Eye opening thread responses from Cherie and Foxhunter, educational as always! I had the opportunity this past summer, when me and my husband had some free time from construction work, to help train a zorse. Amazing opportunity, really, despite circumstances. Lady had the zorse, got her out of one of her own mares and a zebra stud she had trained herself (she just sold the stud, he was ten years old and loaded into the horse trailer like a dream. The guy who bought him is some big shot who keeps zebras and horses, hoping to breed for zorse I think, he couldn't believe that zebra stud loaded and handled so nice!). She was handling the zorse in its first few months but ended up getting sick and guess what? Zorse spoiled and no manners because she was too sick and didn't have anybody who wanted to deal with it (not blaming the lady, she is really nice and very knowledgeable, and I don't think there was much she could do in the circumstance).
So that's the background on the zorse filly. When I came she was about a year old, ten hands high, stronger than a horse, and had already learned that HORRIBLE vice of running away and ripping the lead out of your hands. Every time you tried to grab the lead or do anything with her, she would take off and kick you in the process if possible. I only had a few sessions with her, due to time and job constraints. First few times I just spent getting to know her, observing her thought processes, what motivates her, etc. (different animal, half zebra! I wanted to know what I was dealing with). She loves the grain bucket of course. With permission from the owner (I had already made progress with getting her caught and tied; she always wore a short lead and halter because it would be impossible to catch her otherwise), I caught and tied her, ran a chain through her mouth (she actually tolerated the process rather well), attached a lunge line and away we went. I had her working in a square pen about the size of a small round pen. She fought, crowhopped, reared, slammed her head against the fences, and otherwise dangerous behavior fighting the lead. I just held on to the lead, keeping the pressure, correcting when necessary, but otherwise not trying to aggravate the self destructive behavior. By the end of it (over two hours), she was walking next to me like any well trained pony and let me tie her up and fuss with her. Next time we were out, hubby was visiting her in the pasture and grabbed her lead in the process. She actually stood there and didn't try to take off when she felt the pressure! I wasn't sure at first but then I knew I got something through to her.
It was an adventure. I had doubts that I did the right thing, but after reading about how Cherie and Foxhunter dealt with the extremely spoiled (that was this zorse), I know for sure I was on the right track.
Everything I read about the zorses is that if you don't handle them every single day correctly from birth, WITHOUT breaks from handling.... good luck!
Sorry for the tangent anyway. Good luck with your pony! I think there's hope for him yet.
"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker