Do you ride a mischievous horse that needs an experienced rider to slow him down? Learn how to ride a naughty pony and read all about how to really “hold your horses”.
Be The Alpha
Usually, naughty ponies are just energetic, head-strong, and 100% used to having control over their rider! What you need to do is show your horse that you are the boss! Every time that your naughty pony turns, bucks, rears, bolts, or even jerks his head down without permission, give him a rough tug with your reins and bring him back to the speed that you were at before. You can’t let cheeky ponies get away with anything – because they expect you to. The more you give in, the more power your horse has over you. Make sure that you are the one in charge when you are riding!

PictureSit up tall and straight!
Position Is Power
Some horses (or ponies) are all about body language. If you are loose and noodle-like in the saddle, the horse underneath you will think that you are telling them to run with your seat muscles. If you sit still and straight, chances are, your cheeky pony won’t charge off as much. Remember to keep your heels down, your toes up, and to sit tall in the saddle. Squeeze the saddle with your thighs and calm down - ponies can sense nervousness! Don’t slouch or puff your stomach out, either, because you might bounce around on the horse’s back and give your pony the wrong idea.
Single File Now
When you’re going on trail rides with your friends and their horses, don’t canter together as a group. If you do, your naughty pony, being the herd animal that he is, will run and chase after his friends, and then you will lose your control! Instead of cantering, walk and trot in a single file line. This will not encourage your horse to gallop after his friends, but instead to calmly go on a ride. If anyone in the group wants to canter, let them do it by themselves and then circle around to join the back of the line.

How To Stop
When your naughty pony decides to bolt or take off on his own, you need to use both your leg aids, hand aids, and seat aids to slow him down. Rather than tugging and pulling on the reins to stop your horse, try sitting deep in the saddle. Put all of your weight down into the lower half of your body, but keep sitting up straight. Push your chest forwards and fold your shoulders back. By sitting on a horse’s spine like this, you restrict the movement of your horse and slow him down.

PictureStay calm and you'll be fine!
Tense Rider, Tense Horse
A rider that holds their breath and clings onto the reins like a life-line is not the kind of rider that horses feel safe carrying. Horses can tell if you are tense or worried, and if they notice that you are, they will think there is a reason to be scared and then they’ll stress out too. A tense horse is jumpy, skittish, and  high-strung. Don’t hold your breath, or whimper. Also, do not pull the reins tighter than they need to be. Remember elbows to your sides, and keep a supple position. Your naughty pony will trust you if you trust yourself. A confident rider equals a happy horse!

Secret Weapons
Half-halts are a good way to slow down a naughty pony that is excited and hyper. To do a half-halt, use your reins and your seat aids to slow your horse down, but then release the aid as soon as your horse responds. This will slow your pace, but also teach the pony that you are in control.
Another secret weapon is your voice aids. Yelling and getting angry at your horse when it gets naughty will only fire up your horse more. Use a stern voice, but don’t shout or cry. When your horse is being good, reward him with a soothing voice and a pat on the shoulder.

If you follow all of these rules, you will be on your way to being able to ride naughty horses! You don’t have to be scared of handling a mischievous pony anymore!

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    Ever ridden a horse that knows how to scare you? He's got tons of tricks - but you do too. Read this and you'll never be afraid of naughty ponies again!