Monthly Pony Meeting Teaches On and Off Saddle Horse Care

Chequamegon Pony Club Holds Meeting at 57 Ranches Cutting Horses

DULUTH, Minn.- A bond between a horse and its rider is unbreakable.

But even the most experienced riders can use time working with their horses.

Sunday at 57 Ranches Cutting Horses, riders young and old learned some new tricks for riding, and caring for their hooved friends.

The neighs of excitement and the thundering gallop of hooves fills the room.

Despite how it sounds, these aren’t horse riding lessons, they’re more in depth.

“When you do lessons, you learn to ride,” said Dawn Olsen, District Commissioner of the Chequamegon Pony Club. “With Pony Club, they emphasize the learning part of it.”

“So how to take care of your horse, what to do with it how to brush your horse, what brushes to use and what order all of the things you do not necessarily get in a lesson.”

Riders with the Pony Club meet once a month to brush up on their skills both off, and on the saddle.

Like transitions.

“You say, a walk to a halt, and then that would be a downward transition,” Kenzie Olsen, Dawn’s daughter, and fellow rider, said. “Like a walk to a trot, that would be an upward transition.”

Riders get into the sport after getting a small taste.

“Once you get the horse bug, I tell you what, pony rides, the little pony rides that you see, are like a gateway drug for horse people,” Dawn said.

It doesn’t take long for some of them to find the right horse, the perfect fit.

“When I tried her out, my dad said that you could see it in her eye, that she’s pleading me to take her home,” said Kenzie.

She did, and after giving her a name their life together began.’

“Princess Leia. She’s my sweetheart.”

Kenzie boldly walks into Leia’s pen, and brushes the thousand pound animal like it’s nothing.

“Good girl.”

But she, like all riders, had to build a mountain of trust before doing something this simple.

“The white one out there is my horse, and I’ve had him for 4 years.” Dawn said. “He trusts me completely, to where if he’s afraid of something, he’ll look to me like ‘mom, what do I do?'”

“On the flipside, there’s been times where I have had to trust him not to do something that’s going to hurt me.”

“Green light……RED LIGHT!”

The horses and riders play red light green light, working on control and communication.

When the two work together to win the game, magic happens.

“It just feels like you’re floating on air sometimes,” said Kenzie.  “Just feels like you’re floating on air.”

The following club meeting will take place in March at the Big Rock Equestrian Center in Ashland.

The club stretches nationwide, holding various competitions by region and state.

Club members say they gladly accept people who want to give riding a try, you can either call Dawn at 218-349-2398, or contact their Facebook page: .

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