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jiterbug

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I need some serious help from you guys. I bought the best mini in the world a couple of months ago. This horse was great! Now he has the worst attitude ever! He is not a mini because he is 40 inches tall so I guess he is a pony. When we first brought him home he did whatever the kids wanted, he let us pet him, groom him, was very laid back. In fact when we went to look at him at his previous owners house he fell asleep while we were talking. Now he has gotten so bad. He won't obey at all. I don't know how to correct a pony when he does something wrong either. Any tips. I am very new at this.

jiterbug
 

crponies

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My advice is find someone in your area who is experienced with horses and will give you a hand. There has got to be someone who will help you and show you hands-on. Maybe get the kids into 4H?
 

SweetOpal

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I could be going out on a limb here, but it sounds like he is still a stallion and love is in the air....is he still a stallion or has he been gelded??
 

Minimor

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I'm sorry, when you initially posted about him falling asleep during saddling the day you looked at him, I suspected trouble--what you say now comes as no surprise at all to me.

How long did you have him before he turned obnoxious?

There are two possibilities. If I went to look at a horse & he fell asleep during saddling, I would suspect he had been drugged. If that were the case, you'd have noticed a change in him within a couple of days. That would be my first thought, but of course such may not be the case at all. He could just be a clever pony that knows when there is no point in wasting any energy!

If his change in personality was more gradual and didn't happen within a couple days of when you brought him home then he's just a smart pony that has figured out who is boss now--and that isn't you! I would suggest finding someone local that can help you with him. Ponies (and horses) can push their people around in all sorts of subtle ways, and new owners don't even realize they are being pushed around until the pony has total control. If an experienced horse person watches you work with your pony he/she will see what you are or aren't doing in response to your pony's actions, and will be able to give you pointers on how you should deal with the various things that your pony does. Hopefully your guy was well mannered before and just needs to be reminded of those manners he used to have.

One question--are you graining him at all? If he wasn't getting grain before & now is being fed grain, that could have a huge impact on his behavior. Some of these little guys do not deal well with a grain ration.
 

jiterbug

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He is a gelding and yes his behaviour came on gradually. I can tell he wants to be boss. He is worse with the kids than he is with me. I had him about a month before he got this way. Like I said, it's usually when the kids are riding him. He just will not do anything HE doesn't want to do. I make sure I feed him the exact same thing the previous owner fed him. Another thing, what do you mean by working with them? My kids just try to ride him. He has a cart and did well with it (because I was on it not the kids) but the strap that goes across the back and connects the collar to the tail broke so I'm waiting on another one to come in. Other than that what else should we be doing with him?

thanks everyone,

jiterbug

I'm sorry, when you initially posted about him falling asleep during saddling the day you looked at him, I suspected trouble--what you say now comes as no surprise at all to me.

How long did you have him before he turned obnoxious?

There are two possibilities. If I went to look at a horse & he fell asleep during saddling, I would suspect he had been drugged. If that were the case, you'd have noticed a change in him within a couple of days. That would be my first thought, but of course such may not be the case at all. He could just be a clever pony that knows when there is no point in wasting any energy!

If his change in personality was more gradual and didn't happen within a couple days of when you brought him home then he's just a smart pony that has figured out who is boss now--and that isn't you! I would suggest finding someone local that can help you with him. Ponies (and horses) can push their people around in all sorts of subtle ways, and new owners don't even realize they are being pushed around until the pony has total control. If an experienced horse person watches you work with your pony he/she will see what you are or aren't doing in response to your pony's actions, and will be able to give you pointers on how you should deal with the various things that your pony does. Hopefully your guy was well mannered before and just needs to be reminded of those manners he used to have.

One question--are you graining him at all? If he wasn't getting grain before & now is being fed grain, that could have a huge impact on his behavior. Some of these little guys do not deal well with a grain ration.
 

txminipinto

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You really need to find an experienced horseperson or hire a trainer that can work with your pony and you and your kids. Owning horses/ponies/minis means being in the training mode 24/7. A horse is never "finished". You must always be correcting and rewarding behaviors. What has happened is your pony has started to "test" you and every time he has gotten away with a bad behavior, you have rewarded that behavior by allowing him to win.

Riding a horse is much more than just sitting on their backs and pulling on the reins. It would be a good investment for your kids to have riding lessons as well. Part of your pony's problem might be the kids riding him improperly making it painful. I would find a good riding instructor who's willing to work with all of you. Unfortunately, ponies are not like cats. You can't just pet them and expect them to behave. They need training daily to re-enforce good behaviors and to stop bad ones.
 

Minimor

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It just occurred to me that you are the one that posted this question shortly after you bought your gelding:

Also, how do you get a horse to gallup. He will trot but never really get into a full run. Why is this? Also, Why is it that my kids have to keep tapping his sides with their heels to keep him moving
I thought at the time that this was a major problem--if your kids are inexperienced riders, they should not be trying to ride at a full run immediately after getting their first pony. They are not ready to ride fast, and if they are flapping and kicking to make him run and quite possibly at the same time they are hanging on the reins to keep their balance (no offense but I am well acquainted with how novice children ride when they get on a pony and want to gallop!) the pony is going to get sick of them pretty fast. He is probably inclined to try and take advantage of children anyway, and if being ridden is uncomfortable for him then he is going to be doubly determined to get the best of the kids in order to get out of being ridden.

As far as what you and the kids should be doing with the pony--the kids should be learning the proper way to lead, tie and groom him. They should know how to handle him if he gets pushy while they are working with him from the ground. When it comes to riding they need to learn the basics of riding--there's more to it than climbing aboard and pulling on the left rein to turn left, the right rein to turn right and both reins to stop. They need to learn proper posture and balance, they need to learn to have kind, soft hands, and they need to learn proper cues for making the pony do as they want. And yes, they should be able to learn the basics involved and still have fun with riding. Riding will actually be more fun, because they will be better able to control the pony and get him to do what they want him to do.
 

jiterbug

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There is a guy out the road that was really impressed with how well behaved our pony WAS. He's been around horses for years, I'll ask him to help out. I had a pony when I was a child and I don't remember having all of these problems. I just got on him and rode. Must have been an exception. Thanks for all the advice, I do believe my daughter needs to learn how to be the boss with him. She is the one he really doesn't mind very well.

Thanks again,

jiterbug
 

jleonard

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I am working with a pony with similar problems, he has discovered some tricks, like bucking and and refusing to go forward, that have worked for him in the past and he has gotten his own way. He too is 40 in, but stockily built and I am small enough that I can ride him. He is not able to buck me off and I can keep pushing him forward until he gives up and does what I am asking. Young kids, or inexperienced riders often cannot do this and allow the pony to intimidate them, which is exactly what the pony is trying to do. It is very important that your pony never be allowed to get away with bad behavior, and he must be reprimanded if he attempts anything you determine to be unsuitable. For example, I was told that the pony I'm working with attempts to nip the kids when they are leading him, so I never let him get too close or pushy when I am leading him. I also want him to stand still for the kids to mount, so I do not allow him to move when I am mounting. These little things will all help to reinforce his manners and my dominance over him. I agree that some professional help may be beneficial to teach both you are your kids how to handle him properly so that he will revert to the same sweet, submissive pony you purchased. Good luck with him, don't give up yet!
 

jiterbug

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Oh, I'm not going to give up on him, we love him too much. How though do you reprimand him? When he does something wrong I yell "NO THUNDER PONY" but when I kids do it he just stubborns up. My daugher doesn't get intimidated, she just get impatient and stops pushing him. We'll get it all figured out. Thanks everyone.

jiterbug

I am working with a pony with similar problems, he has discovered some tricks, like bucking and and refusing to go forward, that have worked for him in the past and he has gotten his own way. He too is 40 in, but stockily built and I am small enough that I can ride him. He is not able to buck me off and I can keep pushing him forward until he gives up and does what I am asking. Young kids, or inexperienced riders often cannot do this and allow the pony to intimidate them, which is exactly what the pony is trying to do. It is very important that your pony never be allowed to get away with bad behavior, and he must be reprimanded if he attempts anything you determine to be unsuitable. For example, I was told that the pony I'm working with attempts to nip the kids when they are leading him, so I never let him get too close or pushy when I am leading him. I also want him to stand still for the kids to mount, so I do not allow him to move when I am mounting. These little things will all help to reinforce his manners and my dominance over him. I agree that some professional help may be beneficial to teach both you are your kids how to handle him properly so that he will revert to the same sweet, submissive pony you purchased. Good luck with him, don't give up yet!
 

jleonard

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How you reprimand him really depends on what he is doing. If he does not like to go forward when being ridden, I would carry a crop or wear spurs, however spurs are not a good option unless your daughter can ride him with a steady leg w/o poking him with each stride. It's best not to use them w/o someone (your neighbor sounds like a good person) to watch. The best option would probably be for her to carry a crop and give him a small smack when he refuses to go forward. She should always use the least amount of force necessary to get the desired effect, ie: squeeze first, then kick, and if she still doesn't get a response, a light swat. It really will be easier for all of you to get someone local to help who can see the problem first hand and teach you how to correct it. It is difficult to tell you exactly what the pony needs without seeing what it is he is doing.
 

jiterbug

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[My neighbor told me exactly what you just said. I am so proud of my daughter, she sat at this one spot where he didn't want to go for 20 minutes or so before he finally obeyed. She did have to swat him a couple of times but after about an hour of working with him on some of his trouble behavior he really came around. She was so excited and her confidence just went through the roof!

jiterbug

quote name=jleonard' date='Apr 11 2008, 09:29 PM' post='1001734]

How you reprimand him really depends on what he is doing. If he does not like to go forward when being ridden, I would carry a crop or wear spurs, however spurs are not a good option unless your daughter can ride him with a steady leg w/o poking him with each stride. It's best not to use them w/o someone (your neighbor sounds like a good person) to watch. The best option would probably be for her to carry a crop and give him a small smack when he refuses to go forward. She should always use the least amount of force necessary to get the desired effect, ie: squeeze first, then kick, and if she still doesn't get a response, a light swat. It really will be easier for all of you to get someone local to help who can see the problem first hand and teach you how to correct it. It is difficult to tell you exactly what the pony needs without seeing what it is he is doing.
 

Sanny

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If you get him back in harness and in the cart it might help. I suspect he is more well broke to drive than to ride and part of him not listening is being green broke. That came to mind when I read something about him wanting to trot and being reluctant to canter or gallop -- driving horses trot and are not supposed to break that trot. FYI -- my kids love riding one of our bigger riding minis and once she got comfortable cantering with them she needed tuning up for driving because she started breaking and cantering while driving.

Be sure your kids are firm and consistent with him too and based on my own experience working with my kids, they are more likely to listen to what they are told if someone else is teaching them.

Maybe your experienced neighbor could give a couple of lessons to your kids?

Sounds like you are figuring it all out and you will be fine, just need to work out the little stuff.

The nipping problem could be related to the kids giving treats too much or being too playful and letting him overstep bounds.

The nipping you mentioned when the kids are leading him?

We do give our horses treats but I know a lot of trainers don't ever give treats by the hand because they feel it starts the nipping and crowding and aggressiveness. I have two minis that I have a problem with that and they stop getting treats if they start getting nippy and obnoxious.
 

Reijel's Mom

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Along with the punishing him when he's "naughty", it's important to know how to immediately reward a horse when they are doing something right!

I really think it'd be great for the kids to get some lessons so they can transfer that knowledge to their own pony.
 

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