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Ponderings of an Equestrian Professional

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How to train your Human. Part 1. Ponies work for treats.

First of all, for those of you who don't know me, a quick introduction.

I am Midge (#lovetheMidge), a 19 year old, bay, 12.3hh New Forest cross pony. I have trained many small humans over the years and now I am going to share some tips with others following in my Hoof prints.

You can follow me on Twitter @midgenfx

Ponies work for treats.

Now, many adult humans will say feeding ponies treats is bad & teaches us to bite. This issue causes much discussion amongst human 'pony trainers', but my friends , the truth is ponies do work for treats!

If the human wants us to do something for them, they have to learn that there must be something in it for us. 😊 Now I will be honest, a treat does not actually have to be food, sorry to shock you, but it doesn't. A good scratch on that spot you can't reach properly is a type of treat.

When your small person is boring you by repeating an activity you have performed correctly they need to learn that stopping is a treat. 

This lesson is taught by giving them a boost in what I like to call an 'unplanned dismount', adult humans may call it a fall. At first this should be a shoulder 'jink' that causes them to roll gently down your shoulder and land on the floor with no damage. If you succeed with this you should stand still beside them, preferably looking down at them with a concerned expression. 😉

If they continue to ask for unnecessary repetitions the ejection may need to become more forcefully. I'm sure there is no need for me to explain further. 

While your small human is performing useful tasks such as grooming and taking you to and from your field it is a good idea to encourage the production of edible treats. Carrot, apples, white crunchy mints, with or without a hole, all work for me.

I teach my humans that the presence of an edible treat about there person makes it very likely that I will meet them at the gate to come in. 

Repeated lack of treats at this time means they have to come and get me. I find they are generally very quick to learn this.

My hooves are a little tired so I'm going to sign off now. 

Back soon.

Midge xxx 😊

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