Our new neighbor has two adorable ponies. One is a grulla mare and the other is a black gelding. He says that they are two years old and "rescued" (don't know what that exactly means in this context!) Anyways, they are both unhandled and very timid of people. It is obvious that the owner has absolutely no horse knowledge at all! He told my mom that he had a hard time getting the "thing" onto their heads (meaning the halters).
I am very afraid that if something doesn't happen or he isn't helped that these horses could be in a lot of trouble! They already need their feet trimmed, but that can't be done until they've had some handling.
The owner asked if we knew of any good trainers and we told him about one right up the road, however I don't know how serious he is and whether or not he will take them there. In a roundabout way he asked my parents if I would be willing to train them. I don't know that I will have the time they need though.
I am also afraid that because he knows so little, he might think I am being mean when I have lounge whip or something( I use it as an extension of my arm, esp. With such pushy horses, I want to make sure that they keep their distance) I was hoping that I might be able to go over there every once in a while and help him a little, show him some things. I am totally comfortable around horses and am not timid. I know how to be firm, and have good feel for when to release pressure/ reward them. However, I have never worked with a horse that was afraid of people!
We don't have a round pen, only his pasture and the small paddocks. I don't want to use the paddocks because I don't want them to feel cornered.
How do I earn their trust without letting them run all over me?
I do NOT want to teach them bad habits. If you think that he should just take them to a trainer, let me know and I will tell him that! I am hoping though for just a few pointers though, so that they are a little more manageable for the owner.
Do I just give treats and pats till I can get the lead rope on? Then work on touching their body with an approach and retreat method while they are on a lead (so that they can't just run away) Please comment on my ideas too. Are they good? Bad? Silly? haha
Thanks so much to those who have read, And to those who have suggestions!