Hi, I’m Luke and I am 13. This is me a couple of years or so ago with my pony Ellie, having fun on the cross country course. Now I am too big to ride her, I am teaching her and my Shetland William, lots of tricks and ways to stay fit, with me on the ground.
This is William and Ellie. They are great friends.
Sometimes I work with them seperately, but they also enjoy working together sometimes and they love to be taken for walks in the woods together too.
About 18 months ago, I started doing some liberty training with Ellie, after seeing Emma Massingale on YouTube. We started off with just her following me off the lead rein. It took a little while for her to get the idea, but once she did – she loved it! Sometimes we did some jumps as that is her favourite thing.
We even had some lessons with Lucy Chester, who teaches liberty work, tricks and tackless riding and who was this years winner of the world bitless association competition with her horse Tao. She has helped with our confidence in learning new things and teaching William cool tricks like lying down and fetch!
William is our 4 year old Shetland pony and is very smart! He is only about 8.2hh so way too small to ride, so I do groundwork with him instead. He learns very quickly and loves going in the school to play. He enjoys working for his treats and has learned a lot in quite a short time. As well as these tricks he enjoys having a runabout and jumping which helps keep him fit as he is a bit podgy.
Groundwork is another thing that you can do with your pony and is just as much fun as riding. It helps your bond with your pony and keeps things interesting for you both. There are lots of good YouTube videos to help you – check out Emma Massingale and Ben Atkinson for some ideas.