I thought I would share a little more about how our walks work.
I don't have too many rules. They are simple and straight forward:
Don't drag me.
Don't drag along behind me.
Don't bite me. lol!
Ponies don't decide WHEN we graze.
Don't drag me to the grass.
When I say "let's go!" the ponies raise their head and we walk on!
So what do our walks look like?
Oliver kind of does his own thing. Sometimes he walks in front of me, sometimes he walks behind me, sometimes he walks beside me. I don't care as long as he isn't pulling on the lead rope.
Zorro started this 'lovely' thing where he will walk or trot ahead, then lower his nose and PULL me. I decided to use one of Warwich Schiller's approaches and have him work a bit harder when he does this. I ask him to turn and walk the other way, but I keep walking forward. Then he has to turn again and catch back up! It doesn't take him long to work out that I do this ONLY when he is pulling on me and he simply stops pulling.
I don't do this with Oliver yet as he lacks some of the basics needed to understand. And to be honest I WANT him to be super forward. And he doesn't really pull on me very much. So we will refine this later. Right now I just want Oliver to walk forward, find relaxation in the walking and NOT BITE ME. LOL! (Oliver has pretty much out grown biting ME but he will sneak up and try to bite Zorro! It's my responsibility to NOT allow this.)
The ponies do not walk beside me very often. When we are walking on the road they will often be all the way at the end of the 10' lead ropes, one on each side, walking along the edges of the road with myself in the middle.
When we are on trails one will walk in front of me and one will walk behind me. This is because the trails are so narrow we can't fit side-by-side.
What equipment do we use?
The ponies wear flat nylon halters or flat beta halters. I have 10' long lead ropes for each. I require the longer lead lines as I find it much easier to walk two with some lead rope length. And it's so much easier to control them on a longer lead rope.
I usually have a vest on with treats in my pockets or I wear my fanny pack with treats.
I always have my phone!
I also wear comfortable shoes. Making sure my feet are comfy is very important. Sometimes the ponies will wear their boots, on their front feet only, when we walk.
Why does walking two ponies feel impossible?
People often tell me they simply couldn't walk two ponies at the same time. It does take some practice for sure, but it's not impossible. If I were expecting them both to be 100% proper on the end of the lead rope and walk right beside me the entire time, then it would start to feel impossible for sure. But allowing them to use the entire length of the rope and be in front and behind and beside makes things SO MUCH easier. And strangely enough, when I do need them to be polite and walk quietly beside, THEY DO! It's amazing how these things translate so well for them.
I often do one line driving with both ponies. This is when one has to be in front and the other behind, due to the trail being narrow. I do this on the road as well. I do like my ponies to be able to one line drive before I hitch them to anything.
This is requires quite a bit of understanding on the pony's part. I use voice commands;
"whoa", "walk on", "come over"
Zorro knows he should be in front of me. So if I move over to the right hand side of the road and he is further left, and I say "come over" he will adjust himself to be in front of me. If I say "whoa" he will stop immediately. (He loves whoa! LOL!)
Walking with your ponies is such a great way to develop a deeper relationship. I enjoy our walks immensely. I use walks to motivate me for driving as well. I can't think of a better way to spend time with my ponies!