Any ideas of how to keep a way too smart pony busy? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-14-2012, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Any ideas of how to keep a way too smart pony busy?

Hey everyone!
I'm moving my horse to my own barn in a couple weeks and I've decided to adopt a pony to keep her company, the pony who's in the stall next to her's at the rescue.
I guess I'm looking for some fun things I can do with him. He's a little itty bit of a pony, who's way too smart for his own good! I have to clip shut my hay shed, even bungees and gate locks don't stop him! So I'm looking for some fun games that make him think a bit, he's not really much for physical activity. He's incredibly well trained, was used as a family's pony ride pony, taught to ground drive too. But he can't actually pull anything or carry a tiny rider anymore due to some old injuries.
I just love him to bits and want some things to do with him that'll be fun for both of us. What I have at my disposal:
-3 pony sized jumps
-2 barrels
-3 ground poles
-an outdoor riding area (I say area because it's not fenced, it just has the footing for riding on) So nothing off lead, as it's surrounded by acres of hay and grass all around

Here's Diamond "jumping" :P

Some of my jumps (which are all pretty short for him, I may add a cup to put poles to make them a bit higher)
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-14-2012, 09:26 AM
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You could teach him stuff like turn of the forehand, and going sideways, and turn on the haunches in hand. It usually takes a few session for a horse to properly get it so that could take up some time. Then you could teach him to go side ways over a jump (front feet over jump, back feet on tother side). If you feel adventurous, you could teach him to bow and lie down and sit. You could also get him standing on podiums and doing tricks like that

Hes super cute btw!

We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too ~Kristen Martz
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-14-2012, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Haha thanks! I've already taught him most of those skills, not going over a jump sideways though! That's interesting! He's not very enthusiastic about physical work, which stinks cause he's such an agile little pony. But I really want him to have fun with it. I should totally teach him to lie down! He does it all the time, I should put a cue to it!
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-14-2012, 08:26 PM
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-14-2012, 08:31 PM
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Ponies need to be driven! Drive the little guy. You can most likely beg borrow or steal (I didn't say that!) a cart from someone. Join a driving club and someone will have some spare eq for you to use until you get your own. Driving clubs are like that!

Aren't ponies just love?
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-14-2012, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Centaur you are SO right! I love ponies and drafts! This little guy is as bright as they come and sweet to boot! But unfortunately his previous foster home left him out with some much larger horses who hurt him. He has a hoof shaped indentation on his side, right behind where a surcingle goes. I do plan on ground driving him and working him like that and we actually do have a small sulky he would fit perfectly in, but I'm very afraid of trying to put weight on him after the injuries he's sustained. I don't think the tack will bother him, but weight probably would. The reason his previous foster returned him is because he 'attacked' a trainer who was trying to teach him to ground drive, that and biting leaders who tried to give pony rides on him. All of those problems were clearly attributed to his injuries, right where a saddle goes. So I probably will ground drive him all around the world, but unfortunately I don't think I'll risk a carriage or anything that would put real pressure on him.
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-14-2012, 11:14 PM
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Maybe take up clicker training? That really causes horses to focus and it's really fun too

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-14-2012, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ya know, I was thinking about trying it with him! He's very respectful of space already and is tiny and fast to retrain - so it really could do no harm! Maybe I will, any suggestions where to start looking for information on how?
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-15-2012, 12:13 AM
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• Horses: 1 Clicker Training for Your Horse (9781890948351): Alexandra Kurland: Books

Is the book I used to get started. There is a member on here named shawnakarrasch who is known for working with horses and the clicker.

Shawna Karrasch and On Target Training | Positive Reinforcement Clicker Training | Horse Training

Here's her site.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-15-2012, 04:42 AM
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Can you pony him off your mare? He would maybe like a nice trail ride every now and again :) Also, I would pick up the book "Let's Ride!" by Linda Tellington Jones, there is some really awesome ground exercises you can do with some poles that are very mentally engaging.

For one like him (I have one, he is a horse but very brainy) I like for him to have "things" in his stall and turnouts. Jolly balls, traffic cones, rubber feed pans just to name a few. He also enjoys empty milk jugs (he can only have him them a couple days before they are destroyed, but luckily I go through about a jug a week). Those corner mount horse pacifiers are nice too, and maybe he'd like those toys they can roll around and the treats fall out? Just find things around the house too, but make sure it's safe for him. Someone gave my guy a sweatshirt once to play with and he ate big chunks of it, although luckily it just came out the other end! I didn't like giving him Uncle Jimmies or Lickits because he'd eat them way too fast, but I do use himilayan salt blocks rather than the traditional blocks because he can't destroy them, he likes them hung up on the wall too, rather than in the feed pan, to give him something to do.

Your jumps are cute, and your pony is cuter. I'm very very jealous :)

Good luck, and bless you for adopting such a sweet little soul.
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