Quinlyn was 20 months to 21 months when we took this footage. She will be 2 on July 3, 2013. Quinlyn started holding a dressage whip at 3 months and was effectively using a flag to cue horses from a front carrier around 12 months. She has been leading ponies since she could walk and took a big step up in her skills at 20 months. Quinlyn is the daughter of horse trainers, Kali and Les Kiger. www.PonyPros.net and www.Equuality.com
This week, like every week at Pony Pros, our students picked up some SERIOUS skills and had some SERIOUS fun!
Bella is being ridden by Marie, who is a 6th grader. This is her second time riding Bella and Bella’s first ever day jumping. Aren’t they doing great? Bella will be 6 years old this July. She is a 13’3h Arabian/QH mare with wonderful ground manners and a sunny disposition. Bella is for sale to a loving home.
Little Guy progressed to cantering the barrels his third day jumping and his first ever day over the barrels! Way to go, LG! He also got 2 flying lead changes over a strategically placed pole. This guy is such a gentle horse. He’s a real pleaser and so easy at all 3 gaits. It’s hard to find a horse that is gentle, athletic, and good on the arena and trails! LG is for sale to a loving home. He would do great in Pony Club or as a family horse. We are riding him treeless and bitless but he also goes treed and bitted. The rider in the video is Katelynn, age 16. He is also ridden by young kids and brand new riders in lessons.
Iris is 7 years old and in first grade. She is riding Evan for an online leadline Working Equitation show with 2 classes, Dressage and Ease of Handling. Isn’t she doing great?
Working Equitation is an international sport. Here is the rider that made me want to share this sport with my students. Check out how fast an agile this horse is!
The obstacles really make the kids feel like they are doing something cool and adds a greater degree of difficulty to the riding. It takes 30-45 minutes to set up all the obstacles for the Ease of Handling pattern and a long time to put them all away. We go to all that trouble because it is so rewarding to have a practical application for the skills you are working on.
Filming for the dressage pattern is a lot of work, too! It’s hard to run in the deep footing of the arena and to keep the pony on track for the rider. It takes about 4 minutes of running non-stop. If you mess up in the middle of the pattern, you have to start all over again and so you usually end up doing a lot of running! The dressage pattern is good for the kids because they get to learn the correct shapes of the arena figures and to practice etiquette and decorum. Dressage gets kids to focus and to try to bring a greater degree of excellence to their riding.
To get ready for a show, we read the patterns for the classes online and memorize them. We often have to draw the pattern several times and run it by ourselves, without the kids or horses, in order to get ready. Then we practice the patterns with the kids in lesson and if we are lucky, take a video the same day. Then we go home and import the videos, edit them, export them, and upload them to the horse show site. Then we wait for 7 days before the results are in, and a month before the ribbons are delivered. If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is! But it is worth it to see how happy the kids are when they get their ribbons. The older girls also have a chance to win some prize money for helping. Plus it is a great opportunity to send videos of the kids’ riding home so parents can share with extended family. It also helps to document the student’s progress so they can how they are improving.
Compare these videos to Iris’ 2/9/13 videos.
Working Equitation is one of the few horse sports that has classes for kids that are more than walking in circles. We are excited to see this sport grow and are glad to be a part of making that happen. We think we have some of the best little leadline Working Eq riders around!
This is Paris’ first time jumping at PonyPros. She is being ridden by Morgan, age 16. Paris is 16’1h and 10 years old. She is being ridden treeless and bitless. She is for sale to gentle a natural horsemanship home.
Today was Paris’ first time jumping at PonyPros. She has a smooth, slow canter and is really stretching her topline nicely at the trot. She landed in the canter well after each jump. She takes her leads very easily. It was great to see how far she has come! I think she is loving living with our mini ponies and getting ridden treeless and bitless. She really started standing out with her trick training about a month and a half ago and it’s great to see her showing the same playfulness and dedication under saddle.
Wednesdays are very busy at the barn! This was my first day back teaching since our long vacation. It was great day where I got to teach an intermediate, beginner, and advanced lesson. It’s fun to do all 3 in one day.
At 2:30 I helped Emily ground drive Sparkle. First time in the harness. We didn’t do the crupper yet but we will soon. He did a good job but definitely needs more experience being in a busy arena. He’s always out when it is quiet. Little ponies often find a busy arena with big horses intimidating. I’ll start turning him out with some of the other ponies and then he’ll make some friends and learn he can hold his own.
At 3:30 I helped Deegan learn to post. He was very excited and wanted to show his mom how he could go “up and down up and down” when she came into the arena. He said he had been a little bored in lessons so I told him next time he’ll ride Zilla and we’ll do some jumping! Enough with the steering stuff already, a boy just wants to GO!
When 4:30 rolled around I was utterly unprepared and had to have Andrea and Zoey tack Coral and Bella up so that I could lead the ride and Julie, our guest trainer from Belgium, could ride along. Of course Emma and Morgan could not resist going to so poor Bella and Little Guy had to get tacked up in a barn with 8 other horses, which some horses would find totally overwhelming, but these two did ok! After thirty minutes of finding lost stirrup bands, switching girths around, and getting the right headstalls with the right horse, we were finally on our way.
It was a beautiful sunset ride through the woods with snorting horses and laughing kids. It was quite chilly – probably only 26 degrees – but we didn’t let that get us down. We rode only at a walk this time, but will be working our way up to trotting and cantering for endurance practice. Coral led the way – a mighty 12’3 hands with me aboard. Emma rode Little Guy and continued the arena work they’d been doing on relaxing his topline. Julie rode Bella, who showed her LBE spirit and headed straight for the front of the band. The ride was spook free despite frisky horses and even friskier kids. Bella and LG showed us how amazing they can be even despite poor organization and high expectations!
To our general befuddlement, four horses pooped in the same spot on the road on the ride out. After being reproached by the neighbor, I sent Les out with the truck and a muck bucket and broom to clean the road while we untacked. What a nice guy! The kids helped out by mucking the arena in return.