ISES 2014 - Teaching children to train ponies

If you're looking for the paper explaining the exercises chosen for the demonstration, it can be found here: AedellundISES2014.pdf In the summer of 2013 my good friend and colleague Mette Hald Rasmussen of Ædellunds Shetlandsponyer in Kværndrup (Funen, Denmark) got an invitation to come to the ISES 2014 conference ( and do a demonstration of how she is teaching the children to ride and train her ponies according to the principles of learning theory and behaviour science. Mette decided to involve me in the planning and execution of the demo, for which I am very grateful. We have been planning and training all year to find out which exercises to show, and how best to give the audience an insight in the way we teach and train. The children, helpers and parents have been truly fabulous during this process and have been totally in on the project all along, even in the last week of summer camp training, where we spent a lot of time on doing ISES specific exercises and not so much time on activities of their choice - THANK YOU for that! It all culminated this friday august 8. when we went to Billund with 10 ponies, 16 children, 10 assisting instructors (young riders or parents) and a lot of supporting parents and siblings, including two fathers with a lot of video and audio equipment - thanks to whom we had great sound during the presentation, and a wonderful video of the whole event. I spoke to the audience during the demo, explaining the principles and methods of our training, and translated and explained as Mette went along and instructed the children in the chosen exercises all over the arena. Everyone both 2 and 4 legged behaved fantastic, and we have gotten some very lovely feedback on the demo. It says a lot about prior and proper preparation to be able to bring 10 ponies and 30 people into an arena with a 200+ audience and have everyone training nice and calmly through the demonstration - thank you kids and helpers for the wonderful training you have done both during summer camp and training sessions in the spring, but also in the ordinary lessons. Without your work the ponies would never have been so comfortable and relaxed. As further information to the audience we have made a short paper explaining the exercises used in the demonstration, it can be found here: AedellundISES2014.pdf

If you are watching from a mobile device, a version without the music at the end is available here

For questions contact Mette Hald Rasmussen at or Merete Stenner at

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