Driving Your Pony


Driving a ponygirl or ponyboy is one of basics of ponyplay that should learned as early as possible. More advanced driving techniques can be added later on in training, but how to start, stop, and go faster or slower should be taught as early as possible. Driving is not just for cart ponies; it is useful in many areas since many ponies will be driven from the ground as opposed to being physically ridden (e.g. show ponies and dressage ponies are often directed from the ground by their trainers). Thus, driving should be taught to any ponygirl or ponyboy.

Driving a pony involves guiding your pony while behind him/her. When driving a pony, it is easiest to hold one rein in each hand, but this is not necessary. To ask your pony to move forward, say "walk on," or cluck. A light flick of a whip or the reins may be necessary if the pony does not respond to your voice commands. If you wish the pony to move forward at the trot, then you can say "trot on," and cluck, and apply the whip if necessary. It is similar for the canter, but you would say "canter," or "canter up," or cluck to the pony.

Once moving forward, the pony should remain at a constant speed until you instruct him otherwise. If your pony changes speed without you asking him to so, you should correct him immediately. A pony should be able to maintain gait and pace without continuous input from the driver or trainer. To have the pony increase speed without changing gait, clucking is typically used, and if that does not work, then apply a flick of the whip or reins.

To slow down, apply gentle rein pressure evenly to both reins, then release. If that does not elicit a strong enough response, apply more rein pressure then release. The amount of rein pressure applied will dictate how much the pony slows. You may not always want the pony to drop down a gait upon application of the reins; it is sometimes necessary to slow a pony's pace, while maintaining gait. Thus, it is important during training to make it clear that slow down, does not necessarily translate into dropping down a gait. Also, some ponies will be more sensitive to rein pressure than others. Moreover, the type of bit and bridle the pony is wearing can also have a significant effect on how sensitive a pony is to rein pressure. Keep this in mind when working with new ponies or using new tack on a pony.