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Lisa De Renee

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It didn't surprise Me when our new pony reared up on the ground today. He wasn't happy with me because i didnt feed him the minute i got out there with him. He is real bratty that way. My husband was fixing the wood on the stall. He wanted to stick his nose in every bucket looking for a treat. I had to keep pushing him back away from the tools and buckets of nails. He was so mad at me he reared. Do you think he will always rear like this?
 

candycar

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Minis are very "helpful" when doing anything interesting. I usually have to tie or lock out mine when I'm fixing stuff, cleaning the barn or fixing their meals. Tying them up teaches them patience. If someone else is doing the work, put a halter and lead on him and walk him away from the work area when he gets too close. Teach him the stand/stay command is helpful also.
He may have thought you were playing with him when you kept pushing him away. I've only had one rear up on me once and that was in play. I just grabbed her front feet and walked her backwards a few steps and she never did it again.
If it becomes a habit, you can "give him hell" for a few seconds or ignore him. No reaction = no "reward" for the behavior.
 

Dragon Hill

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One incident of rearing doesn't mean he'll continue, but what was your reaction when he reared? If it startled you, or if you moved away, even if it was only part of your body, he may try again. The fact that he gets real bratty at feed time suggests he doesn't respect you, or your space? When I walk in with a feed bucket if my horse touches me, or the bucket, or makes me feel unsafe in any way, they don't get fed. Believe me, they figure it out real quick.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Yes, he will do it again. Carry a whip with you into his area. Use it to cue him to move away. You might have to smack him across the chest once, then follow up by moving authoritatively toward him saying firmly "back! back!". Believe me, it won't make him "not your friend".
My bossy 24 year old gelding gets pushy at feeding times sometimes still! The next time, I carry my whip with me and ask him to "wait!" and I walk toward him with the command "back!" He doesn't get any supper until he waits and backs up. The lesson lasts about a year and then he tries it again and I have to get the whip. He just calls my bluff, the rascal! The respect this engenders makes him "love" me more. The whip is your friend. I call it my "arm extender". I have a dressage whip, which is a nice length, and also a hog quirt, which is short. Check your feed store for one of these. Carrying either of these tools makes me the Boss Mare.
Also, is he a stallion still?
 

Lisa De Renee

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Thank you for all of your reply’s. It really helps. He is not a mini though. He is a pretty big sized pony . His head is above mine. I am 5’4”. He must weigh 500 lbs. He is a a 6 year old gelding. One thing i forgot to mention is when he was treating me like that, he had his penis dropped . What could that mean? Was he trying to dominate me? Was he mad at me? That part of it has me real curious. A trainer is coming today. She is bringing several training tools. Whips training flag etc... the only thing we don't have is a round pen yet. She has to train him in his rectangular shaped paddock. It is 50 x 60 so it is not too tiny. I just know a round pen would be so much better. Right?
 

Cayuse

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Good that you are gettig a trainer involved. This sounds like a boundary/respect issue. He needs to learn to stay out of your space or there will be consequences. I have a mini like this and worked with a trainer who taught me that when "he takes your space, you take it back" Basically it involved making him immediately back away when he got pushy. Be careful with this until you feel him out and know his default reaction to being reprimanded, some will push back more (rear or whatever) until they really get the message. Timing is everything on this, so having a trainer will be great to show you the ropes. And if you have one, wear a helmet. And keep lessons short and end postive.
Don't worry about the round pen, they are over rated, as long as you have a safe place to work you're good.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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Be prepared for him to try it again. Smacking his chest with a crop is one method. Another is stomping on the ground in front of him and aggressively stepping forward at him and sternly ordering him to "BACK!"..... He needs to respect your personal space.
 

Willow Flats

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All good information!!! Just want to say something about the round pen. That was such a good article! The author says it is just another tool.
She starts out with "Don’t be fooled, it’s not a magical space. The round pen is a training aid that should be used with caution, experience and understanding." So it's like any other tool we have, like a whip that can be used properly or improperly.

I have a round pen that is attached by a gate to my dry lot. I use it to warm up my horses before driving. I do this at liberty and they really like it. I also leave the gate open when they are in the dry lot and they run in and out of it and play in there and "round pen" themselves quite often. I have a couple of poles in there and Rocko loves to canter around and jump over the poles and buck and then turns and jumps back over the pole in the opposite direction.
I used to teach fitness at a gym and I would never lead a person to the weight machines to start lifting weights without a warm up for 5 minutes on the treadmill. Warming up your
muscles prevents soreness and injuries and I treat my horses the same way because I consider my horses athletes if I am asking them to pull a cart with me in it. Personally I always wonder what it is like for my horses who are just standing there and at any moment they can be summoned to work!!! I think what would it be like for me if at any moment someone could come get me and make me run a few miles no matter how I'm feeling. Especially if I have been lazing around for week or so! I'm not saying you need to have a round pen, just want to say they are not bad and can be useful if you have the skills needed to use one properly.
 

Willow Flats

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Thank you for the nice comments. After I post I always worry that I am too long winded! The winter months bring weather challenges for most folks that are not conducive to keeping horses fit. It would be fun to encourage one another in the Spring by sharing what we are doing to develop fitness with our horses!
I have a clipboard that has a calendar sheet for each horse that I print out for each month. I keep it in my mud room and when I come in I mark down what I have done with my horses for the day. It keeps me on track and motivated to stick with it. But then my two horses are still new to driving so they need training and miles.
 

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