Training plans for ponies.....

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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I now have 3 in work and am trying to be a bit more organised about when/how to ride each one. So I was hoping for advice on each...

Cally: Only 4, still very green. Aims are to establish the basics in the school - ie bend, straightness, balance; build up her top-line and increase her confidence jumping and hacking. Currently she is schooled once or twice a week and jumped about once a fortnight by me. Is also ridden in a lesson once a week by one of the girls. We do a dressage test once a month. Hacking has been limited by darkness and weather. I would like to hack her once a week too and increase her jumping a little.

Xavier: Very inexperienced and occasionally quite spooky at times. Aims are to keep riding him in the school in all weathers and with all sorts of distractions to continue encouraging him to relax and gain confidence. Plus to start expanding his horizons with hacking, going out in the trailer. Currently schooled 1-2 times a week by me and ridden in a lesson by one of the girls. Usually jumps once a week as part of lesson.

Oscar: Very fit and well schooled as was a competition pony. Main aim is to maintain his fitness and schooling. Needs riding most days - will be quite hyper for a while when ridden after a break of more than 2 days. Much better behaved when ridden daily. Girls are riding him 2-3 times each (same session) and I school or hack out about 3 times a week. Not in lessons at the moment.

So already I am riding at least 7 times a week, most weeks! And I still feel like Cally and Xavier aren;t really worked much at all.....

So how would you structure each week? Oscar and Xav are in at night so I currently ride them early in the morning on 2 mornings a week and then turn them out. I can ride them any morning really as I can just get up early. Then the girls ride Oscar again after school. Cally is ridden on a Monday as that is my day off and then the weekend or sometimes in the evenings under lights.

What should be key sessions each week for each pony? Or do I not need to school every pony every week? If I had to focus on just 1 or 2 ponies, who has the greater needs? Cally coz she's young and needs educating, Xaz because he's stressy and needs regular exposure or Oscar coz he's fit and needs exercise to keep him sane and happy! I don't think just leaving Oscar to the girls is appropriate: he needs proper schooling and they need to build up their confidence gradually. Last thing they need is to leave it a few days then have a difficult time with him because he is over-fresh, and they just don't have the time to ride every day due to other commitments.

I did suggest I turn Cally away for the winter, and let her absorb the last 6 months of training since being backed but my RI said that would be a real shame as she is going so well and shows no sign of needing a break just now.

Any advice?
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I think if it were me, perhaps dont turn cally away but reduce the frequency of work, I only say that because I think by doing daily work you can create a pony, like you say oscar is, who then doesn't cope without work and that doesn't suit me. I like something I can leave for a week and get on and it be just the same. I'm working ed about 4 times a week at the moment, he is destined to be a young lads horse so learning to cope with 2 or 3 days off and behave after is part of his education in my eyes.
 
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Jessey

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Callys, sorry for the confusion. I think you are right to keep oscar working and schooled by you also, he's the twins pony and ensuring he is calm and suitable for them to enjoy is priority for now :)
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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So maybe just twice a week max for Cally? Pretty much anything I do with her is educational as it's all new, so I guess I can mix up flatwork, jumping and hacking?
 

Jessey

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I agree each session is very valuable at this point, only doing 2 doesn't mean you cant school/jump/do groundwork for a bit then cool down with a hack in one so that her education continues to be varied :) I also like them to learn some days they might be asked to work twice so that if you go to a show and do more than one class they don't get grumpy the 2nd time you tack them up :) all that also makes it easier when you are juggling more than one in work (and life) and it becomes less essential to do them all every day
 

Kite_Rider

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May 18, 2009
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I wouldn't have a clue but you have my respect - I couldn't even begin to imagine working three, one is hard enough to keep ticking over.
 
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