Another opinion needed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-28-2014, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Another opinion needed

Again at a rescue this morning they were exercising the ponies.

This consisted of the two kids of one of the volunteers chasing one until it was at full gallop. This went on until that pony was blowing hard and their mom directed them to the other pony. That one was older and knew there was no real danger so they weren't able to get much out of him.

I just want to check on whether this is considered an acceptable way to exercise a pony. It didn't seem to do him any real harm, he was winded, but not frothing. It's tough to tell whether he enjoyed it. He kept up the galloping well after pressure was removed so maybe he was just taking advantage of his time in the arena. I'm just not experienced enough to know whether the mental and physical pressure he experienced was too much.

I've exercised a few of the other horses. A couple I can just cluck at and tell them "walk", "trot", "canter" and they'll usually go. Others need a dressage whip slapping the ground to get them into a trot. What I've never done is chase one until it's fleeing for it's life. Maybe it's different when it's children. I don't know.

Thoughts?

ps. Thank you for your responses. I'm gradually realizing that the folks I encounter working at these rescues don't always know what they are doing. I really don't want to learn bad habits.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-28-2014, 03:36 PM
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How long were they chasing the first pony?

It could have gone awry for the kids but perhaps the woman knew these ponies well.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-28-2014, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EponaLynn View Post
How long were they chasing the first pony?

It could have gone awry for the kids but perhaps the woman knew these ponies well.
I'd guess about 5-10 minutes, with some breaks. If I think about it there were times the pony started up again w/o any pressure from the kids so it could well have been running of his own accord.

Yeah, If I had to guess I'd say this isn't the first time they've done this. The pony didn't show any aggression towards the kids, it was just running for all it was worth.
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-28-2014, 03:58 PM
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I would worry more about the kids showing aggression.

How old were they?

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post #5 of 15 Old 11-28-2014, 04:03 PM
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Talking

In my opinion, chasing a horse is never a good thing. While free lunging, I do as you suggested and will ask for a walk, trot, and canter, but will avoid pushing them into anything faster unless they pick it up themselves or are really misbehaving. You also mentioned this being a rescue, so I assume these ponies are out of shape, in which case I wouldn't be pushing them that hard. (I could be wrong though, and as EponaLynn suggested, they could have had reason for pushing him that hard. 5-10 minutes is not extremely long for a horse to be running either).
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-28-2014, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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the kids were probably 7-9 yrs old.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-28-2014, 04:36 PM
Green Broke
 
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They are old enough to start learning about handling ponies and onto well using a round pen to exercise them offline. Or even online, under proper guidance.

Seems to me that beginning to learn horsemanship could be just as fun as chasing and hollering. Couldn't it?

Oh wait, I think that's called lessons. LOL


PS Or hang out with someone who knows about horses, watch and try. You?


Last edited by anndankev; 11-28-2014 at 04:39 PM. Reason: ps
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-28-2014, 05:36 PM
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Not great but depending it's probably fine.

My worry is for the kids though. Far to easy for the horse to either in play or fear/worry or high spirits kick out or something. Very dangerous. Sounds like they were supervised but still.

I will never do anything like this without a lunge whip or similar "weapon". And I know how to read body language. Even the best kid that age just doesn't.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-29-2014, 01:45 AM
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I doubt very much the pony was harmed in any way by this but it teaches them a very bad lesson. It teaches them it is OK to run from people and will make them hard/er to catch. Even an out-of-shape pony can outrun a human or two. Ever spent so much time and energy trying to catch a horse that you are too tired to ride it once you've caught it?
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-30-2014, 09:42 AM
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I'm not a big fan of children doing things like this as they have no real understanding of danger.

Our horses do get hyped up with this cold weather(especially as they are stalled 24/7) and love to have a free run, buck and snort in the arena for about 5 minutes but soon settle down. I have them trained to come to me after the "good times" are done.

A lunge whip should be carried at all times for protection and then tucked under the arm when calling them-it's not that the horse wants to intentionally hurt you but they need to keep their distance while playing. Chasing a horse after the initial spurt of high energy is over is a bad thing-they are then learning to run away from a chasing human. Letting little kids work with rescue ponies like this could easily teach the ponies all the wrong things and make them much less adoptable.
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