Scottish western rider and champion, Sandra Loder, is taking a break from the competition circuit to concentrate on Horsemanship instructing for children at a camp in Alford this summer.
She has been working alongside Lynn Henry, founder of ‘Think Like A Pony’ towards her instructor’s stages in both groundwork and riding.
‘Think Like A Pony’ was established by Lynn, who has developed a teaching framework that now includes 5 books and an awards scheme for children aimed at developing children’s relationships with their ponies who are part of the ‘Think Like A Pony’ Club.
The ‘Think Like A Pony’ approach is excellent for any child involved with ponies, whatever their discipline, taking them through horse behaviour, safe handling skills, balanced riding and establishing leadership and confidence to create a partnership with their ponies that is based on empathy, mutual trust and respect.
Sandra said: “My eldest son Iain, who is 9, has now completed two ‘Think Like A Pony’ camps and the difference in his confidence when handling any of our horses is fantastic. He has a better understanding of how horses behave, why they do, the things they do and how to communicate better with them.
“He knows how to protect his space and will get the horses moving their feet out of his way and not the other way about, which is so often the case. His riding has become much more balanced and through correct riding he has no need to kick his pony or pull on its mouth. He is learning things that I wish I had learnt as a child, therefore I have decided to do something about it and focus on getting some of these skills across to other children.”
Through western riding, which Sandra has been doing for nearly 10 years, she learnt how even a horse that was inclined to pull and lean could be retrained to become very light and responsive in a simple snaffle with no need for a nose band, martingale or any other gadget.
Her first western horse, Dee Reyner, won her the Superhorse Championship in 2007 and this was followed by another Superhorse Championship in 2009 on her grey mare Gumps Silver Lena BB.
Sandra Loder will be holding the ‘Think Like A Pony’ summer camp with Lynn Henry at Culquoich, Glenkindie, Alford this August.
For more information on the courses for children and parents and an evening demonstration at The Cabin EC, Inverurie, contact Sandra on 07825 549728, email firstname.lastname@example.org or vist the website: www.thinklikeapony.co.uk