Ex Lesson Pony.

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Ex Lesson Pony.

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  • almond joy the pony
  • Ex nnep lesson horse

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    10-29-2012, 02:40 PM
Ex Lesson Pony.

I have a problem. Leo came from a childrens camp, he was not in the best shape. He looks alot better now, but problems are coming up.

1. Hard mouth and hard sides.
He does not like to listen. He will stop but when it comes to turning he acts very dull and like a robot. I have been doing alot of work with him on trails and on ground . But he still seems to not understand. When it comes to leg work im lost for words. He does understand walk, trot , canter, and he is getting better with cross overs. But when is want to not listen to them , well he just does not listen .

Im thinking he was broke by a young riding student. It sure seems like it. I really want him to work out for me. He has a heart of gold.

I was wondering if anyone had an ideas when it comes to working with this boy. Any tips ? Bit ideas ?

He sometime does has a pony mind and im trying to get him out of it.

Any tips will be done and there will be feed back ! Please don't just say ground work. That does not help me :P I need idea's and thoughts. !

Leo was 4 or 5 when I got him. He is now 8 .
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    10-29-2012, 02:55 PM
Sounds kind of like my pony when I got her. :)

As far as moving off leg here is what I did:
I went out on the ground (I know you don't want to do ground work but hear me out) with a crop. I made her stand and then pushed with the blunt end up the crop in her side, like where my heel would be. If she took one TINY ITTY BITTY step I said "good girl!" and gave her a pat. Then tried again. Now, she did NOT move when I just pressed on her. I had a good amount of pressure on her side with that crop before she even thought about moving. Progressively ask for more steps and use progressive pressure. Don't start with heavy pressure. Assume he will move with light pressure. Then move upwards. Eventually, he will move from the small pressure because he doesn't want that uncomfortable blunt end of the crop in his side.

In regards to the mouth thing... I'm not exactly sure how to help you with that. Try tuning up his leg responsiveness and work with that for awhile. Don't let him bait you into "arguing" with him. If you just keep pulling, he can lock his neck and jaw and barely feel anything! :) Use your "new found" leg to steer. I would consult your trainer about possibly using a stronger bit for one lesson. Only one, don't use it consistently because then he'll just get used to the harsher bit. Or, yet again, find something that makes it uncomfortable for him to not listen to you. Be persistent and when he finally gives, praise him. It's like training a greenie.

But I think the biggest thing I can stress is don't keep doing the same thing over and over again. Get creative. One way doesn't work, try something different. And always always always release the pressure the second he does it right. I know it's hard because you think "He needs to move off my leg for more than one stride" but take it slow. Slow and steady wins the race right? :)

Good luck!
flyinghighleo likes this.
    10-29-2012, 03:04 PM
There are two sides of the coin here - being defiant and being robotic.
Very often lesson horses learn to ignore cues, not because they don't like to do it, but because they're very confused. When a student has a death grip on their mouth but is kicking them to go, they have now learned that mouth contact does not mean stop. If a student yanks him around to the left, and he turns all the way, then yanks him around to the right. He's going to stop trying! Nothing he does is right! He has learned that nothing he does will relieve the pressure - which is his only chance at a reward.

There are 2 things I think you should do- first approach his 'broken' mentality. He sounds to me like he's just completely given up on trying. I think spending some good quality unmounted time, enjoying him, would do him wonders of good. Spend some time up on his back, not asking anything of him. Take him for an easy relaxing trail ride, don't ask much of him, just let him have fun. Find out what mounted thing he enjoys doing and do that.

Next you need to address his reluctance to obey. He has learned that nothing he does will relieve the pressure - so now you need to motivate him to do the right thing. Spend time working him lightly, but change things up constantly. Just light walk/trot, make circles everywhere, sometimes stop a circle half way and go the other way, make figure 8s and serpentines, turn and change and move all over the place. The entire time be SURE to relieve the pressure the moment he tries to do the right thing, even if it's not perfect. Make a number of transitions, walk/trot trot/walk halt/trot trot/halt walk/halt halt/walk and change it up constantly! Be sure the moment he does the right thing relieve the pressure. Personally I have NOTHING against giving treats so long as the rules are followed and he's never allowed to be pushy. Don't give him treats once you get off, give them to him when he does the right thing! If he does something that was tough for him before, or he wasn't doing right, just slip something into his mouth. Once he realizes something wonderful like that may happen he'll be trying hard the rest of the time looking for what he has to do to get that again! I just use hay stretcher pellets or tiny slices of carrots. I use clicker training though so I can click at exactly the right moment so he knows exactly what he did to get the treat. But you don't have to. I really do find that when horses realize there's something in it for them, they're much more eager for the ride :)

Good luck!!

Got any pics of the pony? :)
    10-29-2012, 03:07 PM
Yes ! That sounds perfect ! Once this storm passes im going to try it !! That's when Im thinking, once I get his mind good to my legs, then he mouth will just following along with a soft hand. He knows what stop means ( thank gosh) once he gets the legs I am thinking to treat him somewhat like a reining horse. 99 percent leg, 1 percent bit ! Do you have any ideas for a bit ? Im thinking full check snaffle?
    10-29-2012, 03:08 PM
Oh! LikeIke had some great suggestions and reminded me of something.
On the ground you can get him more responsive to bit pressure too! Personally I get the softest bit that my horse is most comfortable with and never change it. I put on their bridle and from the ground I'll hold the rein, with my hand rested on their withers, I'll hold one rein with just a tiny ounce of pressure on that one rein- then wait. The moment the horse turns his/her head in the direction of the pull I release the pressure and give a pat. I do this on both sides, with me standing on both sides, even pulling opposite from the side i'm standing. I keep my hand rested on their wither to ensure I don't keep pulling when they turn their head. This will help reteach your pony that the pressure Will be released when he does the right thing.
    10-29-2012, 03:10 PM
As for which bit, my favorite for green horses is a french link full cheek snaffle. I don't know many horses that really enjoy single jointed bits, most prefer 2 joints. I like the full cheek as it gives a lot of lateral pressure (it pushes their head and the mouth piece pulls) so it's much more clear. Once he's good you could move him into a loose ring or just keep it. :)
Almond Joy and flyinghighleo like this.
    10-29-2012, 03:12 PM
Okay, :) I take him running with me , I have a halter :P I live in the country so I don't like running alone. And we relax in the round pen ALOT. ( Maybe more then we should LOL ) We both like to be relaxed.

And yes I do :)
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PunksTank likes this.
    10-29-2012, 03:16 PM
I use a full cheek snaffle for my horse and it works pretty well :) But really, I would ride this horse in a plain old snaffle :) try it out, if you really don't like it, switch. Give him some time to get used to it though before you make any quick decisions.
    10-29-2012, 03:20 PM
Well right now, its mostly to cold for wet for rides so I have been working him with my bitless bridle. I only use it on trails when its really hot out so he feels more welcome to drink. So im hoping he respond to the bit alittle better.
    10-29-2012, 03:29 PM
Ditto to what everyone else has said. What bit have you used in the past? For now I would suggest a french link full cheek, also a fan of those!!!
PunksTank likes this.

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