De spooking a pony for driving
I have a small pony that is scared of everything. How would I start to despook him to make him into a solid driving horse? A small spook in place I can handle but would like to eliminate bolting into a runaway. Any ideas?
when i get a horse in like your pony i start by putting him on a short tether at the side of a main road,preferably on a bit of grass and will sit there with him for an hour or two talk to him when he gets scared,but very important you put him on a short tether
With my pony, even before saddle training him, I did a lot of groundwork. I made him walk over tarps, accept tarps on his back and head, desensitized him to whips, etc. Just exposed him to anything and everything. He will willingly follow right behind a four wheeler, turned on and moving.
To this day, the one and only thing he is afraid of are paper shaving bags. Anything else is like a walk in the park.
know what you mean about the paper bags but when you know what the dodge is don,t you find you generally spot the bag b4 the horse does and you can take what ever action you think best
some good advise on the preovious posts, and i would be doing a lot of long reining out and about to get him confident in an environment away from home too. one of the things you could do is rig scary things up at home ie stuff some old clothes with straw and prop it in a hedge or something so that when you work him past it you are in a safe environment for dealing with the spook, and it helps him to become confident in seeing unexpected things in different places, so you can move it around. or get someone to ride a bike, starting farther away, and getting closer on later days, so you dont frighten him, while you are working him. or a tractor ( the same process as before) - slowly and gradually as before, you dont want to overstretch his confidence.. it all helps for him to take thing sin his stride. it it is a good idea to get a helper to walk at the head to give reassurance, too far better than letting him get in the habit of spooking, running back etc. if there is someone at his head to begin with they can help keep him steady and going forward..loads of praise for everything he does nicely, and take as much time as it takes- dont rush him, but progress at his pace; it's all fun.. but if he is a very nervy spooky pony, he might not be an ideal candidate for driving, so if his doesnt outgrow the spookiness, you might have to rethink his carreer. hope it all goes well
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