Did you read Lorraine’s brilliant feature in August PONY Mag, about riding a different pony on holiday? Here are some more ideas to help you ride a new pony, and get the most out a your holiday ride!
1. When you first mount, remember everything will seem strange (how exciting!). From the reins, to the saddle, to the pony’s neck and mane in front of you. It won’t be anything like the pony you are used to riding so embrace that change!
2. Make sure you are comfortable in the saddle. Don’t make do, for example, with stirrups which seem too long. If you don’t know how to alter them, ask someone at the riding school to help you until you are sure you are happy and will be able to rise to the trot in comfort.
3. Think of how you ride your usual pony. Is he lazy? Do you have to shout a bit with your aids? Your holiday pony may not be, so always ask gently with your aids to begin with. If the pony ignores you, you can increase the pressure, but you don’t want to wake a lively pony up so much, he whizzes off from the word go!
4. Ask the staff about the pony and the others on your ride. You will want to know his name, but how about whether he likes to go first or last, or whether he hates any of the other ponies (so you don’t get too close to them)? Does he kick? Do any of the other ponies kick? (Again, you can avoid them.) Any information can be useful.