Pony Colt - Newbie
While Ive ridden before this is my first horse. He was born this May and I got him a month ago. I have read everything I can find online for training and spoken to some farmers in the area for advice. After a day or two he was happy to have me come up to him and pet him, followed me around. Hes great with my kids, curious and likes my dog. We had a storm and he has been pastured his whole life and is NOT a fan of the barn. This might be a coincidence but every time the weather is bad he seems extra cranky. When I tried to put him in the barn for the storm that was coming he would not let me halter him, started half-bucking around and running from one end of the fence to the other, throwing his head and prancing. After an hour I finally got him! I usually halter, take him for a walk on my property, clean hooves and groom, a little walk and back to the pasture/paddock. He was doing good and looking forward to being haltered but this week we have had bad weather again and hes back to being grumpy with me.
My question is: when hes acting like that and running past me and such should I keep on? I read to slowly follow him around, walk around and work in the pasture acting like Im minding my own business until he comes to me ect. He just runs back and forth and I REALLY dont want to be run over - will he? Hes small, maybe 42 inches to the shoulder or less. Yesterday I tried with a fresh start and he immediately turned around as if he would kick me. Hes never bit me or kicked me but he ACTS like hes going to if that makes sense. Today he was laying in the sun and I sat with him and gave him some good scratches, he put his head in my lap. Most days he comes over on his own for some pets, lifts his feet to be cleaned ect. Hes not a mean guy I just have these haltering problems and he can really be a jerk. When hes running around so I cant get him he comes pretty close to me without slowing. I havent been able to clean his hooves for three days. I was advised to do lunging but him being a baby and me being such an amateur Im not very comfortable with it.
If I have a trainer come work with him will he act the way he does with the trainer with everyone? Or just the trainer?
Just some extra info: I have 5 acres but its mostly forest. I have an acre logged with two medium sized paddocks or pastures, grass and each with a shelter which he despises. He eats all the grass he can even at 11pm hes still eating. Just now that hes running out of grass hes started to touch the hay. He had never been anywhere but in a pasture before I got him. He was just wormed before I got him and I was told to do it again in a month. Thanks for your advice!
I suggest getting a trainer first. He may still test you but ask your trainer to show you how to handle his behavior so you show the same dominance. Don't baby him if he turns his rear to you that is dangerous, chase him away immediately. Make it as often as possible during not so great weather to go out and just sit there till he comes to you horses do get fresh with different weather.
Get a trainer though absolutely.
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Define "chasing away" haha. Should I have a crop or a whip?
Make yourself bigger loud noise chase him a crop might be a good idea however i would be very careful with being in close to him if his butt is too you. Like i said a trainer would be your best bet to handle this situation. They will be able to tell you when/ how to correct and if you are doing something wrong or give you other ideas by seeing the act in action :).
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Hi! Welcome to the Horse Forum.
You are in way over your head because you don't know what you don't know. I suspect you got this is pony in order to have it grow up with your children and be suitable for them to ride and handle a little later. If this is the case, it usually does not work very well.
I think the best thing you could do is let the pony be for a while while you immerse yourself in learning how to teach manners and how to put a good foundation on him. If he has a place to get out of the extreme weather, he will if he needs to, he will be just fine out. You can put his feed and hay in his shed to encourage him to go in it. Horses have lived out in the weather for centuries. When I lived in the mountains in Colorado, all of mine that weren't in the barn for fitting or training ALL lived out. [Think 30 below zero.] They looked like yaks, but they never got sick.
In order to manner any young horse or pony, you have to have 'good timing and feel' for what actions on your part are appropriate and when they are. You have to know when and how to do what. You are not going to find this ability to 'read' a horse and to do the right thing at exactly the right time from internet instruction. They learn from putting pressure on them and releasing it at EXACTLY the right time. It is going to have to come from a mentor that tells you and SHOWS you what to do and when to do it. You CAN make things a LOT worse when they should be getting better. You can change him from a 'sweet pony' into an 'attack dog' that chases your little children and scares them away from horses all together.
Find a trainer or some other person that you admire and trust that has very well behaved and well-trained horses. Offer to be a volunteer around this person's barn instead of asking for lessons. Offer to groom and get horses ready to ride; offer to unsaddle and cool out horses; offer to clean stalls; offer to do anything around their barn. Be observant, take directions and criticism well and let it 'all soak in'. You would be amazed what all can soak in by 'osmosis'.
Meanwhile, be thinking about what would be best for your children. The best way to get children safely involved with horses is to get and older, safe, proven 'child friendly' horse that they can 'learn on'. It seldom works out well to get a young horse for the to 'learn with'. The horse/pony gets very spoiled, learns all the wrong things and oftentimes gets mean and
difficult to handle if not downright dangerous.
One of you -- either the pony or you and the children -- should know what you're doing.
This would be my recommendation to you. Good luck.
The pony is not for my children, its for me. They give him a good scratch if they are out playing and hes at the fence for their attention, or if I am working in the yard they come in with me and hes more than happy to follow them around and get pets but thats where it ends. His water and hay is in the barn. Its frustrating to always hear contradicting advice or to be treated as if Im 16 with stars in my eyes for horses or that I purchased him as a toy for my kids. So far this forum is by far the best as far as that goes. I was told by a local stable to lock him in the barn in the rain or the snow because he will be too cold if its below freezing. I live in Canada so below freezing temps are november - march. I was also told NOT to leave him be at all, and to go out and halter him daily to do his hooves ect.
Well, several things here.
First, I have only your own words to assess where you are with horse knowledge. You called yourself a 'Newbie' and an 'Amateur'. You do not know what to do when a horse 'threatens' to kick you and you do not know how to handle him. So, I am sorry if I offended you. Age has nothing to do with experience. I have nothing but your own words to go on.
Is this weanling healthy and does it have a good hair coat? Has it been dewormed and is it getting adequate protein for a youngster? Weanlings require a very good diet and it must have a lot more protein in it than a mature horse requires. If it is healthy and well fed for a baby, it should do just fine outside. That is how horses have survived for millenniums.
Since you say it is your first horse, I assume that it is by itself. Horses are a herd animal. It is not going to be very happy by itself and it is not going to get very will socialized by itself. It is not going to like being penned up or stalled very well. Worst of all, it is poised to become a 'orphan' even though it is not a tiny baby.
The fact that you are spending most of your time petting and playing with it and that you sit on the ground with its head in your lap, that you do not know how to discipline or manner it, tells me that you are most likely 'creating a monster' -- like most orphans become. Unless you learn very quickly how to become his 'herd leader' instead of trying to become his friend, things are on their way south -- fast.
It is far more important to let this foal learn how to become a horse than it is to clean his feet out every day. My 6 month old foals (four of them) have never had their feet cleaned out.
If you want get a foal to become more 'catchable', the best way is to make the pen smaller. A 60 x 60 foot pen or smaller works really well. Personally, I never worry about getting them real friendly until I am ready to start their training. I prefer them a little 'standoffish' until I am ready for them to become friendly. It seldom takes more than a week of penning one up. It is far more important to be their leader than their friend. Trust comes out of respect. They have to respect you.
Just curious.. has this colt been gelded?
^^^ I have wondered the same thing.
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