Our ponies, both about one year of age, had very different personalities, natures. Dot had a strong-willed disposition. In other words, stubborn. Bell had the attitude of “Do I trust you or not? And how fast can I get to the other end of the pen, away from you?” The breaking process began. We had to build that initial get to know each other, trust each other, between pony and girl.
Dad and grandpa’s theory on breaking was to get the pony to be your best friend. The leather halter and rope lead were introduced slowly with treats. The treats back then was a bucket of oats mainly, or an apple or carrots. Today, the current horse at home gets Apple Wafers or some other treat. The leather halters were left on them for about a week, in the corral. We played with them daily, tying them to the coral fence, brushing them, touching their face, legs, lifting their hooves. They became very settled with us doing this day after day routine with them. This got them acquainted with us, to be haltered and to be tied to stand quietly.
Next, we would teach them to walk with us on a lead rope. We attempted to make that first walk together. Wait we’re not moving, okay we had no forward motion. Guess who was stubborn now? Both ponies had it in park. Once again, the bucket of oats/treats were used to get them to follow. Day after day we would carry a small bucket of oats to coax them to walk with us. Each day less and less oats were placed in the bucket. We were ready for the next step. Lori G