Working a mini

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Ourcozycoop, Dec 3, 2018.

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  1. Dec 3, 2018 #1

    Ourcozycoop

    Ourcozycoop

    Ourcozycoop

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    hey everyone

    Looking to obtain some advice, and or insight.

    Our girls are young 2 & 1 both May babies.

    Over the last year I was pregnant with god awful 24/7 morning sickness. This left my yearling to do her thing with very little handling. We are now reaching winter which limits ground work and I do plan on continued handling and quality time spent with her (them) But come spring my daughter and I plan on getting down to business with these ladies.

    So here’s our set up. Come June We will have been here two years. We spent the first year working on the barn as it was a cattle farm before us. The land required ALOT of rest and the barn needed a complete interior over haul (mould, low ceiling that were a mess, electrical etc.)

    We currently have no indoor or outdoor arena only paddocks and yard space. I plan on closing off our front paddock and making it a smaller grass arena the part planning to use is heavy with weeds I’ll need to dig out some buried rocks etc. Maybe go over it a bunch with some Even weight to fix what the cows have created. When dividing my daughter really wants a round pen to lunge and such (our minis are very dominant, which I don’t blame nature. Lack of handling will do that with such young girls right) so anyways I plan on using part of the left over paddock space to a lot for a round ring.

    How big should I go with the round ring. I don’t plan on going massive I would prefer to primarily accommodate the minis but I don’t want to limit future potential in being able to use it for a full size.

    Also, any tips and or advice for ground work would be greatly appreciated as we’ve never worked minis before. We do plan on doing just as we would a full size. I mean beyond basic handling.

    Also, our minis are reluctant to stand still. Which makes it a job for vetting and farrier visits. Any tips on this? I hope to have this rectified before spring.
     
  2. Dec 3, 2018 #2

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    Hi Stephanie,

    I once had a pony that refused to stand still. I tied him to a post and made him stand there all day until he learnt too "stand". Both of your minis are still young, but its really important they get as much handling as possible. This will really help with groundwork. If they are really dominant , I would be concentrating on manners & respecting your space and handling in general.

    Good Luck :)
     
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  3. Dec 4, 2018 #3

    Ourcozycoop

    Ourcozycoop

    Ourcozycoop

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    Hi, thanks! That’s reassuring to hear. Because this was going to be my plan. My worry was how long they will fight the Poll before giving in and standing there peacefully. Or how long I will hold out before caving in. Willow (2) will stand so long as your not trying to groom or handle her hooves. The only way I get her to stand for the farrier is shoving her head into my body and hiding her eyes. Star is nearly impossible and I break a major sweat whenever I’ve gotta get her hooves done. The vet is a whole other matter. They DO NOT like her AT ALL. Needless to say we both walk away as though we’ve just rangled mustangs. I often joke that we could enter the rodeo circuit with these ladies (She doesn’t laugh LOL)
     
  4. Dec 4, 2018 #4

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    They will certainly get used to it over time. Like the farrier and vet and other things that are new to them, these things take time. When your handling them in general, take some time to rub your hands down their legs towards the hoofs. They will become used to the touch for when the farrier arrives next time. Another thing that may help is to try some desensitizing things with them. Introducing them to different sounds, like a plastic bag etc. Let them hear the sound a few times, then try ( slowly) rubbing the bag over different parts of the body. Good luck
     
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  5. Dec 12, 2018 at 9:05 PM #5

    MindySchroder

    MindySchroder

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    Hi Stephanie!

    There is a lot you can do without an arena or a round pen. I take my minis on walks and hikes and do tons of ground work where ever I have the space. I use my driveway and my pastures as well as my front yard. I have cones I use for some of our play as well as a bridge, an old tarp, an old crib mattress (it's foam and does not have springs in it). I teach them to walk over and around things on the halter and lead rope. We cross water and bridges when we go hiking and meet our neighbor horses along the fence when we go for walks. This prepares them for driving. Driving is my main interest.

    There is some information on my blog about what I do to prepare my horses for driving. You can find that at www.theessentialhorse.com!

    Enjoy your little ones!! They are so much fun and so smart :)
     
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  6. Dec 14, 2018 at 7:16 AM #6

    Ourcozycoop

    Ourcozycoop

    Ourcozycoop

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    Thanks! I wish we could take them on hikes!! There’s a great trail by us. But I’d have to cross a very busy road to get to it.
    When we first got Willow, I use to take her to the bus stop to wait on the kids with me and we use to walk the perm. Of the 100 acres surrounding us of fields. However it’s been well over a year now since I’ve done much with them.

    Willow is desensitized and Star isn’t scared of anything it seems. She loves bags and boxes and Noises. She gets very excited though. This is my main issue with her (asides from feet and standing still) She wants to constantly jump up and play and doesn’t like strangers.

    They are also dominate with food. They get bum happy. Lots of turning Their bums on eachother and me. So clearly a lesson in manors.

    I took myself back to the basics of when I use to work thoroughbreds. My goal with these girls was to teach my daughter to train. But I didn’t realize with all the years past I’d come up with blanks on where to start over.

    I plan on starting from the basics of handling with her and them again.

    Manors.
    Haltering and standing (Star more so)
    Grooming and foot handling
    Leading (stopping, starting, trotting, introducing voice commands)
    Footing and rear end commands (circling, side stepping etc.)

    She’s got this grand idea to liberty train them....shoot jumping etc. She wants to start a side business for photographers to use them in photo shoots (I collect antique photo props) She has grand plans for them to say the least.

    We’ve got a lot of work. Once we get those basic listed in order I’ve told her from their forwards she should have a horse with her while outside at all times.

    I think she’s wanting a round pen right now because she’s been learning how to properly lunge as well as learning the basics in teaching a green horse to lunge (clinic) I personally could careless of a round pen and have tried to tell her that with all the space of the fields and our yard she’s fine without one. She sees a lot of liberty work at the barn she works at. However this is also where the grass arena comes into play. Eventually she would like to be able to liberty train and shoot jump them, almost ness. To have a nice flat easy surface. I think this will come easily since they are young and eager. I mean once the work of handling is under control. This is more where my question in ground work comes in. She also wants for her baby sitter to be able to ride them when old enough (years yet)

    The minis for me where a way to get myself back into training and teaching as well. I just didn’t think I’d feel so ‘new’ at it. AND I really never dealt with a horse reluctant to stand.

    I totally agree, they are fun and although just like a full horse so different in their own little way! I don’t have too much interest in drive training but my husband loves the idea of it. I’ve never done it. I do have all the tack for it though. Minus the cart.
     

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