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EmilyJoy 12-30-2011 10:30 AM

Help with Training a Hackney Pony
 
Hello,
I'm new to this forum, and need a little help with a Hackney Pony.
She's about 10hh and she'll be five, I believe, in March. We bought her from an Amish guy (when she was 3) who said she had a temperament of 1 (out of 10), and was broke to ride & drive was bombproof etc. the only problem that she did was dance around a bit when you wanted to get on...Anyway my dad bought her, but it turns out she has an awful amount of training that needs to be done.

So I am trying to train her for my younger brother, and this is what I need help on.

How to teach a horse to stop from the ground/saddle.
Any other tips on training her to drive or ride.

She always wants to GO! From the ground, when I pull back on the reins gently, she'll stop briefly then she'll "dance" around or rear.
From the saddle if she is running, she will have her mouth gaping open, hitting her chest, and she won't stop. It is not like she is scared...She just LOVES to run, which really is great if she'll listen.

Any tips? I'm planning on totally re-training her, from the ground first.

She does have a light mouth, and is rather sensitive. I think she'll be great once I can get her to behave.

Also has anyone else trained a pony? How do you train the riding part? Do you yourself get on? I feel unbalanced when I ride her because she is so small....

So thanks for reading through all that, and I hope you'll have some ideas ( hopefully good ones! :-))

Chansu 12-30-2011 10:56 AM

you need to teach her to stop from the ground, before you'll stand a chance of getting her to stop from the saddle. it would make your life so much easier if you could teach her a simple voice command to get her to stand or slow down, that way you can use it when you're in the saddle. if she tries to drag you when your on the ground MAKE her back up at least 10 steps, then ask her to stand and wait a couple of seconds & ask her to walk on calmly only when YOU decide she can. when she is stood still calmly, or walking at a pace that you like give her lots of praise to teach her that its better this way, but when shes trying to rush around and drag you, be firm! i dont mean start hitting her and shouting and getting angry because that wont you get anywhere but if she really gets in your space and wont listen, a sharp smack on the shoulder (not hard but enough to get her attention) or on the chest might help you.

as for doing the riding, how heavy are you? its not really a case of how tall you are just as long as you're not obviously too heavy for her. but its much safer to have a small adult/experienced teenager riding her instead of putting a child on her & risking them getting seriously hurt & falling off.


do you have any pictures of the pony? id love to see her :)

EmilyJoy 12-30-2011 01:24 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for responding, Yes I know that I need to teach her on the ground before on the saddle, I have backed her up when she starts to go again, but that's usually when she starts rearing.

I defiantly want her to learn voice commands... What I've done before is stop her briefly then before I think she wants to go again, make her go when I tell her to...But then she wants to out think me and go again as soon as I've stopped her...I've been doing this behind her ( ground driving ), but I think I'll just spend some time with her on the lead rope, doing what you suggested...hours of whoa, gitty-up, whoa:D

It seems to me that she has never been taught anything, just forced. She has this head bobbing/swinging thing that she does when I turn her, but I am hoping it will go away when she gets more training into her.

I weigh around 120, and she's around 10hh
Attachment 82739

Chansu 12-31-2011 09:05 AM

shes very cute!

i had a similar problem with my mare (recently had to give her up, not for these reasons though) but i was told to either use a dually halter or lope the lead rein over her nose as it adds more pressure for them to run though making it difficult.
i only had this problem with my mare when going back down to the field to turn her out, she would start prancing on the spot & trotting sideways just wanting to take off. i was told to give her a loose rein but as soon as her shoulders go past mine, to make her back up at least 10 steps and quickly. she would also resort to rearing if she was made to stop but i could always tell when she was about to do it so before she got a chance i turned her in a tight circle, then continued on. my mare would also start swinging her head about whenever she was asked to stop, i got headbutted a few times haha but that shouldnt be a problem with your mare since shes only little :P its very frustrating with such a hot headed horse. think how i felt after i had to keep my mare on box rest for two weeks. took two people to lead her anywhere :P but after persistent ground work and hours of teaching her patience, and that she'd get where she wanted to go quicker if she listened to me, we finally had a break through and she ended up being a very sweet mare that anyone could handle :)

little tip though, when you back her up make sure you stand to the side of her instead of directly in front, i made this mistake and my mare reared & actually jumped on top of me and trampled. wasnt pretty >_<

oh and another thing i found worked, but you may find it difficult since your pony is so small but i used to put my elbow on her neck where it joins to her shoulder, and turn her head towards me that way she couldnt run forward. this was a last resort if i couldnt get control of her.

try plenty of lunging & teaching her the voice commands for walk/trot/canter/woah while on the lunge & really get her listening to you. if need be let her run it out for a few minutes then once shes released some of that energy get her listening to you :) good luck!

Chansu 12-31-2011 09:07 AM

1 Attachment(s)
oh, and 120lbs should be fine to ride her for short amounts of time :)

heres the dually halter that might be useful to you. definitely helped with my mare :)

Jumper4ever 12-31-2011 09:22 AM

i have a 29 year old hackney pony who is usually antsy to get on, you get on and she takes off if you aren't prepared. I did not train her, and although i do wish her old owner(s) had trained her better i can't complain. she is an amazing girl! from what i've found with her the littler the kid the better she is. i've had a two year old on her and she would take every step with a slow accurateness that i have never seen her do before only to get on her myself and have her take off. good luck with your hackney!

Chiilaa 12-31-2011 09:36 AM

Both on the ground and undersaddle, the solution is the same. She needs to appreciate that stop is rest time.

On the ground, start using a lunge line or a long lead line with her. Every time you stop, and she starts dancing around, work her. Send her on a few circuits on the lunge, then ask her to stop again. If she starts dancing again, send her on again. If she stands quietly, praise her and let her rest.

Same goes for under saddle. Ask for the halt. If she starts dancing, do a few trot circles. Ask again. Eventually she will understand that 'stop' means stand still, and prancing around like a fool is going to mean hard work.

EmilyJoy 12-31-2011 12:23 PM

Hi, again thanks for all your tips! She's a great little pony and I think she'll catch on quickly, it's just harder to train her because she always wants to go...even if she's tied with her buddies..It's like it's a reward for her to work, but I am going to try some of your tips...She's disrespectful and maybe if I work through the disrespect she will listen more... By the way she doesn't drag me off when I'm leading her, she stays with me doesn't try to barge past me...it's only when I stop is when she gets fidgety...( that includes on the saddle/ground with lead/ground driving) But I'll try to work on that...
Thanks!

EmilyJoy 01-04-2012 11:26 PM

Since the pony has a "tender" mouth, do you think it would be better to train her in a side pull so the kids, when they ride her, can't give her a "hard mouth" by pulling on her too much?
Is there any way to get any horse really responsive in a side pull, just as well as with bit? Would a side pull be better on her mouth?
I would train her with a bit too, because sometime in the future I would like to train her to pull a cart...

Just wondering, I guess, what people think of side pulls.
Thanks!

Chansu 01-06-2012 09:41 AM

you can always get a Happy Mouth bit, and keep the kids supervised at all times when they ride her and make sure they understand to be gentle with the horses mouth :)


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