Ponying training question?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-20-2008, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Ponying training question??

I have a 9 year old mare who is pretty quiet. But she isn't used to having other horses with her when we ride. How do I teach her to pony another horse?/ I suppose I should start her with ponying just around the correl and then maybe in the field a few times to she if she is ok with it. I tryed leading another horse once before while riding her but she kinda freaked and as the other horse was freaking, I didn't want to make the situation worse. Hope someone has some ideas for me to try.
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-21-2008, 06:26 AM
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You're right that accepting another horse right on your hip is essential. I would start on the ground, walking her in hand with a horse that she is at least familiar with, if possible, and then riding her with someone else as close as you would be ponying (almost bumping close) to get her used to another horse being in her 'space', being bumped, etc. If she gets along well with other horses in general, practice, experience, work, and lots of miles should get you there. I assume she's an Appy from your id, and the Paints/QHs/Appys tend to have the build and disposition to make good pony horses (in my perhaps obviously biased opinion).
Continue to work w/your mare alone, too, to get her as experienced, light, and responsive as possible.
A good pony horse is almost effortless to ride and is worth its weight in gold. I can't imagine working our young ones out in the 'real world' without our 14 yr old seasoned, pony mare, Angel.

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post #3 of 9 Old 10-21-2008, 11:23 AM
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A bomb proofed horse that is a nice steady eddy would help your mare. If she isnt used to ponying and the horse she is trying to pony freaks out, that wont help her situation at all. Just practice on foot in an enclosed space, and then work on her with the horse at her hip and then move on from there. Dont push her, just take it nice and easy. If she seems nervous, dont push her but just slow down and back things up a step. Let her get used to another horse being close to her, and the lead rope, ect. Good luck!

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post #4 of 9 Old 10-21-2008, 05:56 PM
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I'd really want to make sure she can pony and be ponied.

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post #5 of 9 Old 10-21-2008, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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[quote=Curly_Horse_CMT;171090]A bomb proofed horse that is a nice steady eddy would help your mare.

If I had a bomb proofed horse, I wouldn't be needing to teach my mare how to pony!! My mare is fairly bomb proof, she has never ponied another horse and I need to take my gelding who is just being traind out on the trails. I just wanted some advice on how to teach etc....
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-22-2008, 12:25 AM
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Do not go out at all if your girl panics when you are trying to lead another horse off her. It is good however that you know this, as she has done it before, so you can work on it.
The horse you are riding should be the sane one, i have had many situation ponying were i am thankfull my boy behaved so darn well, also had some hairy moments with both horses being silly but i was able to keep them in control.

One of the main things is that YOU have to have enough knowlege on ways to control your mare if she does play up, as even a bombproof horse will have its moments. If you are confident in your ability to do that, only then would i be thinking about trying ponying another horse.

The horse you are riding should also be able to be controled with you using only one hand ( with in reason ), and you should be able to ride with one hand comfortably on her .Also the horse being lead should actually know how to be lead, you dont want trouble to come up and the lead horse to not respond to you.

On that thought....yes start in a enclosed area...correl as you call them.
I would advise that you introduce your mare to the horse you wish to pony off her before you do anything else, make sure she is comfortable with them being all around her , as when ponying both horses are walking reletivly close together. If shes %100 accepting of that horse being around her then...... Just sit on her , holding the other horse, pats and praise for calmness. Take a small walk , then stop and just slowly progress to longer walks if they are going ok. If either horse seems worried by the whole thing just stay at a stand for a bit longer to get them calm again then walk on slowly again.

You could also have one person on the horse being lead , so if something does happen you can drop the lead to control your horse, while the other person takes care of the other.

Just take it slow. Keep the horse being lead's head at your knee, and dont forget to praise both horses for there efforts.

ha...sorry for the long post :roll: hope it helps some....
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-22-2008, 10:41 AM
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I think your main concern is this:

Originally Posted by aappyfan1 View Post
I tryed leading another horse once before while riding her but she kinda freaked and as the other horse was freaking, I didn't want to make the situation worse. Hope someone has some ideas for me to try.

She must be solid enough to accept an excited hand horse beside her. There is no such thing as a bombproof horse, only bombproof riders. I'm not sure if you are asking how to teach her to pony, or how to pony another horse. In addition to what others have already said, I'd add that she needs to be rope broke everywhere - you don't want her to freak if the lead rope gets behind her butt, under her tail or gets goosey if it hits her flanks. My pony horse neck reins using a curb bit, has been roped from, can be positioned using only leg cues and understands verbal commands. She is stout enough to handle a dally without being pulled off her feet. She is assertive enough to keep the young ones in line - she knows where they should be and will nip or pin her ears if they try to play up, yet mellow enough so that more timid youngsters aren't afraid to come along side. I pony in a western saddle, breast collar and I wear gloves. My mare knows every square inch of the trails and land I pony on. The youngsters are fitted with a rope halter tied in with a longer knotted lead. Before I pony, the hand horse must know how to lead, lunge and obey verbal commands. With a hand horse who has never before been ponied, I will start in an enclosure large enough to handle some action should it occur. It's good to have a helper the first few times until the hand horse gets it. I'll position the hand horse between my pony horse and the rail and begin leading it so that it's head is about a foot from by hip. If the hand horse won't come along, I have the helper tap it on the rear. I'll do this from both sides at a walk, change and pony with the hand horse to the inside. Then I will begin turning into the hand horse...then away, etc. You get the idea.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-22-2008, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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That all sounds like good advice to me. Thankyou for your time. My mare does already hang out with the other horse I was planning on ponying they are good buds. I just have never had another horse out with her as I am the only one that rides. I am trying to train the gelding. But he needs time out off property and I thought it might be better to pony him the first few times before actually trying to ride him out. I only tried leading the one time and when the mare wouldn't lead, I didn't press the issue as hubby was on the other horse and he is a green rider.didn't want him hurt. Wasn't really concerned about me or my mare, lol

Last edited by aappyfan1; 10-22-2008 at 11:26 AM. Reason: needed to add more information
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-22-2008, 01:50 PM
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You are very welcome! No one has ever thanked me before! Personally, I will not pony a mounted hand horse...way too much going on for the hand horse to pay attention to and way to easy for a wreck to happen. What I will do is pony a horse out with a saddle first, and later, with a dummy rider. A dummy rider is nothing more than a pair of jeans with the leg bottoms sewn closed and a tube of sand down each leg with a rope threaded through the belt loops. The legs are tied to the stirrups and the waist tied to the saddle horn. It's dead weight, but it does get them used to what it feels like to carry/balance weight over varying terrain without having to worry about a rider.
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