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  • Teaching a horse to dally
  • Ponying how to train a lazy horse

 
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    10-17-2009, 11:15 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Ponying

I've been having difficulty lately ponying my two year old standardbred cross, Luna, from my arab. Luna tends to be very lazy and Stella is...well, an arab. My problem is trying to get Luna to keep up with Stella at a trot. Actually, just trying to get Luna to trot at all is a challenge. Stella is so patient and wonderful, but she doesn't neck rein that well yet and I just don't have enough hands to hold Luna's rope and steer Stella. I've never thought it to be very safe to tie the rope to the saddle horn, but I don't know how else to do it as I'm thinking I may need to use incorporate a crop in the mix, too, to motivate Luna. I'd appreciate any tips!
     
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    10-17-2009, 11:36 AM
  #2
Weanling
You could make a small loop in the end of the rope so that you could loop it over the saddle horn but slip it off if womething happens. I've seen people do it, but i'm not really sure about the safety issues.
     
    10-17-2009, 12:27 PM
  #3
Showing
I haven't ponied much but when I have, I do a dally around the saddle horn and just sort of feed the rope in and out as needed. It helps free up a hand when you need it.
Dally-
     
    10-17-2009, 08:26 PM
  #4
Trained
I would try the dally, but would never tie any rope attached to a horse's halter to the horn. Even if you made a loop and simply looped it over, when something happens, you're not going to have time to get that thing over the horn before it tightens.

Does Luna know how to trot out with you in hand? I think this is essential before ever ponying them; if she doesn't trot willingly inhand, she certainly won't do it being ponied, and you limited control (as you've noticed) to teach one to trot from up there.

I would also try teaching your other mare to neck rein better before ponying more too; This will make things even less complicated than if she has to be 'buggy reined'.
     
    10-17-2009, 09:08 PM
  #5
Started
Ponying seems scarry enough (ive never done it lol) but tying a horse to your saddle is bound to end badly. Does she know voice commands? If not that could help
     
    10-18-2009, 01:46 AM
  #6
Foal
My mum ponyed Ruffles (our slow and incredibly unenergetic Paint yearling) off of Smarty. Because Smarty is a QH with the slowest jog in the world it helps for Ruffles to keep up. But once mum was going up and down the road ponying Ruffles from Smarty and they came across some llamas. Yep, and as we all know most horses freak at llamas. Ruffles didn't Smarty did. I don't know how mum controlled Smarty with one hand from galloping up the hill (and gee wizz, Smarty was jogging alot faster now) and hold on2 Ruffles who was walking along slowly like she had all the time in the world!!
I think you should do a bit more work with getting Luna to trot in hand before doing anymore ponying... or find a sloooooower horse then Stella (:
     
    10-18-2009, 07:21 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride    
I would try the dally, but would never tie any rope attached to a horse's halter to the horn. Even if you made a loop and simply looped it over, when something happens, you're not going to have time to get that thing over the horn before it tightens.

Does Luna know how to trot out with you in hand? I think this is essential before ever ponying them; if she doesn't trot willingly inhand, she certainly won't do it being ponied, and you limited control (as you've noticed) to teach one to trot from up there.

I would also try teaching your other mare to neck rein better before ponying more too; This will make things even less complicated than if she has to be 'buggy reined'.
I pony our young mares a lot and this is very (very) good advice. If you can't comfortably ride your mare with one hand or just with your leg, I would seriously avoid even a dally until you and your mare have more experience ponying. The lead rope can quickly wind up wrapping around your hand or trapping your leg and, at best, it will hurt like #@$. Also, make sure you know how your mare will react (and if she is strong/balanced enough) if she is suddenly jerked when that lead tightens to the point where she is starting to 'drag' the other horse.

In general, keep a short lead and make sure she will consistantly stay at your hip at a walk before going to the trot. Like anything else, practice until the ponied horse knows that its 'job' is to be right there next to you, regardless of the gait.

Keep working on it as a team...it's a great riding skill to learn, and a good pony horse is worth it's weight in gold.
     
    10-18-2009, 07:56 AM
  #8
Showing
Jen, PaintedHorse is right. Never dally a ponied horse - ever. Not even one turn around your horn. The two things I would do would be to first train your Arab to neck rein and work off your legs and the second thing is to teach your filly to move with some impulsion.

Teaching a horse to neck rein should be easy enough for you. She doesn't need to be turned into a reining horse but just so that you can control her with one hand. I ride with my reins crossed and I hold on to the center of the cross. If a horse I'm riding gets balky, I can twist my wrist so that I am not only laying the rein against his neck but I'm direct reining as well.

Teaching the filly to move with impulsion happens on the ground in either a round pen or on a lunge line. Oh, and when ponying, I would use a rope halter that has some knots in the crown.

Bottom line may be that no matter what, ponying the filly may not work with your Arab. The two may be incompatible; the Arab with a gait that does not match the filly. It would be like ponying a QH from a TW that is always moving out - the QH would have to be constantly transitioning form trot to slow canter to keep up with the gaits of the TW.
     
    10-18-2009, 09:04 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Thank you for the responses everyone! Luna does trot easily in hand. I've had her pretty much since birth and have been ponying her from Stella since she was 6 months old. She lunges, backs, flexes and many other groundwork exercises. When ponying her in the past I've just always only walked her around our property over obstacles and short walks down the road. Only in the last couple of months I've been trying to get her trot along with us.

Stella responds well to my leg and will slow her gait/stop when I shift my weight back without any pressure on the reins. So when I get Stella moving at a trot and Luna refuses, she pulls me back in the saddle causing Stella to slow and then stop.

But my biggest problem is the steering and you all are so right. I need to get Stella neck reining before adding Luna again. I guess I knew that all along and was in denial. I was looking for a shortcut and I know better. Thanks again!
     
    10-18-2009, 09:24 AM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3neighs    
But my biggest problem is the steering and you all are so right. I need to get Stella neck reining before adding Luna again. I guess I knew that all along and was in denial. I was looking for a shortcut and I know better. Thanks again!
LOL. I think we all look, at times, for those non-existent shortcuts!

Good luck and keep working on it. I cannot stress too much that over the years, I've found that with a good pony horse as 'teacher', ponying the young ones is one of the most effective training tools available....and it's free and you get to ride at the same time!
     

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