New to this - biting ponies & training to do rides

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New to this - biting ponies & training to do rides

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    04-26-2011, 05:20 PM
Question New to this - biting ponies & training to do rides

Hi guys! This is my first post here, so stay with me!

I've always loved and worked around horses. I had lessons when I was younger. Next year I will be going to a high school just for horses.

But right now I work at a very popular park district in Ohio. My job is to work with the ponies & train to do pony rides, which includes hand led and a wheel (eek!).

I have a few questions.

A lot of the volunteers are older, and quite frankly, have no idea what to do around horses. The ponies are babied. The ponies respect me, for the most part.

We have one pony, a Welsh cob who bites, kicks, etc. She is lowest on the totem pole. Very hard to catch. What do I do when she (or any of the ponies) pin their ears back and start to get that attitude?

And we also have a new pony that is very "huggy." Always really close to you. Right now I push her away or make up back up. She also does not lead well. Since their are children around the ponies, we cannot tolerate any of this behavior.

Any advice, or just general horsemanship advice? I've been lurking for a while and trying to learn as much as I can. Thank you so much!
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    04-27-2011, 09:25 PM
Welcome! My advice is to be sure to work the ponies more than just the 'rides'. Take them out and make them respect your space. If they don't then get big and back them up. Take baby steps, if it takes an hour to go 15ft so be it, as long as the lesson is learned. There are a few good posts on biting if you search them. Others can explain that better than I!

Be sure that you are in charge at all times. If they give you attitude give it back, a little swat on the butt or side will only help to show them that you are the lead mare. At the same time however make sure that these ponies are getting some lovin too. Take them for some walks with no one on them if you can.

I hope this helps...
    04-28-2011, 12:42 AM
Green Broke
Especially because these horses are working with un-experienced children they need to be respectful.

When the ponies disrespect you by coming into your space, make them aware that you are in charge and they need to follow your instruction. Once the pony respects you, reward them. They need to understand when they are doing wrong and when they are being well behaved.

As for the pony that bites, kicks, etc. I would suggest this pony is not worked with children until these issues have been dealt with, it can be very unsafe around children. This pony needs to be shown who the leader is and needs to be shown that they are not allowed to dis-respect those who lead it. With the catching issue, take a treat out with you and once the pony comes towards you or stands quietly while you catch them. Reward them. The biting and kicking needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, I would suggest a more experience horse person to work with him/her.

Some people say when a horse bites to smack it on the nose, however in my opinion I feel this can cause head shy issues. My horse does not bite, however if he ever did try such thing he would get a smack on the neck - obviously not a huge boom. But enough for him to understand that his behavior is wrong and will NOT be tolerated.

bites, pony

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