Bought a mini--my FIRST horse. Looking for advice.
   

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Bought a mini--my FIRST horse. Looking for advice.

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        11-09-2013, 11:28 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Bought a mini--my FIRST horse. Looking for advice.

    Yesterday my first horse arrived at my house. "Spike" is a 9 year old gelding who supposedly rides(for pony rides) and drives. And let me just say-- I don't believe that crap for a minute! I lead with a loose lead-line and very little pressure when just leading him in a straight line moving forward, and he is bumping into me, nudging me with his shoulder, stepping on my feet(OUCH!), and/or moving ahead of me/falling behind me. When I stop, he kind of circles in front of me and stands with his body sideways and usually his neck ends up right in front of me. So I just continue walking in my straight line, right through him. I tried to establish space by wiggling the lead-line, telling him back, and applying pressure to his chest to back him, but he still looks terrified as he backs up. He disengages his rear nicely when I spin him around, but then seems to overcompensate when I stop asking him to move. He is easy to catch, as he just stands still, but has not so great ground manners. I know that this is NOT going to happen overnight--but I am just making sure that there isn't something that I should be doing that I am not. How can I help him to trust and respect me as a leader?
         
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        11-09-2013, 11:37 AM
      #2
    Trained
    Look up ground work techniques by Clinton Anderson, Craig Cameron, and Chris Cox. Any groundwork you do with an average size horse, you can do with a mini. It sounds like he just doesn't respect you, so he's doing everything he can to test you. If you have to, when you lead him, carry a dressage whip and when he gets out of line, give him a tap on the offending body part.
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        11-09-2013, 11:43 AM
      #3
    Foal
    Thanks for the advice. I've been watching a lot of youtube videos on groundwork and even join-up, but I am afraid that Spike will actually laugh at me if I try anything like join-up(and I don't have a round pen).
         
        11-09-2013, 11:50 AM
      #4
    Trained
    You get what you expect. If you go into working with him expecting him to misbehave or "laugh at you," that's what you'll get. If you go in expecting him to do as you ask and are confident, he'll be more likely comply.

    I'm not a huge fan of the round pen join up. My best friend loves it, but I just am not a fan. I prefer Clinton Anderson's methods. I used a lot of him with my unruly old gelding (made your boy look like a saint by comparison) and with my current gelding (who was basically unhandled when I bought him two years ago...now he's the best-behaved horse at my barn and my BO just adores him).
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        11-09-2013, 11:51 AM
      #5
    Started
    Personally, I would spend the first few days grooming and just doing really basic stuff. He just got there. He doesn't know you or what you want him to do from the sounds of it. Some horses settle in fast and others take a bit. Is he the only horse on the place? Any others close by.
    You might do some checking to see if there are any "mini" clubs in your area. Having other owners in the area can be a big help as far as advice and support.
    Good luck to you and Spike!
         
        11-09-2013, 01:56 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Yes, I have been brushing him out, have begun desensitizing him to the lead-line, and he even let me pick up one of his front feet slightly. This made me notice something about his shod front feet-- I think his hooves have grown right around his shoes! I have e-mailed multiple farriers and am just waiting for a reply now. Will post a pic if I can get him to let me lift his foot again later when my husband is home to 'man the camera'.
         
        11-09-2013, 03:53 PM
      #7
    Started
    Does this little horse have foot problems...other than his current shoes?
    Any founder issues?
    I'd want to get those shoes off asap. I'd call a farrier and not wait for a return email.
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        11-09-2013, 06:14 PM
      #8
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dustbunny    
    Does this little horse have foot problems...other than his current shoes?
    Any founder issues?
    I'd want to get those shoes off asap. I'd call a farrier and not wait for a return email.
    definitely -- if something looks off to you, it probably is

    Once the farrier checks him out, I would start getting some respect from him in the form of lunging


    My daughter was finished riding the other day and was trying to lead her horse to pasture and she was ignoring my daughter trying to eat some lawn grass -- so I stopped them, showed my daughter how to lunge her for a few minutes before leading her to the pasture again -- after the short lunging session her horse was much more attentive

    Also the tip about bringing a dressage whip is solid
         
        11-09-2013, 06:24 PM
      #9
    Foal
    I made some calls to farriers in NH-- the 3 that actually answered are 'too far' from me and are supposed to be calling me back with referrals. I am not really sure what founder is, but whatever is caked in his hooves under that mud/dirt is in there good! Also, maybe that's why I could not get him to move above a walk.

    LUNGING--- I tried this in the yard(filled with yummy grass), and could not get any space established between Spike and I. Would not move when I asked him, not even when I smacked a whip against the ground right behind him. I suppose that I could have worked him harder to try to get him moving but I really don't want to lose control(the fence is only 36") and I am afraid that if he wanted to get out-- he COULD! Hy husband was conveniently leaning on the fence watching us, distracting me, and Spike was distracted by barking dogs and cars going by(I live on a main road). Maybe I should get his feet checked before I push him to make him trot/canter, right?
         
        11-09-2013, 06:39 PM
      #10
    Yearling
    He should be checked out first. Horses often misbehave because they're in pain.

    I think it'd be smart to read up on founder/laminitis, because minis can be prone to it and obesity.
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