|This is Jonny (red) and Elvis (black).|
|This is Elvis Presley just after we brought him home. He is so cute!|
When we got to the barn we got the ponies out and lunged them for about five minutes. Then we tied them up and brushed their whole body to get them used to all the different bushes... They liked THAT part! Then, Mom and I went out into the barnyard and started the real training with me just leaning over their backs. Once they were used to that, I started swinging my leg over and resting it on their backs. Now came the scary part! Mom held Elvis first and I got up (down really) and sat on his back only getting off if he stopped moving. Surprisingly he was very good, so we decided to take it to the next level. WALKING!! I was really scared!! At first he didn't want to go but then he took a few steps and decided to stop, so I got off to reward him for the good behavior. Once I was back on, mom led him several steps, then turned around and he went into a little buck. I rode it and then slipped to one side, but I landed on my feet. Eventually, Mom was able to lead Elvis in a circle or two without any bad behavior, so we moved on to Jonny.
|This is Jonny Cash! Like the names!?|
Jonny has always been a little on the rambunctious side so I was a little afraid of what he might do. But to my great pleasure, he is a little smaller than Elvis so he was not able to buck or rear! The only thing he could do to try and get me off was when ever we turned he would speed up and do a sharper turn, but none of these could get me off. Then, when he realized he couldn't get me off, he decided to try and get Mom! When ever we walked off he would try to bite Mom's hand and/or the lead rope. Silly pony! Eventually both ponies gave up and were obedient.
|Elvis and Jonny in their pen.|
The next step in their training was the saddle blanket and saddle. First we took both ponies, one with Mom and one with me, and desensitized them with the blanket. Then, they had to walk around with it on their back, on their head, and, since they were so little, from their ears to their hindquarters. Next came the saddle. Neither of them cared, since it only weighs a couple pounds. Once they could walk around with the cinch slightly tied around their bellies we stopped and let them go back into their pen. We are definitely going to continue training with the ponies. Soon we will be letting little kids ride them around at our petting zoos!