Can you fix an aggressive pony? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-14-2016, 12:07 PM
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Even if a trainer trains the horse, YOU also need to go to a trainer and be taught how to handle the horse once he is fixed. If not, the horse will revert back to being a turd and you will have to send him for more training. And the cycle will repeat forever until you are also trained.
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-14-2016, 12:24 PM
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Yes, but with so many really nice horses out there who need homes, why would you want to? I'd sell him and get a kid friendly horse that I didn't need to worry about.

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post #13 of 20 Old 12-14-2016, 12:25 PM
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It is curable, but you obviously have to change the way you handle him, as a pony does not get to that point of outward aggression, without first having 'tested the waters'
He is way past just needing a gentle tap- as he has already taken the proverbial mile.
Any attempt to act aggressive towards, you, has to make him think you are going to kill him in response
Foxhunter has already told you how to do this, while staying safe.
Even after you fix this, which ideally never should have gotten tot his point, do not trust him with your children, as he might test them first, to see if same rules apply
Definately, with face being off the list, hit him with that whip, when he acts aggressive, the time to just wave a whip at him, is long gone.
You say he is a male, but is he gelded or still intact? If the later,' brain change 'will help by removing that 'second little brain'
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-14-2016, 01:38 PM
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IMO after reading your detailed description of what happened, it sounds more like the pony came over to play and thought you were joining in.

When he nipped at you and you flicked his nose, that flick is sort of like a horse nipping back. Then it escalated with the nips getting worse. When you got taller by getting on the fence, so did he by rearing up.

So lets go back and see what you could have done in this situation. It began by him mouthing your tools. Some horses are more mouthy that others. Is there plenty of food in the pasture? Do you normally give him treats when he walks up?

I think your patting him when he approached was fine, but then you needed to tell him you had to work. You could do this by walking towards him waving your arms like you were tossing a ball at him while saying GO ON or something similar.

He should respond by backing up or moving off. If he comes forward again, do it again. Eventually he should wander off and you would be able to get back to work.

Your actions in bending down towards your tools invite him to bend down to look too. So you needed to face him strongly until he left. Think of it like standing your ground over a choice bit of grass...

I would avoid hitting a horse in the face. It is a good way to make an animal head shy, and will give you a whole other set of problems.

If you can't discourage him with your body movements, then yes a dressage whip is a handy tool to pop him with in the chest. If he whirls and shows you his butt, then you must come on very strongly. Yell and whack him hard on the butt with the whip BEFORE he has a chance to kick. The timing of this is critical to your success. He should run off.

The key is to remain calm and focused. Act angry but do not become angry and let emotions take over. Many times training of ponies is not done correctly when they are young and it can cause some problems later. Very important to treat ponies fairly, consistently, but kindly too. Do not continue to reprimand him if he is not misbehaving.

Work in a round pen would be great for this pony. Sounds to me like he just needs some manners.
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-14-2016, 02:50 PM
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I agree with the above but would never suggest a dressage whip for reprimanding a horse or pony that is loose such as this one. You have to be way to close to use it that is why I said to get a lunge whip, you can be out of range.
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-14-2016, 03:33 PM
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I'd get him checked out to see if he's maybe not a true gelding or has something going on like Lyme Disease.
If he's that way because he's a spoilt brat then I wouldn't waste any time at all in trying to retrain a little pony that's supposed to be for a 'petting zoo' type home because if someone isn't on his case all the time he'll just revert back to type. Way too big a risk

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-15-2016, 08:43 PM
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Hi & welcome,

See you've got a fair few responses already, sure to repeat what many have said, but...

Originally Posted by asteriskmonkey View Post
One of my pony's has started to become very aggressive lately and I know male pony's from what I understand like to be a bit domineering and try to be boss.
Nope, unless he's a stallion(in which testosterone has some effect), gelded male horses aren't likely to be more 'domineering'. And even if he were a stallion, you can still teach him to have 'manners'. ALL horses need leadership, or else, depending on personality, they can become insecure, &/or try to assume that leadership themselves. Some horses can be bossy & domineering personalities about it too. Even previously 'well mannered' horses can become 'bossy' with someone who is not an effective leader, or doesn't consistently teach/expect good manners.

I was working repairing fencing in a field and the pony started aggressively biting and after trying to push him aside several times,
he then decided rearing was something he'd like to try out on me.
That just sounds like he thought it was a game. That he thought your pushing him aside was just an invite for more 'rough housing'. If you're going to use punishment, one important factor is that it needs to be punishing - unpleasant enough - to cause the horse not to want to be subjected to it again. While I personally use very little punishment & rarely 'strong', in this sort of situation, where the behaviour is not just annoying but dangerous, I'd be carrying a big stick(to also allow me to use it at a safe distance) and ensuring the pony was left quite certain this behaviour caused very undesirable consequences!

I;m worried as I have 2 small children, I bought this guy as a long investment into making him somewhat of a petting pony to leisurely enjoy his days without much stress. (hes 5 i think)
Of course it can be 'corrected'. It sounds like you have no experience with horses, and you've bought a young, untrained horse. Considering this, not to mention your young kids, I'd strongly consider moving him on and finding an older, well trained, kid friendly pony, *and finding someone experienced to come advise/give you lessons.

If you are going to keep this pony, firstly, keep your kids away(from any of them, if you don't know how to control/teach them effectively), and I'd be a) sending him to a trainer for a couple of months, and b) taking lessons with that trainer in the meantime & when he comes home. And c) keeping your kids away until he is reliable AND you are confidently effective with him too.
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-09-2017, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for you responses, hes gelded from what i can tell.

One major change since that day is the large Belgian is now nipping him and chasing him off quite often (was the other way before) so hes getting treat like a kid and put in his place proper now. I dont know if thats the big one wanting to be protective or just some new pecking order.

I find waving arms and yelling is more effective now than pushing out of the way, anytime i do push he seems to like to push back so im just sticking with noise and stick/crop to give better visual queues to stay back , keeping my box of space so to say seems to be working well.

I am not seasoned or experienced with horses too much so I'm finding this board immensely valuable. Thank you all for helping with your comments.

I'm about 5 months in now with 3 horses so I am getting better and have got over quickly there not creatures to pet or treat like a dog for instance.
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post #19 of 20 Old 01-10-2017, 03:41 AM
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Good stuff. You can do whatever works - it's up to you what cues you use. Visual/voice cues are great, as they can be used at a distance too. But don't confuse cues(the signals you use) with reinforcement/punishment. And if you want to influence(such as stop) a behaviour, you need to be prepared to follow up with something effective, meaningful, if/when the cue(signal) doesn't work.

As mentioned, resisting pressure they don't understand is natural for a horse, even if they aren't doing it as a game. I would however, still teach the horse to yield(give to it/go with it, with understanding) to pressure thought. It's an elementary lesson, the basis of controlling the horse. But you need to find a way to make it effective. If for eg, you use your fingertip, but held a nail between your fingers(
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post #20 of 20 Old 01-10-2017, 03:57 AM
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sorry not trying to rattle cages here; not even a whip. as the first guy said your elbow. the tongue of your boot, a cap, anything you can use to make yourself look bigger.. going out on a limb - maybe i misread and it was in the description. like, was this horse taken away from the mother at a young age, because from what i know this type of behaviour usually comes from imprinted spoilt horses. - not always just usually - mothers usually teach their foals to give to pressure from day 1 mothers correct their babies. teach him to give to pressure, and find comfort in release, if he is disrespectful make him move, take him to the pen and make him move throw your cap on his butt, watch how he reacts, does he submit respectfully with a low head or prance off a little throwing his head being disrespectful, theres so much to learn, see, and do. but it isn't something you can't fix yourself, if you feel you need help, seek out someone you know, some people have spent 1000's on trainers and because they never got taught how to observe horse behaviour, or how to work with the horse, with pressure and release etc, they usually end up having to go bak to trainers in a bit of a cycle. -- not tryna rattle cages i dont know everything just sharing what little i do - good luck (Y)
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