stubborn shetland pony!!!help me before he hurts the kids!!!
About 2 yrs ago we bought a shetland pony from an aution for my 3yr old and 2 yr old neice and nephew to ride,well they rode him decided they would rather ride my 15 hh tn walker mix mare instead so the pony has just sat in the pasture for a long time until I started handling him again so when they wanted to start showing they can on him.well he is being a brat!he is an 8 yr old gelding shetland pony not small at all more like a mini pony.he is a chocalate color with a flaxen mane and tail.and when I went to get him he wouldnt hardly let me catch him and when I tried to lead him anywheres whether to the barn or someplace else he would drag me everywheres.he will not lounge at all,and he doesnt like the bit at all and will not listen to it.he rides in a horrible staright curb bit im trying to get him a better bit but the problem is which one?he is always fighting with my other horses and he doesnt show respect to me.as he is my 3rd shetland pony and probably the worst behaved,(he has even tried to kick me!and he will literally drag me,once when it was muddy and I was trying to lead him he made me trip and he drug me through the mud until I could get up and hold his nose closed until he stopped.)is there any help for him because he is drop dead gorgeous and he has a sweet personality he's just so dog garn stubborn!notice that I don't spend a lot of time with him because it hurts when he bangs me around,i know it a lack of respect but I don't know how to train him.if he could just get to where he can lounge and ride the kids around without me having to lead him and where he will be safe enough to let the kids lead him then id b ehappy(also sorry for the long post!)and if I could get some help I could spend everyday with him working with him because I have all day to work with my horses.
Heres a picture of charlie brown.my pony I think he's got the cutest name!the patch in his mane has grown out and he has small golden patches in his coat like large dapples.this pic was taken last winter.hes a really thick bushy mane,any help in how to thin that out?
I've worked with horses like your pony before. They're fun all right! Lol. But what's worked for me everytime are the Parelli 7 Games. Excellent way to get respect. If anything, get yourself a good quality rope halter.
I have one name for you: Clinton Anderson. If you get RFDTV, watch his Downunder Horsemanship. He also has a website. It sounds like your pony has some major respect issues that need to be resolved. Teach him the "Hula Hoop" exercise and get him the heck out of your space. The Lunging for Respect really gets the horse thinking and listening to you. There are countless exercises to work on, and most of CA's resources give them in a progression that builds on itself, from basic respect to advanced training, reining, and bridleless riding, English and Western. Most of the equipment can be improvised or found cheaper, but the Gaining Respect And Control book is fantastic, and just watching the TV show is helpful and inspiring. As far as the bitting issue, I would bring him back to a mild snaffle, maybe with a french link, and get him soft (CA has exercises!! ) How tall is he, exactly? Can you ride him? If he is to small, I hope you can find someone small enough and exerienced enough to deal with his issues and brattiness before the kids get on.
I have seen the Parelli system get results, but I have tried the seven games and my horses just didn't seem to "get it" like they do the Clinton Anderson stuff. Give it a try, every horse is different and responds best to different things.
He is a cutie! My suggestion on the mane would be to just pull it, like you would a Quarter Horse, from the underside. If you pull from the top, you can get it growing back like a hedge.
I can ride him for short periods im just 100 pounds andf14.but it looks pretty funny me riding the pony with my legs dragging,i havent met a person that small that could handle a pony like him.i mean he is either really up in in your face and fighting you or he's as far away as possible and fightig to get away from you,its like he's bipolar.he gets me so frustrated!do they sell rope halters that small?
I have not tried the Parelli 7 games but I am with scout rider on this one.
My TB gelding just spen approx. 5 yrs in a 40 x 40 with very occasional Reound pen excercise and an occasional turn out in a biiger pasture. He is 8 yrs old now and he did spend some time with a woman while I was injured that supposedly rode and trained him. As I was not there to see what she did with the horse I can not be certain of what he does and does not know when under saddle. I have only ridden him a few times for a short period.
I recently moved my horse to my stated and he has been a big brat too.
It is as iff all his manors went out the windo. He also has some foot issues we are in the process of figuring out.
But...I have been working on the respect issues with him almost daily. Starting from little things such as walking and being tied up and groomed and handled every day...
I have had him into the round pen and finally have him listening to the commands, but I have to say He has been really unruly at times...rearing and acting like his head is on backwards...
So I have been trying to be very consistent and persistent but not overdo it since he has no shoes and his feet are an issue we are working on as well.
It is my personal opinion that if he is not respectful on the ground and respectful of my space then he would not be very respectful undersaddle either.
I have been waiting and looking around for the Lounging for respt DVD's of Clinton Andersons, as of yest I have not found them. I also have been readng many of his books and in the past I did have access to RFTV, but what a bummer because my cable carrier does not off that channel or I would be watching as often as I can.
I understand about your getting on the pony with your longer legs, but if your not that tall and don't weigh that much I am not sure how big of an issue it would be.
Migh want to find a really really experienced younger rider, after you have started to get this pony to use the thinking side of his brain and not the reacting side. He sound like a pushy little guy.
I understand the pushy and not listening thing totally.
It is not only frustrating but unacceptable to me that my horse has lost his respect for me because I was injured and unable to have him here in my area...as a result he has been not handled everyday and is really having issues with rembering what it is like to have a human as a leader.
As CA talks about a lot. Horses have a thinking side of their brain and a reacting side of their brain...well my horse is using the reacting side now more then the thinking side...So we are working slowly to regain this.
I would do as Scout rider has suggested and work on the Lunging for respect thing and go to CA's website and look to see f you can get the rope halter in a smaller size. You can stil do the excersises with a different type of halter, but the rope one he uses is pretty effective.
I wish you all the luck...
Hope this at least helped you to not feel alone on this one...
I have seen rope halters on minis before, I assume that they're out there. I've had my Average horse size rope halter on my 14 hand QH mix, and an Arab/yearling size fly mask is almost too big for him. Granted, so is the halter, lol, but we get by with it.
It sounds like the pony a. Doesn't see you as dominant over him (hence the in your face attitude), and b. Is lazy when it comes to "working" (so he fusses to get away). The laziness and running away will probably improve a lot when you impress upon him the fact that you are the "boss mare" of his herd. I think Cherry Hill has a book called "How to Think Like A Horse." That really sheds a lot of light on the herd dynamics and psychology that go into horse training, if it interests you.
I know what you mean about looking funny on a little pony. I'm about 110 and 5 ft 2 in, but I've been riding for almost ten years. When I last took lessons, the trainer had me riding a 13 hand grey Quarter Pony mare. She usually put the really little kids on her because she is old as time and can be trusted with them, but she never cantered or did more advanced work because of the kids that rode her. Enter moi, lol. That pony cantered (no, ran) like a bird dog on the scent and turned like a superbike, lol . I'd say you should be fine to ride for about 45 minutes to an hour, if the saddle is really light.
I don't ride with a saddle,the saddle that the kids ride him with is too small for me to fit in its like a 13 inch.its tiny.im going to try working on his lounging later and im going to get him a rope halter too.but another problem of his is he WILL NOT turn while lounging he will lounge but only on one side,when I try to turn him he gets fussy.and tries to go the one way.the people I got him from was the kind that was like "aw that horse is fine if he doesnt get handled a lot the kids still ride him" and like "whats lounging,we don't do all that fancey stuff to our horses"
But we bought him anyways thinking that we would work with him.he kinda acts like a stallion actually but he's been gelded for a long time now.
I am strongly against Parelli's games and CAs techniques. They are physically harmful to the horse. I have seen many horses with physical issues even though they are "obedient" from doing these games. Even in their clinics, horses that they say are doing well are nervous, high headed, and eventually seem to get bitter. Judging from your absolutely adorable little pony (if you decide you don't want him, I would love to have him!), he is already a little strung out in the picture. Instead of throwing a lot of things at him that are going to make him even more vulnerable physically, I would start slow and with the basics.
A little extra info..... Horses don't like to be in charge. It is a very stressful position within the herd. However, horses don't like to feel at risk either. If they feel that they are the most well equiped within their herd, then they will assume that role. If a horse feels exceptionally at risk (I find this a lot with horses that have been through auctions or have serious physical issues) they will test their leader that much more. I worked for someone who got plenty of horses from livestock auctions. I personally find a lot of horses that go through auctions to be either very scared or very protective (seen by some as "dominant"). One pony that I own was purchased at an auction by her previous owner. I bought her a couple months later for 1/4 of what they payed for her since she was chasing people in the pasture and trying to strike at them. She is now ridden by small children, but she was "dominant" by most peoples standards when I brought her home. I didn't see her as being dominant though, I saw her as being protective of herself.
If holes are left in training, then you will always fall through them later in your program. You mentioned your pony had a problem with catching, so this is where I would start. Hopefully you have a smaller turnout paddock and you aren't using a 20 acre pasture, that might take a while. Carry a halter with you. Now, you are just going to be a pest. You don't need to run, you don't need to make him run, just walk towards him. If he walks away, just follow him. If he makes any aggressive gesture towards you, use whatever force necessary to get him out of your space. Continue following him until he stops and face you then stop immediately, looking at him directly. Now just stand there. If he looks another way, start walking towards him. If he leaves, follow along behind, if he faces you again, stop. Stand there, just looking at him, until he starts to relax. Look for the classic signs, licking and chewing, yawning, and the head dropping to or below the wither line. Once he is relaxed with you being there, approach again. Don't sneak up on him, you have nothing to hide. Place your hand square between his eyes. If he walks away, start following again. If he doesn't, go ahead and scratch his body, rub him a little, and while you still have his full attention, walk away. Repeat this daily and you will find it doesn't take long at all before he will start coming to "catch you" when he sees you at the gate.
I have caught feral horses this way as well as horses with "respect" issues and horses that just had their experience with people and found it wasn't all that great. One horse was an untouched 3 yr old with a baby at her side. She had never had a halter on her. It took me about 3 weeks of doing this 4-5 times a week. Then everything else just came quickly. She already knew how to stand for grooming from all the time I spent rubbing her, within 2 weeks of being in a stall she had all 4 feet trimmed without a glitch (had never even been picked up before), and she started lunging easily shortly after.
A lot of people find this boring, they want to see horses do things and see things get done. As boring as it may seem, I have found that it is the fastest way to get there.
The rope halter will really get him off of the lungeline. Thin rope is a lot harder to lean on than a wide nylon strap. When you get him going on a circle and decide to change directions, switch hands on the rope and lunge whip (A stick/string outfit is better, but I used a dressage whip with baler twine tied to the end before I found my reasonably priced stick). Your pony should now be moving forward, and the hand holding the whip or stick should be the hand closest to his nose. "Reel in" the lungeline, an arms length at a time, pointing up with the hand holding the rope in the direction you want the pony to go. The whole time you are pointing, be in front of the pony's girthline (the driveline), and spin the stick towards his nose. If he doesn't respond, take up more rope and try again. If he doesn't respond even when you are close enough to touch him with the stick, tap him on the muzzle with the stick, he MUST listen. This tap should stop him and drive him in the direction you are pointing with the rope hand. The tap is easier to effectively deliver with the stick, as a whip can "sting" and be more painful for the horse, and is also more difficult to control at the tip. This is the "watered down" version of Lunging for Respect, Stage 2. Ideally, master stage 1 first (on circle, stop, disengage hindquarters and look at you with 2 eyes), but stage 2 will get him to turn and be more attentive to you. My new horse came to us knowing NOTHING about lunging AT ALL. Within 15 minutes he was beginning to understand what I wanted with this method. This is an Natural Horsemanship style lunging, so lots of changing direction and speeds. When you get the respect you need, you can do a more traditional style of lunging (for correct gait, frame, etc), but don't worry about that until you have solid control of your pony on the ground and on his back.
I totally get the attitude of the people you were describing. We have a lot of die hard gaming riders (mostly kids, 10-18) whose horses have no manners whatsoever, yet they throw kids on them and set them loose to burn around a barrel pattern. Most of these horses take off bucking, rear until they get the OK to run, and half wreck into the gate on the runback. I know that most of these horses don't get any work done with them except the showing.