Welp, Saturday was eventful!

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saverette15

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I just found this forum and have been posting on another for regular sized horses. As a quick backstory, we became the owners of two mini ponies. The mom was given to my not quite 2 year old daughter by my sister in law as a Christmas present 2 years ago. We were not asked beforehand and were told that they'd be staying at her house. Oh and surprise mom is pregnant so my 2 year old really got 2 ponies for Christmas. Mom had been a children's pony ride and is VERY well mannered and calm. Well, the sis in law bought a new house and the farm where the mini's are kept was too far. My father wouldn't let his grand-daughter's ponies be sold so he allowed me to bring them to our farm which is a cattle farm. Dad has been great at figuring out how to keep them separate and helping me but neither of us has any horse experience, only cattle. I am so glad I found a forum focused solely on minis!

I had posted on the other forum about how the mini's were getting super pushy at feeding time. I was told how that should not be allowed to continue so I did some research and figured first step was making them back up and wait for me to give them feed. That is what I planned to start working on this past Saturday. After my incident, I will definitely be looking for a local trainer to help me as I don't want to wind up with a scared horse or one with bad manners because I didn't have the right experience. On to Saturday morning. I took my now 3 year old daughter with me to the barns thinking we'd spend some time grooming and playing with the horses.

First, I planned to put a little grain out to keep the baby, Jessie (not quite one yet) busy while we worked with mom (Daisy). My first mistake was taking my daughter rin with me while trying to work on manners. I realized this immediately but I had no idea Jessie would act like this - again my inexperience is showing. We went in the gate and started walking to the feed bowl when Jessie started trying to shove her head in the bucket as always. At that point I pushed her and said back. She kinda skittered back (only word to properly describe movement) then swung around and kicked out at me. She wasn't close but close enough I realized I needed to get my daughter out of the field in order to handle it. Based on my research I realized that Jessie probably saw this as me retreating and thereby she was "winning". She kept trying to get between me and the gate, then she'd swing around and kick out. Got daughter out of the gate and got a stick ( a whip is our next purchase). I came back to the gate and Jessie met me. I began backing her up. She'd go back and little then swing around and kick out. I never struck her with the stick, simply used it as something else in my hand when I raised them. Each time I walked toward the food bowl, Jessie would walk toward me. I'd tell her to back up and that's when she'd swing around and kick. After working with her a little while, I decided I didn't have the skills necessary and I needed to stop. When Jessie realized I was leaving without leaving the food she was TICKED. She did what I equated to a temper tantrum - ran off across the field jumping and kicking then stopped on the other side of the field to stomp and scream. I then left the fence.

I realize I should not have tried to do this alone with just me and my daughter. My dad pulled up shortly after I was out of the fence. He saw Jessie throwing her fit and I told him what happened. We walked back to the gate (not planning to go in, just standing and talking) and Jessie ran back to the gate, spun and kicked at us through it. I had NEVER seen her act like that before. I would have NEVER taken my daughter with me if I had. So, I'm planning to look for a trainer. This is a good idea, right? I am in south AL. Estimates for what this training might cost?

I appreciate any advice on what happened. I'm not giving up and plan to continue to work at feeding time. If Jessie doesn't cooperate, she won't get fed the "extra" until I can get her under control. I can pull mom out and feed her separately. But, I do plan to find someone to assist me and make sure I'm not doing something I shouldn't.

As an aside, they saw the farrier last weekend. Daisy did fine as always but Jessie only got her front hooves done. She wouldn't cooperate for her back ones. I know this is because she is young (as was the farrier). We've always brushed and rubbed Jessie with no problems. The only times I've seen her kick out, after thinking about it, were when we'd come with carrots or a treat and not immediately give it to her when we walked in. Again, I know this is where she needs to learn manners. But I lack the experience.
 

NewToMini's

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A trainer shouldn't charge too much for the problems you're having. But you really need the trainer to train you, not the horse. This is simply a respect issue, and while training the horse will help for a while, unless you learn how to handle her, her behavior will come back.
 

Minimor

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I agree--it is you more than the horse that needs training. Rather than sending her to a trainer I suggest you find someone that will come to your place and teach you how to deal with the naughty behavior. In the long run that will be much more effective.
 

Ryan Johnson

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First of all, Welcome to the forum
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I agree with all the responses you have been given above.

First of all, I would be removing grain from Jessie's Diet completely. Can I ask what "grains" you are feeding her? This could be adding fuel to the fire so to speak .....

Has Jessie been broken into halter and to tie up ect? I agree with everyones suggestions that you should have someone come to you to help gain knowledge. It sounds like Daisy would be the perfect pony to work with. If she is calm and has been around children then it is going to make things alot easier for you to learn, than trying to teach a young horse at the same time as yourself.

If Jessie was mine, I would be looking for a trainer too start working with her. She needs to learn some manners and have respect for her handler and at this point she does not. In my opinion, with your lack of knowledge , she is not safe to be working with and is a serious risk to injury.

I dont mean to sound harsh, so please forgive me if I am coming across that way. I really think you have two options here , 1) You send her off to get broken in and see if she has gained any respect when she returns to you. 2) As heart breaking as it would probably be, You seriously consider selling her and looking for something with the temperament that daisy has.

Whilst you are trying to learn and gain valuable knowledge yourself with horses, i dont believe working with a bad mannered 1yo will be any benefit to your growth with horses, what so ever.

Just my honest opinion

All the very best

Ryan
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paintponylvr

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"WELCOME" to the Forum!! Glad you found all of us here.

Just want to say I agree with all that has been said.

There are many different ways that Jessie can be worked with and you would eventually find the way that works best for you and her together. The problem is doing anything with your mare (Daisy) when Jessie is right there, too. And of course the safety of your daughter. Did you sis say where she'd gotten Daisy from? Could you contact them for help?

Checking with your local feed store and vet could glean some help and even posting an ad looking for a trainer on Craigs list may help as well. I was just going to check on the ASPC/AMHR website for some info and I was having problems with the site. Currently waiting for the electronic version of the Journal to load so that I can take a look to see if any AMHR breeders listed in that state that could maybe you could mentor with or ask ?s of... I don't know anything about the AMHA folk.

Where in Alabama are you?
 

paintponylvr

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OK, you are in Area III - our area, actually. I am still looking for a contact in the state of Alabama for you who might know of a trainer that could give you a hand. This is just in the ASPC/AMHR mini world - you also can find a full size horse trainer that could help (some won't) and/or an AMHA trainer.
 

saverette15

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Thanks for all the responses. I don't see them as harsh. I fully admit that I lack any experience and what little I know is not enough. I am in complete agreement that I need someone to train me more so than the horse. Jessie has been halter broke and will stand while we brush her but other than walking on a lead, she's never been asked to do anything or taught anything. I am looking into finding someone in our area to come and teach me how to teach her to basic things. And I am in complete agreement that if this is not working out then I will have no qualms in finding J a home that is better equipped for a horse at her level. I appreciate any information on trainers.

For the grain, we have Purina miniature horse feed. I have researched and see that this is not necessary as they have plenty of forage. I had decided that they do not need the grain daily and we have started using it as more of a "treat" when we're working with them or just every now and then. I DO believe the grain is what led up to the bad behavior. I just found the DVD rental website and will be signing up.

Checking at the feed store for help is a great idea and I don't know why I didn't think about it. Thanks!! I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
 

AngC

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I'd have reservations about a farrier that didn't complete the job. Perhaps I'm spoiled by my farrier? Our mare was pretty ornery (and wild) when the farrier came for Coco's first trim. I had her tied securely, but she was not cooperative. I didn't really think about it at the time, but I expected and depended on the farrier's expertise to get the job done. ...which he did. From that first encounter, I think Coco still respects him more than she respects either myself or my husband.

If Jessie is having a tantrum, just walk away. You mention feeding and treats. If you have the time, just leave and come back later. Forget the treats; leave, come back later and then feed only what is necessary for basic nutrition-no treats-naughty horses need no treats.

If you don't feel confident of "winning" the encounter, don't try it. I bet there's experts on this forum that could train a horse in a week or so. I can't. I've spent a couple years with Coco, turning my back and walking away. I didn't know how to win, so I just inflicted my presence on her until she darn well got used to it. Rather than forcing a confrontation, I just went about my business... i.e., cleaning stall, feeding, etc. Kicking should not be tolerated, in my opinion. I would try to pre-plan and figure out how to get feed out there without setting myself up to be kicked at. Perhaps halter and tie somewhere else, place food, and then release so they can eat? ....or maybe something else. If you're not going to win the confrontation, then don't allow it to occur.
 

saverette15

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Yes, the farrier was very young. She is a family member and since they're small horses I figured what could it hurt? I'm glad she stopped when she felt uncomfortable. Jessie did not act up much at all during that process - especially not like she did last weekend. I am now looking for a farrier and will absolutely explain our problems and what they will have to be able to work with. II agree I'm much too new to horses for an inexperienced farrier - I need them to know what they're doing and be in charge.

Saturday I invoked the walk away method. I plan to keep trying this weekend. I'm glad to hear it can take a while to get the respect from them.
 

Rocklone Miniature Horses

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I think minis fool a lot of people. They are so small and sweet - but they're still horses. They tend to go through a bit of a tantrum phase when you start hard training cause they don't understand why they're suddenly being horrifically abused and starved ? Just stick with it. Consistency and confidence is the absolute key.
 

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