. A good first pony, or first ridden is almost literally worth its weight in gold. I find that keeping the ponies going forward in a good structured lesson plan, with routines and exercises, plenty of trotting on cold wet days and young riders constantly learning how to ‘train’ their ponies keeps them more obliging to their young owners.
And then there’s a bit of imagination……The children I’ve taught in over a 30 year career never cease to amaze me. We keep correct distances with pretend ponies, we’ve negotiated wobbly bridges over shark infested swamps, we’ve been soldiers securing a fort and now finally we’ve got some crocodile poles.
I always train any rider beginning to jump to always approach the centre of an obstacle, lessening the chance of the horse to run out. For a while I’ve been asking the children to pretend that poles are crocodiles. Jump the middle and all is good, however if if you tap the tail or head end you make wake the crocodile up!
So local artist and grandmother to two of my regular clients has helped me out my decorating two jump poles for me. Here’s a big thank you to Granny Woodcock , I’m sure you’ll all agree that they look amazing and will ensure many more young riders jump the middle, including her granddaughters Eleanor and Harriet.