Mistreatment of pony - pls advise - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 16 Old 06-26-2017, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 13,725
• Horses: 9
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post
I saw the groom very sharply elbowing her in the chest today for eating grass, she tells us we are too soft and pushes the horses around.
I call this "Truffle Hunting" when the horse decides to dive for the grass without permission. You're walking along and there's a choice looking bit of grass and the horse dives down to eat and plants his feet. Depending on what's going on it can be mildly irritating, downright disrespectful or dangerous (ever try removing horses during a fire?). Eating grass isn't a bad thing in and of itself, it's diving down and stopping without being told it's alright that's the problem. When you're walking along, just dawdling and letting the horse hand graze, then no, I don't think a jab to the chest is appropriate. If you're moving a horse from one nice grassy pasture where they've been grazing to another pasture where they're going to graze and trying to move along at a business like pace, then truffle hunting is disrespectful and a jab to the chest or a tap under the chin from the toe of your boot is a reminder that it's not ok to take that decision on themselves. The difference is, you have made the decision in the first instance and the horse has made the decision in the 2nd.

My order or reprimand goes something like this: I halter the horse and lead him out, headed from one pasture to another. The horse goes to dive and I give a quick pop of the lead line, I NEVER use a chain shank unless the horse is an absolute PIG, before they can get their head down to the grass. 9 times out of 10 that's sufficient with a horse who has already been trained to have manners. If the horse tries again, I pop harder, most likely a little sideways so the snap of the lead line 'bites' them on the chin and if they persist after those 2 much more polite requests to behave, then I tap them very firmly (no not kick) right under the jaw where the jaw bones come together under the chin with the side of my boot. Should there be a 4th time, then we go back to some very basic ground manners training because obviously I have missed something along the way.

A horse, and pony's are horses condensed, will test to see who's going to be in charge. If you fail to step up and be the leader, then the horse will step into the void. When that happens it's usually a pretty poor outcome because, as someone already mentioned, reasoning and long term planning are not a horse's best faculties. The human needs to be in charge and remain in control at all times, especially with ponies as they can be some ornery little things. A pony is not an overgrown German Shepard or Great Dane. For one thing, one is prey the other predator, and both think wildly differently from each other.

Dreamcatcher Arabians is offline  
post #12 of 16 Old 06-26-2017, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 16,588
• Horses: 1
I don't think that's too harsh at all. If we are 'working', I don't let the horse eat. It's disrespectful, they need to pay attention to you as you are the alpha, not them. You need to be in charge. Now, letting them graze sometimes (like after working, or just in general hanging out) is OK but they need to know when it's OK and when it's not. For example, they can't be bending down to eat grass when you are trying to get them to pay attention to you or when you are working with them. It's not acceptable. They have plenty of time to eat grass.

Ride more, worry less.
PoptartShop is offline  
post #13 of 16 Old 06-26-2017, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
Posts: 6,238
• Horses: 3
I let my horse graze on a lead but my whole body demeanor changes and the rope is almost dragging so she knows we are on her time, not my time.

If you want to know why jerking down to graze is a bad habit, try leading two or three horses somewhere all together. Something I do several times a week. On a small gravel road with cars. Ugh!
AnitaAnne and JoBlueQuarter like this.

Short horse lover
Avna is offline  
post #14 of 16 Old 06-26-2017, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 60
• Horses: 0
Lots of good ponies are ruined by owners who are not assertive enough. If you dont correct the behavior and let the horse get away with poor behavior you will have a dangerous horse. The outcome for the animal is then not good- whats better for the horse a jab to chest or a trip to the auction. The people who handle the horse daily need to be able to do so safely.

A girl my daughter rides with got mad at my daughter because my daughter corrected a horse they both rode for eating grass. The other girl constantly had trouble with the horse for eating grass (almost fell off when the horse dove for grass when about to canter) because she never corrected for it.
NCT is offline  
post #15 of 16 Old 06-26-2017, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,327
• Horses: 0
As others have said, there are times you have to be assertive or your pony can become dangerous through no fault of her own. There's a young pony where I ride who used to get a sharp elbow to the shoulder eight to ten times at least EVERY TIME I had to lead her somewhere, because she would get distracted and crowd hard into me. Thanks to some throwing of 'bows, she is much more mindful and actually MORE relaxed when I lead her, because she doesn't get to revert to that insecure and disrespectful behaviour.

You can look at corrections like these and think "Oh that's so mean!" but regardless of one's subjective opinion, the fact is that NOT doing these things can do a great disservice to the horse. Horses who crowd and disrespect their handlers can escalate to the point where their future is at auction and then on the meat truck, and the horse suffers most in the end.
JCnGrace and AtokaGhosthorse like this.
SteadyOn is offline  
post #16 of 16 Old 07-05-2017, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Franklin, TN
Posts: 90
• Horses: 0
Trust your instincts. If it doesn't look right, it probably isn't. Horses can sense who is scared, who is dominate, etc. They do need to understand that you are are the "alpha" (top leader). In a pack of horses there are the alpha, beta and zeta. (the leader, the middle group and the timid ones--who are last to the feed bucket after everyone else has eaten). Another important helpful note--be consistent. That means EVERYBODY in the family has to do the same thing. That means if the horse is not suppose to eat grass at a certain place, EVERYONE in the family has to have the physical ability not to have the horse eat at that spot. If the child is not strong enough to handle the horse at that spot, replace it with someone who is until the child is able to handle the horse. Otherwise, it just confuses the horse. Horses can be surprising tough in certain places on the body, but surprising sensitive in others. Read up on ponies and learn all you can about them. They're really pretty smart. Best wishes with your pony!
MerriBelle1 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
new Welsh Pony, critique her pls thesilverpony Horse Riding Critique 26 07-02-2011 12:27 PM
What should I do? (Horse mistreatment?!) SukiCharlie Horse Training 17 04-10-2011 02:34 PM
Pls have a look at my little one.. doczahi Horse Riding Critique 5 10-06-2009 09:46 AM
Please give advise for my buddy sour pony! Maynme Horse Riding & Horse Activity 4 09-06-2009 01:18 PM
pls advise! why can't i load pics of my horse!? Jessamine Horse Forum Support Help Desk 1 12-03-2008 10:04 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome