pony rescue

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pony rescue

This is a discussion on pony rescue within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-11-2011, 07:43 PM
pony rescue

I have rescued several horses from the meat truck. One pony I have had for two yrs and work almost daily, she doesnt kick or bite, hates to be brushed, leans terrible when asks for her back feet to be handled and wont stand still and nearly impossible to catch. We have given her only love and she still acts like she doesnt like us, could this be genetic problem? How long to I persevere?
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    03-12-2011, 06:55 AM
Just loving isn't enough to be loved in return. When it comes to horses anyway, some people might fall for it but horses are too smart for that.
    03-12-2011, 07:59 AM
Green Broke
A lot of time and patience. I know you said you had her for 2 yrs? Do you spend a lot of time with her just brushing and talking to her? Taking her out for one on one walks? I don't know. There may be a trigger in her that makes her Not trust in humans. She sounds like she went through hell.
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    03-12-2011, 08:01 AM
Green Broke
Sorry for the double post. Just letting you know it took me a year to get my mare to fully trust me.
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    03-12-2011, 08:34 AM
Super Moderator
They are not dogs or pack animals. They are a herd animal so they respond to a strong, trustworthy herd leader that they respect. You need to step up and be a leader. Demand a quick response to pressure. Make her move over, come forward, back up -- just move her around AS YOU WANT. I prefer moving one back and over and around MUCH more than making one move forward -- as in longeing. When they are very apprehensive like yours is, they seem to view going forward as 'escaping'.

When you stop and back her up, use firm voice commands and then demand quick results. When you say "Whoa!", give her lead a jerk when she moves a foot. Then approach her again and let her eat out of a bucket of feed while you hold it.

Make sure you take ALL pressure off of her lead when she does the right thing. When you pet and brush, persist until she relaxes and then back off. Your lack of putting pressure on her is the only reward she needs.

The occasional feeding from a can (not your hand) is to get her easier to catch -- to get her used to approaching her without her leaving.

We have been going through this with a set of barely halter broke two year olds all this past week. Within 3 days of working about 1 hour a day, all are now catchable in the open, tie and stand still for grooming and are ready to turn out until we have time to start them under saddle. They were wild as deer a few days ago and now they stand with a hip cocked while being brushed.

Pick her hind feet up with a rope. A long rope with one end tied around her lower neck, looped around her back pastern and pulled forward with the hind foot in it will stop the leaning. When she stops leaning on the rope, rub her leg and release it by hand . A few times of doing this and she will pick her foot up without leaning.
    03-20-2011, 07:43 PM
Thanks. I will try this. I am a little timid with back feet, her foal does the same thing in cross ties, moves all the way to wall when I rub her back legs.
    03-20-2011, 07:49 PM
I read a book from an author that I had emailed, and she had a personal experience like that....she had rescued a pony and it was very, VERY unresponsive...so much so it wouldn't even allow human contact...it was several years before the horse just one day decided that he liked humans.
But, some horses are just like that- just like humans: some horses (and people) are straight up hams, and others are more timid and like personal space. However, as stated above, I wouldn't let her walk all over you. Doing this only inhibits bad habits and enforces the idea that you aren't worth any time. Don't be harsh, obviously, but a firm hand is good as long as you remember to release the pressure as a reward, whether by telling her she's good, or by loosening the halter/reins or whatnot.

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