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Introducing a Child to a New Pony
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Introducing a Child to a New Pony

Ground Rules

If you are buying a pony for your child, be sure to set ground rules before getting to the location where you are picking up the newest member of your family. If it is the first pony they’ve ever had, make sure that they know that loud noises like shrieks of joy are not okay around your new friend. Some older ponies are used to parade noise and a crowd, but even an experienced pony can be frightened by sudden high-pitched noises.

Treats

To help your child make a fast friend for life with the new pony, load your child down with sugar cubes, apples, and carrots. Show them how to offer the treat to the pony. Place the goody in the palm of your hand and extend it to the pony. The pony will find it and take the treat without nibbling on fingers.

Load Up

When it is time to load the pony into the Featherlite trailer, it is often wise to load the children into the vehicle first. Distractions are not helpful at this point. If your child is insistent that they watch every step of the way, make sure that they are standing at a distance watching silently. Experienced ponies may still balk at leaving their familiar pasture behind, especially when new people are around.

Anxiety

Ponies can experience anxiety in a new setting. It is a good idea to give them a mineral lick to chew on so that they are not tempted to chew on tree bark. Ponies and horses of all breeds can have a tendency to express their anxiety in this way. If you notice them skinning bark off trees and eating it, this is not a good sign! You will need to provide more stimulation such as toys to prevent boredom and even a barn mate will help relieve stress from the change in location.

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