Hi. We recently bought a Nooitgedacht pony. He is currently around 6 years old. The problem we are experiencing at the moment is napping. My daughter is the one riding him, she is still very young (10 years) and small. He will go well for about 20 min and then just naps. She can do whatever she wants, he will just stand there. When someone else rides him, he doesn't do it. I know we must make the ride interesting for him and give him something to look forward to in the ride. But my question is: WHAT can we do to make the ride more interesting and not boring him? I'm looking forward to your reply. Regards, Reinette Kirsten
Hi Reinette, This is a very common problem encountered and ponies do have a tendency to be almost more strong-willed than some of the little people who sit on their backs! To make rides interesting, I would suggest things like building a mini obstacle course with things like bending poles, trotting poles, bags and so on for the pair to negotiate. Throwing balls into buckets is fun too. Use your creativity and come up with some safe but different challenges for them to do. If the pony is safe out, I would have her go out at least once or twice a week as this will vary the type of work the pony is doing. Teach her to lunge him, and if she is confident doing that, poles can be introduced to make it more challenging. Build a small jumping lane for the pony if he is up to it and you know what you are doing. I would also have her ride him for say, 15min and before he naps, stop. Gradually try to lengthen the period before he naps. Also, I would consider enlisting the help of a qualified professional, as your daughter will benefit from the confidence it will give her of having someone help her from the ground and also helping her plan her rides to include the ideas above. It sounds like she needs to learn to be a little more insistent and confident, so praise her often and help her plan her riding time to prevent the situation from occuring in the first place. Good luck!