Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Advice and Rant
It seems like every person I get advice from tells me something different from the last, that's if they don't automatically assume Im sixteen years old or that I bought my pony as a novelty for my children. Everyone starts somewhere and I knew a horse was too big and too much for my skill level. I have ridden but as far as Im concerned riding and owning/trading do NOT go hand in hand. So I decided on a miniature or a small pony, not to be ridden, not for my children. Eventually to put him to work around the farm. I read everything I could, I watched dvds, yes Im aware its not good enough and not the same as real world experience but everyone starts somewhere and wanted all the info I could find. I visited neihboors for some real face to face advice. I shopped around for two months while we built the barn and a paddock, and fenced a pasture. I settled on a little guy, younger than I was planning but he was great around kids and dogs, lifted his (front) feet for cleaning, allowed me to halter him, followed us around. He had never (and still hasnt) offered to bite or kick. I went into it knowing I was ready to dedicate time and money, I was not trying to train a horse for riding, that I had researched, spoken to other owners, and he was a size I felt I could handle.
Two months later and he's exactly as I pictured. I enjoy the work, I enjoy getting him to trust me and my small victories when I halter him when he's being a grump, or when he likes to be scratched in a place I couldnt a few weeks ago. That he now lifts his legs for me to clean his hooves. He's small but even just picking up his back legs the first few times was daunting! I don't know how people with little experience manage to do it with full size horses, or seem to be fearless or think horses can't or wont hurt you.
I live in Canada on the East Coast and we get a lot of rain, the last two big storms he has been a jerk, not allowing me to halter him by prancing around, running back and forth past me in the paddock, throwing his head. Once he put his rear end to me. I wanted advice on what do do in that situation. Some people tell me to leave him alone for a few days, others have told me to keep at him until he learns. I found a few forums and this one looked to be the best, made a post about it and started reading the sticky posts. I put ads up today looking for a trainer to come teach both the pony AND myself some manners and how to deal with those situations.
Am I really in over my head? I don't feel like I am, a challenge that's for sure! Reading the stickys about when to give up and not play the hero and "green on green" ect is so discouraging. That coupled with mixed advice and people being rude (not in this forum) is really discouraging. I don't think "love" will train my pony. I think hard work, dedication and knowing when to ask for help will. Im not training a horse to ride. Sorry its so long just getting this off my chest! Advice and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. I do not want to ruin a horse by thinking I can do something I can't.