My first dream horse, Sunae had some serious training flaws. This is when I became convinced I needed to be able to train my own animals. I had done a lot of research & I was fascinated with Monty Robert's method. He uses a resistance free training in a round pen, the trainer both "reading" and "speaking" horse body language. I had begun using this method with my horse and was having amazing success.
What do you do with an abused, frightened horse? First, I stopped tying her up to saddle her. It worked! When she felt no resistance she started to relax...until you tried to swing up on her! It was a great learning experience and I would not trade it for the world. With stress free training Sunae is now a real "dream come true" horse for me.
After a few years breeding large horses I decided to specialize in mini horses. After training just a few to cart I decided that I would also be training the owners. I kept hearing that ponies are mean but as I trained them I came to this opinion - Ponies are not mean, they are smart. Minis are very smart and will find many ways to avoid having untrained humans try to control them. But they are small and everyone thinks you can just throw a kid on and let them ride.
Normally the kids are not trained, but listen - the ponies are! Horses are trained from birth to figure out who is in charge in the herd and to submit or dominate them. They quickly learn their place. The person trying to ride or drive is unranked and so the pony tries to be dominant. They run away, buck or nip and the person gets scared - the pony wins. The person won't try again - the pony wins and so everyone says ponies are mean. Train the child or adult to handle horses correctly and then see how good natured your pony is!
Just as you wouldn't throw an untrained person on a large horse and say "go ahead and ride" You can't expect an untrained person to control a pony. A pony that is well handle and well trained loves the job that they do and trusts the humans that control them.. I have started many of them and I haven't seen any that dislike their jobs, riding or carting. I have as much fun with my minis as my large horses. Their personalities are great!
For what my customers say about my training, see my References.
Cindy Codling, Trainer