Adventures in Pony Non Compliance

Life is very interesting when you have not 1, not 2, but 3 green horses! Of course throughout our hopefully long partnerships with our horses lessons will continue to be learned or unlearned, but those early days, months, and years of shaping a saddle horse are undeniably most precarious and important. My endless quest to cruise the trails with a horse that enjoys it like Desire did (this ride story also illustrates why I went Renegade!) now finds me at this interesting stage:

Sheza: my home raised coming 5 year old is the lightest, best trained under saddle of the 3 greenies. She’s young all the way around which means she does and will for a while yet get used the least, but she’s had the benefit of a near flawless life experience so far and trailers great (with occasional reminders), EDPP under saddle or not, stands like a rock for mounting, collects and side passes feather light, and rides out at the walk on a loose rein (she’s barely allowed to know she can go above a walk yet). Still she’s a young filly with notions, like squealing and trotting away when I tried to jump on her bareback in pasture the other day. You know what that means–I did it some more!

Apache: home with us for nearly a year now; thanks to a friend’s brave willing butt, we’ve now got him going on trail, bareback in a halter, and my own nervy butt hopping up there as well. Next up is saddle re intro, including crupper due to his conformation. I introduce him to all available strangers. He hungers for trail and is a truly competitive boy, the first real reference to Desire’s enthusiasm I’ve seen since retiring her. His previous bad experiences have weighed heavily on him but his Try is legendary and the positive experiences are starting to outweigh the bad. We are both nervous, together. He’s not really non compliant at all, I have to say.


Kenny: A really interesting fellow, this Morgan/Welsh has been home about 3 months now. He falls into the broke but not trained category: EDPP with the best of them, throw a beginner on and put him in a line of horses and he’ll pack them there and back. Ask for him to stand nicely for mounting, take the lead, travel in a straight line, not reference potential giraffe genealogy with his carriage, or try to give him a hair cut clip–big deals, big big deals. While he’s generally a sweet, non spooky, non Arab, Kenny actually requires a fast moving, horse savvy, stubborn human who won’t be bullied.  Fortunately…

Sunday am


Sunday pm


…he found one!  The clipping took literally all afternoon and myself and his previous owner. She is a wizard with clippers and with a couple wraps around a stout pole, I can hold a really rude pony. Sweet little Kenny acted as if we were out for horse meat, and was prepared to use his big boned solid body against us, so while we were incredibly patient and worked in sessions, rewarding him at the least cooperation–we were also very very firm that he was to keep his body *to himself.*

I can’t claim to have 4 greenies anymore, because as of last weekend Rushcreek Aurora found a wonderful home with a local AERC ride manager with other Rushcreeks. She leaves after the AERC convention this week and I look forward to watching her continued progress!


Greenies are fun, challenging, frustrating, and rewarding. I really enjoy my little trio and am eternally grateful for the savvy horsewomen who support me.






4 thoughts on “Adventures in Pony Non Compliance

  1. oh boy, my pony non-compliance can’t be blamed on being green, just on being naughty! And LOVE Kenny’s haircut, I’m sure he appreciated it (after the fact) since it was so hot this week!

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