PonyPros Training

"[M]y inability to apply the aids strongly has been a great lesson to me...The rider must reduce his actions to the very minimum and leave the horse the greatest possible freedom in his." - Beudant

The way we train involves an amalgamation of methods gleaned from previous horseback riding instructors and methods developed by researching the work of world-renown trainers like Anja Beran, Philippe Karl, Bent Branderup, Craig Stevens, Walter Zettl, John Lyons, Karen Pryor, and Parelli. We love all riding disciplines, from Reining to Dressage. Our main focus is not on a specific training regime or riding discipline, but on finding the method that is simplest for each individual horse to understand and causes the horse excited to go come play each day. Everything we do is centered around trying to have fun with the horse and trying to cause the horse to want to give us its all.

Now, well-trained horses take a long time to develop and are special horses to begin with. Sometimes what it would take to cause a horse do all these things would be more than what is fair to ask. That said, the list to the right is what we seek to have in our horses, and we have these values in mind every time we handle a horse.

To see some of our kids and ponies in action, please check out our YouTube channels. We have posted over 200 videos, but since the birth of our daughter, Quinlyn, Kali has had very little time to make videos. The the Equuality channel has more current training ideas, though still less current than our online course. The PonyPros channel has many wonderful inspirational videos that show the type of relationship we try to create between our students and ponies.

To learn about how we train, you'll have to come see us in person or take one of our online courses. We do so much in one day that you can't show it in a video!

The PonyPros feel that a "well-trained" horse is one that...

  1. Is easy to catch because she meets you at the gate
  2. Is a pleasure to groom because she likes to be loved on
  3. Has good "draw," or wants to be with people
  4. Likes treats but won't take your hand off
  5. Bathes, clips, and hauls without issue
  6. Will turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, leg yield, back up, shoulder in, counter shoulder-in, and half-pass both on the ground and under saddle
  7. Will do everything on a lungeline that a horse should do under saddle, including transitions between the gaits, changing direction, navigating obstacles, and halting
  8. Requires only a halter to ride
  9. Has a soft mouth and sides
  10. Can be ridden bareback
  11. Has cruise control, ie., keeps a steady pace
  12. Will halt from a canter and canter from a halt
  13. Understands neck reining and direct reining
  14. Can go on the bit or on a loose rein and always have a soft feel
  15. Understands how to round her back, lift and open the shoulders, and step under with the hind legs
  16. Understands hand cues, leg cues, weight cues, seat cues, and voice cues given singularly or in conjunction with one another
  17. Does flying lead changes without rushing or crossfiring
  18. Is easy to collect and extend
  19. Doesn't mind being ridden sitting, in two point, or without stirrups
  20. Does not become over-stimulated or agitated by fast work
  21. Can be ridden multiple times in a day with a good attitude
  22. Is enjoyable at home, on the trail, and at quality shows
  23. In regards to jumping- doesn't rush, doesn't refuse, doesn't run out when given a fair chance
  24. Is fun and safe for any rider that takes the time to read her body language

Testimonials:

The next person who says: 'Have you seen Buck- I will say - Have you seen PonyPros? - That is how it should be done! - K.W.

Love PonyPros. You turn out a fabulous pony! - M.P.

Be very proud of the work you do! You contribute to the well being of the ponies, and help them become good family members. It's a blessing. - C.R.

You are very talented and gentle. More green horses need trainers like you! - N.N.

So nice to see some discussion of the fact that ponies are (usually!) not deliberately 'bad' - they respond to their environment as its presented to them. - Y.T.

I have known Kali for almost 2 years and in that time, she has proven to be a competent, generous and kind horse trainer. - L.B.