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Life lessons: Aimee Devane — ‘I’m lucky to have clients who never expect me to rush’ *H&H Plus*

The mountain and moorland specialist on pursuing her dreams, her laid-back personality and what motivates her to get out of bed in the morning.

Aimee is a native pony producer based in Berkshire. She is a regular face at all the major championships, and ponies under her instruction have won Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), Olympia, the Royal International (RIHS) and the Royal Welsh.

Without proper lateral work, natives can become rigid and strong in their neck; if you can’t create proper flexion you can’t do a lot with them. I am a big fan of shoulder-fore work, especially with those breeds who struggle with the higher-level movements, such as Highlands, who can fall on to the forehand, and the Welshes, who can get set in the front end.

These days, I put a lot more groundwork into the youngsters at the beginning and don’t rush the mouthing process. Getting a good mouth on a pony is the best start you can possibly give them.
Anyone can sit on an unbacked animal but that’s not breaking them in. Ensuring they accept the bit happily is key; I will spend three weeks mouthing before I get on. I’m lucky to have clients who never expect me to rush.

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