Always remember this if anything else, Consistency, consistency, consistency, the Repetition, repetition, repetition and then have patience for a mini pony; that is how to train your mini pony.
As children, we learn a language in order to communicate. Our parents teach us language usage by word association, word consistency, and word repetition. Like children, a mini pony must learn our language and vice versa. Obviously, mini pony do not talk the language like we do, so they must learn through consistency and repetition. We use the same words for the same actions and situations. To become proficient, this training must be daily this is the best way but you can do every other day until Winston has learned his skills.
If you will begin your training for 7 – 12 minutes a day, you will be surprised how quickly your mini pony will catch on. We start Winston with an easy task, and then build up to what you want him to do. We start Winston the mini pony with something as simple as asking him to walk along side of you and stop when you say “whoa”. We praise Winston if the task is done well. I give them a treat then I walk a little more, then repeat the same process and again and again. If your mini pony hasn’t responded positively, ask him to do the task you wanted again until he is doing what you have asked him. When Winston is finished the training session, ask for a simple task that he is able to do then I put him back in the stall or give him some turn out time. Always end on a positive action. I use carrots for a treat. Plus I always put him out with his big brothers.
We like to stick to one new task until Winston has masters what we want him to do. Then we move on to a new task only when the earlier training is memorized and performed successfully by the Winston our mini pony. The following day we ask for that task we were working on, if done well, we will add another task and continue to build his understanding of our words and body language. Remember that mini ponies naturally pick up on wrong cues so you will find your mini pony is learning your body language in addition to the verbal cues.
Just like children, mini ponies will test your limits. They will push you and try to get under your skin. Mini ponies are very smart so if you reward for positive behavior, which may be with your voice tone and a scratch on the neck or an occasional treat, they will quickly learn that it is easier to do what you ask of them then no too. Rarely Winston does not respond to positive reinforcement, of course to get his treat helps.
Many times training problems are from lack of understanding what is being asked of them. Sometimes it can just be fear of a new situation. 95% of the time, Winston truly wants to do what you want him to do. Rarely, if ever, will you find Winston just looking for a confrontation. Winston will try hard every day to please Cowboy Mike
One of the biggest challenges to remember is not to spoil the miniatures ponies because they are so cute, friendly, and small. Remember, some of the things they do their first few months is cute; once they weigh 200 – 250 pounds it isn’t as cute and may become dangerous. Remember, it is much easier to keep from developing bad habits by working with them than trying to break one.