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post #11 of 17 Old 06-18-2013, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Every time you interact with your horse you are either training good behaviors/habits or you are ingraining poor behavior/habits. Never mind the fact that this pony has been moved to a new herd where she is establishing her place in the pecking order. Clearly, you offered no leadership and she has ranked you beneath her. Time to get some assistance and change the ranking order. You need to be the lead mare and show her in no uncertain terms who is boss.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-18-2013, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: BC, Canada
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I recently experienced something similar. I went and looked at my mare, though I wasn't looking for a beginner friendly horse, I was more looking for the next step. I tried her out three times, despite her having been off as a broodie, she stood stock still for mounting, moved off quietly forward when asked. She looked at things but didn't spook, she had her head in the air some of the time, but she's half Arab and not muscled up for carrying herself, so that was not a concern for me. I brought her to a boarding barn near me for a 30 day trial. I was so confident in her and she settled in so well that I was riding her the next day in the indoor with no problems.

Gradually, she started spooking on the spot under saddle, then she'd spook and run a few strides. The worst it got was half a circles worth of running, so no true bolting, mostly she would spook on the spot if we were walking or curve her body away from "whatever" she was spooking at and cut across a circle or whatever to get away from it, but without really increasing pace. Then she started to not want to stand still for mounting, or she would try to walk off and start jigging after I got on.

On the ground, the first time I was washing her hind legs she was fine, then after the spookiness started, she didn't want to be washed or even in the washing stall anymore when previously she had been fine. Other things, she would move away from me when I was tacking up, she would move into my space, she started to get really buddy sour, did not want to be out of view of other horses.

The problem was that I was letting her get away with little things because I wanted her to "love" me, and forgot about the whole respect thing. She is my first horse, and though I'm no stranger to horse handling, it was always other peoples horses' so it didn't really matter if they "loved" me as long as I could handle them safely.

So I researched some ground training techniques, got some help from my coach, and started trying to be much more consistent with her. Yesterday was the first time in awhile that she did not even try to move while I was mounting, or move off without instruction to do so.

Anyways, my point, is I see in your pony's behaviour a lot of things I started to see in my mare. You need to be firm and consistent with handling this pony. Also, if he's rearing, I would definitely consider not riding him until you can get a professional to at least look at him. In the meantime, look up some ground training exercises, and work on being absolutely consistent when working around him. If you tie him up to groom him, make sure he stands quietly until you are done. Pick up his feet. If you are feeding him yourself, ensure he does not get access to the food until you say it is ok, and carry a crop with you if that is whats required to keep him from mugging you.
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-18-2013, 01:29 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,303
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Get a trainer to help you evaluate the pony and the tack and see if the match is suitable. Do it now, before you sink a bunch of money into this pony.
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-22-2013, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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The time frame is right for the being a behavior issue or food related. Was her diet switched a lot between her former place and yours? That alone could bring out the beast in her. 5 weeks is just about right for untraining a horse. It's easy for novice horse owners to not notice they are letting the horse get away with little things: hogging the gate, not standing still when mounting, grass diving, anything where the horse is getting to make the decisions. These behaviors can easily translate into bigger problems. Since this is a mare, that complicates things a little since they are 8x harder to train than a gelding. It doesn't mean they cannot be trained, you will just need to follow through more with her. Glad to hear you have a trainer coming to help you. That should at least tell you what you're dealing with and you will know if she is or is not a good match for you. Don't feel bad it she isn't. There are plenty of good horses out there. No sense in getting hurt by one who isn't good for you.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tennessee
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Sorta sound like she's testing you & seeing what all she can do without being punished. I was in this situation about two years ago; I bought a stallion who was supposedly three years old & green broke, turns out he was just a 1 1/2 year old & was barely halter & lead broke. He's just now turning 3. Keep working her & let her know she can't get away with bad behavior, if she acts up when she's being tied out, leave her, but keep a watch on her. The next day, tack her up, & if she throws a fit, leave her out with the tack on for a while. (If it's really hot make sure she's in the shade & has water, of course)

Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high, keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, & live like you aint afraid to die, & don't be scared, just enjoy your ride.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: michigan
Posts: 361
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I totally agree with all the others who said you need to make sure the pony knows you are the alpha in the relationship. Had a very similar problem. Got my boy very underweight, and by the time we got weight on him, he got very pushy. I too wanted him to 'love' me... daughter got me a few lessons on ground work and it was amazing how quickly he changed. No longer backs up or rears. No longer pushy. USUALLY will go alone on trails ( but not always... ) Did not take long. Remember, as my trainer said, the horse WANTS you to be the leader. It makes them feel safe. To a horse, that is love. I admit I rolled my eyes when my daughter got me the lesson.. but it was the best thing for me and my horse. He greets me at the fence. Comes into the barn with no lead rope or halter... because he knows who the boss it, and feels safe. Trust us, take some lessons on groundwork. I think it will make all the difference with your pony!
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 6
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You are definitely on the right track getting a trainer in to help you at your location. Yes, diet and environment can have an impact but horses are also individuals and just learning how to be a human herd leader without being aggressive or too passive is important. Make sure all the tack that you have is correct for the horse and not causing any type of discomfort. Do a lot of groundwork to build that trust and relationship and you will have a terrific horse that you will love spending time with. I would just minimize contact until you get the trainer involved as this will only create more frustration for you that the horse will sense.
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