How do I discipline a headstong pony
 
 

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How do I discipline a headstong pony

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    11-14-2012, 04:13 AM
  #1
Foal
How do I discipline a headstong pony

My 13 year old daughter is loaning a 4 year old fell pony. He is generally mild mannered but does tend to lean into you quite a bit and keeps his head down making it quite difficult to tie him up. Last night my daughter was bringing him out of his stable into a busy yard and he started to push her a bit. She gave him a hard smack on his side. My partner was furious. She thinks this will hurt him and also help create nervousness. My daughter thinks that this is the correct approach. Who is right and who is wrong - please, I need your advice.
     
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    11-14-2012, 04:26 AM
  #2
Trained
Smack him hard. I don't care if it's a pony or not, if the horse is leaning on you or in your personal space or not respecting you...Get on him about it. This doesn't mean constantly beat him, it means that the animal at least six times your size gets a smack for pushing you around. Even ponies can push you against a stall wall and if he doesn't respect you, you'll break bones that way.

Horses don't comprehend that we are more breakable. A horse kicks another horse, the other horse grunts once and then goes to eat grass. A horse kicks a human, we could get broken or killed. A smack we give them isn't anything near what a horse in the pasture can do to them. Trust me.

If he gets in your space, smack him with the rope and make him go backwards away from you. If he won't lift his head, pop him with your foot. (I should really emphasize the "pop". This isn't a kick. The jaw is a little more sensitive.) Trust me. It won't make him nervous. I smack my colt around on a daily basis and the dufus still thinks I'm just world's #1 Mom.
     
    11-14-2012, 04:30 AM
  #3
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samtheman    
My 13 year old daughter is loaning a 4 year old fell pony. He is generally mild mannered but does tend to lean into you quite a bit and keeps his head down making it quite difficult to tie him up. Last night my daughter was bringing him out of his stable into a busy yard and he started to push her a bit. She gave him a hard smack on his side. My partner was furious. She thinks this will hurt him and also help create nervousness. My daughter thinks that this is the correct approach. Who is right and who is wrong - please, I need your advice.
I think you're wrong. Your daughter is right. Let's assumes that you're daugKhter isn't quite as big as you. Can you stop charging horse? Nope. Dose a lil rap from yalls lil one hurt the pony? (their all ponys to me) the critter in ? Could and may
At some point run through a fence, kick out of a trailer, or flat mow your buts down. When a tap from a rope is well placed and used correctly. Your pony's will be just dandy
     
    11-14-2012, 06:18 AM
  #4
Weanling
Phly, I don't think the OP put his/her opinion on it. Just that of his daughter and partner.

I agree with Sorrell, (she didn't say to do this) but just make sure you keep smacks away from the face! That will create a head shy/nervous horse.

If my pony is having a day where she thinks she can push me around and a small smack on the shoulder doesn't work, I lean into her with my elbow and make it as uncomfortable as possible. If the pony finds it uncomfortable/painful he'll stop.

As for the lowering of the head, teach the pony how to lift/lower his head from pressure. There are lots of videos on it but its a really simple task, just takes a little time.
To lower the head put pressure on the poll area with your hand, and as soon as you get even the smallest reaction release and give the horse a pet/rub. Repeat this again, each time making him drop his head a little more until he feels the pressure and thinks "I should put my head down". Don't make this a frustrating experience, spend 10 or 15 minutes on it a day and move on until he gets it.

To raise the head, do the same thing but pull up with the lead rope, don't yank it, just put a steady pressure. This helps too when he will decide he wants a bite of grass.
The key to this is to make sure you reward the horse with release of pressure, a good tone of voice and pets/rubs.

You may want to show your partner this thread, so she can understand why its not going to hurt the horse.

Good luck!
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    11-14-2012, 06:28 AM
  #5
Foal
Thanks for advice so far. She did hit him fairly hard, just one single slap. Is this a problem for anyone?
     
    11-14-2012, 06:33 AM
  #6
Weanling
Maybe tell her to lighten up a little, but if he continues make the slap a little harder. He'll learn that small slaps lead to bigger/harder slaps.
     
    11-14-2012, 09:37 AM
  #7
Foal
Thanks, it's all very helpful and reassuring. Not having any horse experience myself I didn't know what the best policy would be.
     
    11-14-2012, 10:02 AM
  #8
Trained
I would have used a crop or whip personally. Gets the point across better and doesn't hurt my hand. The louder noise can be more effective than the actual smack.

I don't know how much time you have with the pony but you may want to consider doing groundwork and respect training.
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    11-14-2012, 10:22 AM
  #9
Showing
I will hit a horse hard only if it's him or me and I haven't found the need to hit one in over 5 years. Your daughter needs to take the time to focus on groundwork. Buy a knotted halter, they are cheap and the pony will pay more attention to it. It is not to be yanked on but the pony will change his mind about bulling into it. She should carry a riding crop and hold the lead about two feet away from the clip. This makes it easier for the pony to walk his own path without someone hanging on his head. As she walks with him have her suddenly flap a bent elbow up toward the pony's head. (think chicken dance). She should do this any time his head comes toward her but no in a rhythmic fashion. He'll become mindful of keep his distance. Generally a horse will turn it's head away when it uses it's shoulder but she can bring his head back before it happens. His ears will tell her what he's thinking. When he cocks the far one he's thinking of leaving and that is when she needs to suddenly make a left turn. The pull on the halter will get his attention back. When she asks him to stop have her hold the crop in front of his face parallel to the ground. She can give him a light bump on the nose if he doesn't listen. It won't make him headshy. When she asks him to back, first a tug on the lead toward his chest. If no response then tap the point of the shoulder of the more forward leg as that is the one he will step back with. Be sure her body is facing the direction she wants him to go (backwards). When she gets one step, give him a little slack, and rub his forhead as a reward. The forehead is one of the places a horse can't scratch and often appreciates a rub. If you don't wish to use a knotted halter then use a lead with the chain under his jaw. Never yank with this set up as the chain can damage nerves. He will pay more attention to the chain. Remove the chain before tying him up. Try to spend three days in a row on the groundwork without riding. Never get angry with the pony's actions. The work discipline comes from the word disciple - to teach, not to punish.
     
    11-14-2012, 11:04 AM
  #10
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samtheman    
Thanks for advice so far. She did hit him fairly hard, just one single slap. Is this a problem for anyone?
Nope, not for me. As far as I'm concerned, smack em like you mean it, do it once and do it right.....then leave em alone.....

The worst thing about ineffective discipline is that it's frustrating for both handler and horse........and you both end up nit picking and nagging one another.....it turns into a battle of wills......
     

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