Naughty Pony! Help?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-16-2009, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Naughty Pony! Help??

I have taken on yet another project. My friend has a 16yo Morgan/exmoor pony. He is very bad at being caught so after starting him, she hasnt bothered to do anything with him. soooo, hes been sitting in the field for about... 13 years? so I took him out (after an hour of catching) and drove him into a stall, ran around in the stall until I could get a halter on him, and worked on playing the Parelli friendly game and brushed him and everything. I even took him out to the roundpen and lounged him then practiced disengaging his front and hind quarters. Then the next day, he was let out into a small run out stall with a teenie field. (teenie as in little walking space) I really didnt think letting him go into anywhere bigger than a small stall was smart because of his catching issues, but his owner thought itd be mean to make him stay in a stall. (ugh.) so today, I went out to get him and he ran away! he even tried jumping over the 5 foot fence!! I was so mad! After about a half an our of running him in what little space I had, I was able to touch his butt. I started scratching and worked my way up to his back and then his withers. I was lucky I put a haystring on his halter so I could catch him easier. Then I took him out and brushed him and worked more on ground manners etc. I even put a saddle on him! He is very well behaved once you catch him. He's just afraid of everything! My friend's brother in law, who is a natural horsemanship trainer, says Cocoa has the kind of brain where he's so afraid of everything, that even though he hasnt done anything yet, he could explode! lol Cocoa isnt pushy at all, he minds personal space, and is fairly good about everything. Except he seems to be afraid of everything and doesnt really like people.

My question is, could a 16 year old horse that is afraid of everything be trained and turned into a nice calm riding pony? Also, even if you work with him consistantly everyday, you always have to start one or two steps back the day after. very frustrating.

**I really dont like the fact that this beautiful horse (and he really is gorgeous) is wasting away in a field.. He has so much potential, I dont wanna see it wasted.

(cookies to whoever read this!)

“Have fun - Stay on top.”
"There's nothing like sixteen hands between your legs"
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-16-2009, 10:49 PM
Green Broke
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well I dont have any advice for you but just keep up the good work. :)

Do I get a cookie now??? lol
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-16-2009, 11:25 PM
Green Broke
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i have a similar horse. he is 17 and we got him as a rescue. Whe we finally got him quiet enough to ride he would do good some days and horrible others. he is afriad of everything and allways seems ready to explode. and when he does explode it's bad. Almost killed me a few times. I decided my health was alot more important than my need for this horse to have a job. He seems much happier in the pasture anyways.

When In Doubt Let Your Horse Do The Thinkin
Originally Posted by spookychick13
What Lone said.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-16-2009, 11:36 PM
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Lonestar22 makes a valid point.

In reality, horses are quite fine to do nothing but live in a field and eat all day. It is us (humans) that feel they need a job to do. Somehow we think they don't have a good quality of life just "living in the pasture." Think about this seriously. If you had a nice home to live in where all your basic needs were met and you didn't have to do anything you didn't want to do... wouldn't that be just about the best life possible?

I think if the pony is too afraid to do the work you are asking of it, you probably should take a step back and let things be the way they are. It's your opinion only that this horse is "wasting away in the field." I'm quite sure the horse is fine with his living conditions/arrangements as all his basic requirements are being met.

Humans sometimes need to stop putting human emotion, wants, needs on animals.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-17-2009, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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well its not just that. He is over weight and if he continues to sit out in the field he could founder or something else. Also his catching issue could be potentially dangerous, he cant be caught for the farrier or for vet check ups. What is he was injured or sick? It would injur him even more to try and catch him and have him run away. Also its a waste of money to keep a horse if he doesnt do anything to earn his keep. And plus, hes not that big. If he did anything, it probly would be as dangerous as if a horse did something, not saying ponies arent dangerous..

“Have fun - Stay on top.”
"There's nothing like sixteen hands between your legs"
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-20-2009, 01:06 PM
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I have had the same issue numerous times. In my opinion, yes, a 16 year old can be taught to be a quiet riding pony. it sounds like he thinks you are a preditor when you go to catch him and that's why he runs. one you get him and he realizes you're not, he's fine. he hasn't picked up on it yet because flight has been so instilled in him.

Even if you don't ride him, i agree that he should be catchable.

Spend time with him. I mean hours. If you're not afraid of him, sit in a chair or something in the field and read a book. Or sit on the fence, that's generally safer in the beginning. don't try to catch him, don't even try to touch him. become a regular figure in his field. Horses are curious by nature and once he realizes you're not doing anything, he'll come to investigate you.

No matter how many steps he takes towards you, change NOTHING. make him touch you first before you dream of touching him. this will take a while, i promise, but it will work. when he does start coming to you, make being caught the most fun part of the day. Give him treats, pat him, then go away. do it a few times a day if you can. make him understand that every time you come into his home, you're not going to work him, you just want to spend time with him. then start to change it up. Sometimes take him in and work him, sometimes just play with him.

He will be far more accepting of you when he knows who you are. The last mare i did this with actually kicked her owner when she was trying to catch her. it took me two months and now, if you whistle inside the barn, she will nicker and run to the fence waiting for you.

be patient and keep us updated! good luck!
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-20-2009, 01:54 PM
Green Broke
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Its is possible to train a horse at 16 to be a nice quiet horse. Really tho, in my honest opinion i wouldn't do it. Your not getting paid and what benefits are you reaping from this? Will she give you the pony? Or when your done making it a nice riding pony will she throw it back into the pasture and let it waste away like she has been? Think about this before you do it. I used to do the same thing and i got sick of people walking on me and takin advantage of what i do just to put them back out to pasture and waste away all my hard work, so i just focus on my horses and my horses only unless i am getting paid or getting something in return.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-20-2009, 02:09 PM
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One benefit I can definitely think of, no matter what happens to the pony after the training, is that Lovethesaddlebreds will have that much more training experience with one more horse.

I also agree that the pony should at least be catchable and passably comfortable with humans "messing" with him.

If you have the time and desire to take on the project, full speed ahead, I say! Keep up the good work, and good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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