Disappointed with pony and new harness - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Oklahoma
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Unhappy Disappointed with pony and new harness

After months and months I finally got my new Amish harness. I am not sure if it is the right size. I have it on the smallest holes and it still seems a little too big. I can take some pictures for the forum. The bridle especially is confusing and seems to large. It has lots of straps and doesn't seem like the pictures of the ones Taffy posted a few months ago.

Once I had the pony harnessed, I did some ground driving. Oh dear. She is not so well trained as I thought. For one when you say whoa and she stops/pauses for a few moments and then she just lunges forwards as if I hit her with a whip. She seems to have no go forward command. Sometime she gets upset and whips around to try and face me. Then at other times she is quiet and walks along calmly going where I ask her. I was told she was a trained cart pony and I did see her driven but I am beginning to think the man who demonstrated her may have just strong armed her into obedience.

She is as 11 hand 6 year old roan welsh. She seems a little skittish but I was told she was fully trained to cart and saddle. I think she needs more ground work before she is actually hitched to a cart. My cart is the common easy entry style. Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 11:06 PM
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Please do not take this the wrong way. I do not know you or your back round, so must question you to answer.

Do you have any driving experience yourself? If so, how much? I ask because some cart horses/ponies can be very sensitive, but well trained. This is true of my mini mare, who is trained to drive single. I have never had any trouble driving or ground driving her, nor has my trainer. I let a friend (who told me she knew how to drive) take her for a spin with me in the cart with her, and I was amazed by the change. My friend technically did things right, but she was heavy handed and jerky with her signals, and my mare immediately tensed up and started doing things she's never done before. Trying to duck out, balking, not holding still when she was asked to woah, etc. When I took her back though, she was fine. It was just the heaviness of the signals that was bothering her. I've trained her to be extremely responsive to my aids and thus the constant 'in her face' nit picking bothered her.

That may very well not be the case with your little mare. You might try to contact her old owner though and ask if he can come watch you, to see if theres anything he can pin point that he doesn't do, or so he can show you what 'he' does. If he does it wrong, you'll know the mare needs retraining and you can hire a trainer from there. If he merely does things a little different, you might be able to adapt.

You could also just get a trainer now, and have him or her work with both you and your mare. Its always a great idea to do that anyways, even if your horse is 'completely broke' since its always useful to have a second eye. Hopefully it is a misunderstanding, and not that your girl is not well trained though!
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post #3 of 50 Old 05-25-2013, 02:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: enfeild london england
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new pony and harness

hiya gated horse dont dispaire ok.
send pictures of your harness and we will go from there ok.
with your pony you say that he is plungeing foward and has no foward commands.
hiya im michael by the way and we will help you with your problem.
have you a frend firt of all to help you.
tack your pony up we are going ground driveing your frend is going to be at your horses head.
take some apples cut in to small peaces or if you have grass pellets (horse and pony cubes) thay are your reward.
it sounds like your pony just needs a little refineing and he is looking for you.
long line like you would and talk to your pony ask for walk, say to him walk on your asistant has a slack lead rope ok so she is walking by the ponys head and is there to stop the pony from turning ask for woah and stand.
then feed a titbit.
ok im going to give you some exercises so your pony is going to open up for you.
your going to make your pony stand out ok and your pony is going to hold up his legs on comand eather it being a hind or a fore leg.
your pony at first will not respond thats fine ok we go to basics here its like teaching a child pick up a for leg for instance for hoof picking out.
say up and then titbit and work on that and you will find what ever leg your at when you ask your pony will raise that leg.
to make him stand out place the legs streached slightley foward it takes time is good exercise and builds up your ponys brain and gives him a good education.
the other way is to long rein in circles like lungeing.
tammy use to come in at me to i use to laugh and send her back i would move out of eye range and she would go out to the circle again and i all ways reward for the work done.
when working in a circle ok we are going in a clock wise direction the left hand rein will go from the bit through the collar and pad and just under the tail the ponys tail will stop the rein rideing up so it keeps it in place.
ask the pony to walk out if you have an asstant have them standing by to guide the pony to go in to a clock wise circle ask for walk and when your pony is going in the full circle do one lap then ask for woah then ask for stand and your asistand will be by your ponys head and reward and continue from there.
when your pony is listening your asistant can drop back and after you have said woah and your pony has stoped reward its intaval training back to basics.
if you pony starts to trot and does not listen and maintaining the circle let the pony run out of steam and he will soon come down to your way of thinking and knuckle down to work.
all ways leave the class on a good note.
from my point of vew we tend to for get thay have there own intelegence and there own thoughts so we will teach them how we want them to work and behave and have good mannors its like haveing a child teach it bad you have problems.
i wish i was there to help you and i could guage how your pony is and i would like to show you tricky he is a welsh section a 12 hh.
and help you have a super pony that you can drive and you both enjoy life to the full.
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post #4 of 50 Old 05-25-2013, 02:19 AM
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Post pics of your harness. It may be wrong, it may just be something you arent used to.

As for your pony, I agree with Endiku, she may really be trained as advertised, but as you are not used to working with each other, there is no understanding or trust.

Maybe try driving with someone at her head on a lead to help enforce and clarify your commands. When you ask for a woah, they can correct her if she does not woah and stay woah'd. Give it time, dont be hasty.
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post #5 of 50 Old 05-25-2013, 02:43 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: enfeild london england
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pony driveing problems.

its good that she does listen to you when you ground drive her.
ok like endkiu has said she could be worred that ther is someone ealse at the end of the reins.
ok thats quite possable.
which is true i had a frends daughter that shesaid rides a frends horses.
she knows that i have a horse and a pony.
ok i walked with them gave them a lesson in rideing quincy and driveing tricky.
i was walking near by and i was still in eye shot there mannors were impeckable and thay both rode and drove well.
i did not know there was a confliction between them it seemed tricky and quincy ganged up on her lol as thay both did not seem amused.
on this paticular day we went for a drive i was driveing tricky and she was rideing quincy.
she got in to dificulty as some time quincy stops to have a pee on the grass but theres a little ditch and he starts to propel back in to the ditch all hell brakes lose there she panics on quincy and screms for help.
then on q trick plays up plungeing his for foot on the ground.
so i have now 2 horses to contend with tricky is in an open bridle and is geting wound up so i had to get off my sulky and she got off quincy.
well she got on tricky i had to find a bit of an earth bank so i could mount on quincy it was on a t part of the junction on the track.
ricky took off like a rocket and thay were gone i shouted out pull him up pull him up thay disapeared.
quincy was playing up i was worred at the end ot the track there is a buzy road i feared for the worse i held quincy back as he was like a coild spring and did not want to wind tricky up further.
there tricky was turned round faceing us.
the look on trickys face well if you know your pony it looked like he had a broad smile saying well i got that one she wont be back.
and she never came back lol.
i love them to bits but thay are good buddies now i think trickys teaching him bad habbits lol i would not change them for the world.
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post #6 of 50 Old 05-25-2013, 07:51 AM
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When you were ground driving, did you have the reins through the terrets on top of the saddle? If you did, try again with them runlower, through the tugs, or the space between the girth and overgirth. That way, she will not spin under the reins.

And remember, if you are nervous, she is nervous.

Take somes pics for us, please. If the harness does not fit, send it back with some measurements and/or pictures, and your Amish guys will fix it.

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post #7 of 50 Old 05-25-2013, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Oklahoma
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I will go out today and take pics of the harness on her and of me driving her. I will try putting the reins lower. I tried having some one beside her yesterday with a lead as I worked her but she did so much whirling around and jumping forward that they were in the way more than helpful.
I do not have a lot of experience driving but I have a fair amount handling horses and I try to be soft and light when I can. I will repost when I have the pics and a report on todays lesson. Thank you all so much for your help.
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post #8 of 50 Old 05-25-2013, 02:30 PM
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dont be disapointed you will get there ok .
theres a welth of knolage and people here to help you so we hope to see you driveing soon.
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post #9 of 50 Old 05-25-2013, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Oklahoma
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bridle pictures

Here are pictures of the bridle. Some I took on her and some off so perhaps you can see it better. It has this piece that comes across the nose that goes right below here eyes. It is so loose that it seems to do nothing. I took in off in some pictures and added a noseband. The whole bridle does not sit close to her face but gaps away on both sides.
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post #10 of 50 Old 05-25-2013, 10:28 PM
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If she couldn't have someone leading her while you were on the long rein, perhaps her training needs to go back further. How is she just with ground work in a halter? Does she give? Does she balk and start as quickly or will she stay calm and with you the whole time? I think you need to take her back to where she knows and you know what is expected and work up from there. If she is good with ground work and only gives trouble once you start ground driving her, I would put a surcingle on, not a full harness and ground drive her like that first.

I also think the throatlatch is too tight and would let down the bit at least one notch. What is the horizontal strap below her eyes for? That looks very distracting to me. Would the bridle work without it?
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