Help, I'm spoiled!
So is there any hope for a pony that's been spoiled for the past three years?
I've mentioned this guy before, but I'll update everyone. He's a 16 (or 18, don't really remember) yo Welsh that my aunt bought for my daughter on her 1st birthday [it was mainly because her other horse had lived with my pony since she (the horse) was born, and when my pony died 5 or 6 years ago (I feel horrible cause I can't remember!) she's been alone]. So anyway, this pony (named Ed) was soooo well behaved. He was great with the kids; kids would climb all over him and ride him bareback with a rope around his nose; and he had good manners with the surry. But since the last time he was driven (almost a year ago to the day) he tried to take the surry into the ditch and was really onry, my aunt hasn't tried with him anymore.
Ok I'll try to get to the point here, I've been trying to work with him so maybe my daughter can ride him. But he is so spoiled (and it's partly my fault too). I'll usually take him a carrot or apple when I go to feed him (I'm only out there twice a week, so it's not like an every day thing....I don't know how much my aunt treats him). He greets me at the gate hoping I've brought something. On the days I don't, he sniffs me, turns around, and heads for the barn walking as far away as he can. On the days I do bring something, he gets excited and starts trying to get at it; a couple of weeks ago he bit my arm trying to get a carrot. And often (not everytime tho) he'll start to kick and buck. I got kicked last week cause I go too close. Anyway, I'm sorry this is so long, but is there anything I (and my aunt) can do to calm him down and "unspoil" him??
First stop feeding him by hand and then you have a chance of teaching him not to bite you.
Second although it is generally easier to train a new horse with no training then an older horse, who knows what to do, but does not want to do it.
You start it over on it's ground training,
Training a pony is no different than training a horse, most or all the same techniques will work in getting your point across.
There is a great line in a movie called the man from snowy river. The girl when flirting with the idea of training a prized horse sired by a famous race horse called Old Regret. Told the guy Jim Craig, "You think you could train this horse, this is no ordinary brombie you know." He replied, "It is no different" The point was all each horse has it's own personality, whether they cost a million dollars or a hundred dollars they all can be trained. That includes ponies too. I have seen a Welsh pony that was awesome.
As you pointed out, (whether intended or not) put the time in with it. It is a living breathing being. Unless of course it is going to be a pasture pet
I agree that the pony can be retrained. But, I think you need professional help. A spoiled pony (or horse) can be a very dangerous animal. They will fight you tooth and nail (literally) to remain the spoiled pampered pet. Once he has gotten some professional training. (and I agree, it needs to start with groundwork) you need to continue working with him, or he will go right back to his bad habits.
one- stop with the treats, if he starts to bite say 'no' firmly and if he still carries on tap his nose with a firm 'no' if you still want to feed treats, then feed it in a bucked on the ground, don't hand feed.
two- do you feed high energy feed, or oats by any chance?
Because, if you do i would stop ( as it sounds as though he doesn't get an awful lot of excercise) and maby he's playing up and giving you grief because he just has too much energy he can handle, when we eat lots of sweets and drink lot's of cola we get hyper-ative it could be the same thing with your little pony!
three- every time he bites or kicks, bucks , rears etc...... a sharp "no" and if needed a tap, but never smack! keep working with him, you may get kicks and bites but he will learn to stop!! do lots of lunging and ground work, but the most important thing is to make sure you are not scared of this pony , and are not nervous about being around him! ( your pony will know how you are feeling and is more likely to play up)
Good Luck!! hope this helps, and update us soon!
Sounds like you need to be carrying a rideing crop along with those treets and make **** sure he gets them on your terms. he definatly needs an attitude adjustment
Thanks for the tips everyone. Like I said, he is my aunt's pony so I'm not with him every day. But I will definitely start with no more hand feeding period. Yes he gets oats but that's because there isn't a lot of pasture grass (in 9 years my aunt hasn't had to mow). I think you're right about having too much energy because he will sometimes suddenly kick and take off in a playful burst of energy. i'll see what I can do; as far as professional help, my aunt has already stated she's not spending any more money on him (besides for things he needs-food, shelter, farrier, ect) so he may be destined to just be a pasture pet.
I won't be going out there until Thursday but I'll keep you updated.
I think you should stop with the oats! because, it's making him too fizzy, and he's not getting any real excercise, feed just a normal course-mix and a bucket of pony nuts! horses only really need oats, if they are older and need a boost, or they have to have high energy (xc horses for instance) ! good luck!!
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