Hope you all aren't getting too bored with these quotes from Amber's new owner, but I'm just a proud quasi-parent, and that's that! And I don't know how many of you are too familiar with the training to make a Polo Pony, but I find it interesting. So, a new quote:
"I can't tell you how much fun I am having with Amber. Yesterday I worked her just in the arena where we do "short work", i.e. figure eights to change leads, and stop and back up, and then move out on the hind end again. I am not a professional trainer by any means, but the ease with which this horse learns to do things is amazing to me. I'll give you an example. There is an advanced move called a "rollback" wherein you take the horse along the fence on the lead opposite to the fence, then stop and turn the horse back toward the fence so they have to turn very tight on their rear end and come out on the opposite lead. To teach a horse to do that, you just ride (at a walk), and stop, back up a few steps (if the green horse will do it) and ease it around hoping that the rear end will stay still and the front will come around to approximate the more advanced move. Then you do it at a trot, then at a canter. And with green ones you do it in a corner so that they are not jammed against the fence.
Amber got it at a canter in one try. All I had to do was carry a little whip (not even using it, just showing it to her), turn my head back and apply a little leg. She pivoted perfectly on her hind end, brought her front legs around in the air, and started around in the other direction on the new lead. Smooth as glass!"
You know that Darkh Amber is by Gindarkh 13. Do you suppose that some of his circus knowledge got imprinted on her brain???