Friday, September 18, 2009

Training Your Pony

So you have dressed yourself, your pony, obtained a nice riding crop or buggy whip - perhaps even obtained the steering HUD to direct your pony.

What now?

I would advise the training circle, or whip circle as it is also known, as a good place to start.

The reins are hitched to a pole in the center of the circle and given about 10 meters of leeway. This should allow the pony to stand on the circular path around the circle.

The idea is the trainer stands in the center, and using the whip commands, trains the pony to respond to the audible signals, Rather than voice commands. This is in preparation for pulling a cart.

The Xcite! buggy whip comes with the whip commands on it - otherwise a steering HUD is your best aid here as a trainer.

The pony starts on a mark on the circular track if there is one, otherwise at any point, and faces the trainer.

At this point the trainer should make use of the whip commands. 1 crack of the whip in the air, signals the pony to go. 2 cracks of the whip is to stop. 3 is turn left and 4 right.

Some use 5 cracks of the whip to tell the pony the training session is over and to come to the center of the circle.

To start the pony off, while they are still facing the trainer, a left or right turn command is given. Followed by the go command.

Randomly, the trainer then gets the pony to turn left or right, stop and go on command.

Invariably this may well turn into the trainer trying to trick the pony into stopping, then go without a turn. Or to stop, then turn left, then right, then go then stop and so on.

To avoid stressing the pony, encouragement should be given, and sessions kept short but frequent.

And once your pony is confident here, it is then a simple matter to hitch them to a cart, and try the commands out on the road.

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