By Campbell Mitchell (age 10)

I am writing about how I trained my horse (a Shetland Pony) during Spring Break.  To start off, my horse is a girl and her name is Suzi.  She is sometimes “wild” if I don’t ride her alot.  She tries to buck, kick, and bite sometimes, but I do not let her do those things.  If she uses bad behavior, I can firmly pat her on the nose, and she knows to stop.  The last time I rode her, she bucked me off and I fell in a pile of sticks.  So me and my mimi decided to train her over Spring Break.

When it’s time to ride Suzi, My mimi will give me halter and a lead rope, so I can go out into the pasture and catch Suzi.

Step 1) I lead Suzi to the wash down.  This is where I brush Suzi’s hair.  I also clean out her hooves.  I like to sing to Suzi when I am grooming her.

Step 2) I get to walk Suzi around.  I walk her to the tree, and back again.  I practice stopping her by saying “Ho” and I tell her to move by saying “Walk on”.  Then I can walk her a little further, like to the barn and back.  If she does a good job, then we gather the materials to ride her.

Step 3)  This is where one person rides and one person leads the horse.  We do this for awhile to get used to being on a horse.  We are still safe because someone is there leading the horse.  Sometimes we do not have a bit in her mouth at first.  I like bareback better, but my mimi has me practice in a saddle too.

I know there are a lot of rules for safe horseback riding.  We always get on the horse and get off the horse on specific sides.

Step 4) We put away all the equipment and groom the horse again.  Then I will lead Suzi to where she will be all night long, and I can give them a little grain and a little hay.

That is how I trained Suzi during Spring Break so that she wasn’t wild anymore.  After a few days of training, Suzi was doing a really good job.

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