BAAAAAD Pony - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-30-2011, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Posts: 118
• Horses: 4

So my pony, Riker, has proven to had some BAD manners. He was a rescue, badly starved. When we got him he would whinny and get excited at feeding time. Understandable given his condition.

As he's put on weight, this has progressed from whinnying to bullying us. I will walk him into his stall, and as soon as the halter comes off, he starts bolting and bucking AT me. Not bucking for joy (it used to be that) but last night and this morning it progressed to swinging his hind end around and trying to connect with me!!

I am honestly at a loss over how to deal with this. He's mid to lat 20s, 14 hands, and finally starting to look/feel good. I'm scared to have him around my kids...or even feed him without a helmet on for fear of him connecting with my head one of these days.

He is a doll. I can walk into his stall with food and he does stand in the corner. I'll walk him in and he'll stand quietly. He'll stand there all day looking at the food if I have him in hand. The change comes AS SOON as I either unclip the leadrope or take the halter off. Then he explodes.

The first thing I did was play alpha mare...and that made the situation worse. It kicked up to this notch after I did that a few times.

He can't have hay. His teeth are horrid and he can't grind hay...not even pellets or cubes. He's on a complete Sr. feed that is formulated for horses that can't have hay.

I don't have a round pen...and no room/money to build one. My barn is in the center of my pasture, there's not even a separate section. I'd put some fencing up around the barn...if I owned the property and wasn't renting...but I refuse to invest that kind of money for something that I'll be leaving behind in a few years (or maybe longer, I'd love to stay a while).

Finally, he's already scared of whips. He's a we don't know what all he's endured in his life.

Can anyone offer any advice on how to teach him respect at feeding time? In all other areas he's a great little pony and SUPER gentle. It's ONLY at feeding time that he acts like this.
devildogtigress is offline  
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-30-2011, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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It doesn't matter about his past - forget it and don't hold that with you in your mind when you're with him. Think this is my lovely boy that is well taken care of...period. OK he's afraid of whips... you must work on that. You do need a stick which will act as an extension of your arm so that if he gets a little inappropriate you can extend your arm and say "hey my friend please get back". You can also put a plastic bag on the end of the stick to encourage him to move back more. I would work on getting him to be unafraid of the stick while you have a halter on him. You need to be gentle with the stick and use it carefully so that he does not go kookoo. If I were you just get the Parelli DVD success series seven games and that should help you a lot. Furthermore, do not let you kids around him until you are confident or maybe until they are older.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-30-2011, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Don't forget to play tons of Friendly Game with the stick, so that he doesn't see it as just another whip to fear. Stroke, scratch his itchy spots with the leather tip, swirl the string over him & around his legs in a rhythmic massage way, etc.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-30-2011, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Posts: 118
• Horses: 4
I have a the carrot stick necessary or can I use something else? I don't have that kind of money to fork out.

I do have all the parelli stuff (levels 1-3) that a friend gave me when she "got out of horses" (yes, she could have made a bundle off of them...but she was super generous and I love her to pieces for it). I just got them (via UPS) and have been working on finals (due tonight) so I've not had a chance to look at them. My plan was I'd start w/ horsenalities and go from there.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-30-2011, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Sounds like a good plan. No you don't have buy a carrot stick. You could just snap a limb off a tree if you had to. It should be about the length of your arm. I think that you will find a rope halter and a couple of ropes useful. The parelli ones are pretty cheap and very good quality.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-30-2011, 08:52 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: CO
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I agree with HAVE to leave his past behind him; he will continue to act the way he does ONLY because you allow him to remember those things. Act like they didn't happen, and help him get over them by using the tools you have at your disposal; since you have the Parelli levels, start there.

You can get a cheap 'handy stick' at a fleet farm or tractor supply company...I have one that I spent like 7 or 8$ on, from the cattle section; all I had to do was add a string to it; it's more bendy than the normal handy sticks, but it works.

You can get rope halters from fleet farms too, that could suffice for now for fairly cheaply.

As far as him not being able to eat hay...have you tried moistening hay pellets? And maybe feed those outdoors while he's outside during the day? This could be given as a supplement, so he is not having to "just" eat the grain a couple of times a day. You may even try moistening hay cubes...
That will also be alot 'cooler' calories for him, too, than the feed, so may chill him out some.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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