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Problem leading in from the field,any advice?

(37 Posts)
Mirage Mon 03-Oct-11 19:19:01

I'm struggling a bit with dpony at the minute.She is very easy to catch-just stands and waits for me.But when I try and lead her into the yard,she plants her feet,jerks her head about and does a little dance on her forelegs as if about to rear.She'll eventually walk on, as I refuse to give in to her,then she'll do the same thing as we enter the yard to be tried up.She did rear up when the girl who helps out gave her a smack with the leadrein to get her going.

Last week,as we walked into the yard,my neighbour appeared around the side of a stable wearing a WW2 gas mask[he was creosoting] and dpony screeched to a halt looking absolutely terrified.He apologised and whipped it off,but I think that she remembers it and that is why she's reluctant to go into the yard now -the problem started the next time I tried to walk her in after that..I'm loath to smack her to get her to move if she is genuinely scared,plus I know she will rear up now.She is fine being led elsewhere,back into the field,into the menage ect-it is jus from the field to the yard.

I've tried backing her up,the theory being that she'll give in because it's easier to go forward than back,but don't know if that is the right approach.I haven't given in to her,but the faffing about is eating into our limited after school riding time.

If anyone has any advice or pointers,I'd be grateful.
Thankyou

rogersmellyonthetelly Mon 03-Oct-11 20:34:55

I don't think smacking her is the way to go as you have said, but you could try distracting her with treats whilst she walks past the difficult areas. Try getting her attention with a carrot just before you walk into the yard, if she is genuinely scared you will probably find she gets over it within a couple of weeks once she realises that there aren't horse eating monsters in gas masks around the corner.

Earthdog Mon 03-Oct-11 21:07:12

My mare always plants when I try to lead her, so I just bribe her with nuts or have a long lunge whip and tap her bottom with that..

Mirage Mon 03-Oct-11 21:22:10

Thankyou both,I'll try both suggestions,like all ponies she is very food motivated,and I've got a lunge whip.

Can't really blame her for being frightened-it gave me a turn too.It was like one of the monsters from Dr Who! grin

Earthdog Tue 04-Oct-11 11:04:02

Yeah my mare would have hated that. She has a massive thing about shiny cyclists helmets! If there are nuts around with my girl there is no need for a whip, she will do anything for food!

CailinBainne Tue 04-Oct-11 14:06:23

my pony also did that - I carried a schooling whip and just kinda tickled his bum with it, just enough to distract him from being planted...
Then a reward for getting into the stable

brighthair Tue 04-Oct-11 17:27:59

Backing up is fine as is bribery. If she plants, try pushing her round by her shoulder so she goes in a circle to keep her moving

olderyetwider Tue 04-Oct-11 22:34:59

I disagree with the treats/bribery approach. She's a child's pony and the last thing you want is your dds being mugged for treats.

SemperUbiSubUbi Wed 05-Oct-11 13:33:14

Just a couple of ideas to add.

How about catching her in her bridle, you will have a bit more control and she may see it as her needing to work and do as shes asked.

Have you tried taking her right round the corner so she can have a good look and see for herself that theres nothing to be afraid of round there?

frostyfingers Wed 05-Oct-11 16:25:31

Have you time to perhaps take her halfway to the yard and then back again a couple of times, and then leave her in the field?

Mirage Wed 05-Oct-11 22:00:30

Thankyou all-tonight I had no problems with her at all-I took the lunge whip just in case,but kept it out of sight.Bless her,she was tied up and DD1 was just getting on board when something really frightened her-no idea what,but it was very windy and she was looking around gasmask corner when she did a massive spook and tried to get away.DD1 was very sensible and got down and out of range very quickly,whilst I untied her and calmed her down..She was so startled and frightened that I wondered if her back hurt and DD getting on had aggravated it,but we carefully leant over her and DD1 got on board again and everything was fine.It was probably a leaf or bag blowing about.Combines and buses-fine,leaves and drain covers-demons.grin

dappleton Thu 06-Oct-11 10:46:59

Glad you have managed to sort out the little problem bringing her in from the field - Frosty's idea is a good one, it's always best the dpony doesn't associate coming into the yard with work, make her think she's coming in just to be turned out again, coming in for food, a brush whatever. To be honest a quick tap with a lead rope or whip won't do her any harm if she still refuses to move (i'm not suggestion you actully fighten her but the same sort of little tap you'd give her if you were riding and she refused to walk on) - ponies can get very bullish if they don't feel you have a bit of authority.
One question though... why is she tied up as your dd mounts? it would be better if you held her instead as if she really spooks when tied up she may well get very upset if the lead rope doesn't 'give' and she feels trapped. Sorry if i've got the wrong end of the stick but it was just a thought when I read your post.

Mirage Thu 06-Oct-11 18:50:53

Thanks dappleton.To be honest,I don't know why she was tied up when DD monuted.She isn't usually,as she will stand still very patiently.In fact for the first few weeks we had her,we tacked her up in the paddock without being tied at all.We only started tying her up in the yard when someone suggested that it was a good idea to get her used to it,for when the farrier came ect.

We were fine today though,despite it being even windier than yesterday.Horses are funny things.

discobeaver Thu 06-Oct-11 19:58:24

Second the bridle idea. Also don't get hung up on 'gas mask corner' she will pick up on your worry.
I used to know a horse who would stop in the field, then rear up and strike out at your head, that was scary and people used to wear hats to handle her!

Mirage Tue 11-Oct-11 15:23:09

Well she was worse than ever today,Last night it took me 10 minutes to lead her in,today I went down to move her to another field and it took 40 minutes.She was kicking,rearing and trying to bite,luckily I had my hat on,but even with the lunge whip I struggled.I was shaking by the time I'd got her in.She is back in her old smaller paddock where she can see the whole yard.I left her an hour,then went back,caught her,lead her out with one slight baulk,tied her up,groomed her,did her feet.Tried to lead her back into the paddock and she was jerking her head around,threatening to rear.I fetched the lunge whip and walked with it between us.She did obey then and I made her walk in and out up and down stopping and starting on my command.She behaved perfectly while we did that,so have left her again.I'll fetch her in to give her her tea later and take the whip with me.I think she really is taking the pee now and is trying to be the boss of me.That can't happen.sad

marialuisa Tue 11-Oct-11 19:37:22

Sorry to hear this Mirage, does sound like she's trying it on. Hope things improve as she realises it'snot working.

marge2 Tue 11-Oct-11 20:08:36

Bridle - poss even chiffney - schooling whip. Wack her arse behind you every time she refuses to move forwards. Stop being namby pamby and don't put up with any crap.

SemperUbiSubUbi Tue 11-Oct-11 20:14:13

A chiffney and whacking her with a schooling whip? Really? Nice. sad

I thinks thats just way too harsh. Maybe she is playing up a bit but I dont think it warrants whipping her.

SemperUbiSubUbi Tue 11-Oct-11 20:17:25

Also just quickly read back and cant see where the pony rears up? So whats the need for a chiffney?

bumbleymummy Tue 11-Oct-11 21:24:37

Mirage's last post mentions the rearing semper. I agree that marge's solution sounds a bit harsh though. Mirage, keep doing what you're doing for now. I agree with bringing her in or even just catching her for treats/grooming etc rather than just work all the time. Bring the whip with you but only use it as your last resort - hopefully you will get to the stage where you don't need it. It does sound like she's trying it on a bit so I think you need to be firm and show her that you are in charge. Maybe google some natural horsemanship techniques for tips on how to show her you are the leader iykwim.

SemperUbiSubUbi Tue 11-Oct-11 21:36:12

bumbleymummy - Oh yes sorry so it does, I must have missed that post.

Mirage - Do you think it might be worth getting her checked over by a vet/dentist? Its just it dpoesnt sound that rearing, kicking and biting is normal behaviour for her at all. Just wondering if there could be something going on that could be causing her some pain.

bumbleymummy Tue 11-Oct-11 21:46:27

Good point semper. Do you know when she last had her teeth checked mirage? Does her saddle fit ok? She might be getting a bit sore somewhere which is putting her out of sorts....

olderyetwider Tue 11-Oct-11 21:55:26

Our absolute saint of a first pony tested me out at about the same stage as you're at with dpony, mucking about, planting his feet (with a bit of a threat to rear) and generally being difficult to lead. I dealt with it by wrapping the lead rope over his nose and tucking it through the side ring of the headcollar if he was difficult, then just a small amount of pressure on the lead rope, quickly released when he cooperated. It worked really well. (it also worked in sorting DH's rather bargy big heavy mare out)

I'd also have set times for her to come in and generally establish a routine, including yard time for fun rather than just work. Just a thought, I know it's late in the year but it has been warm; you don't think she could be in season do you and just being mareish? What's she been like in season so far?

MuddyMare Wed 12-Oct-11 05:53:57

I always lead my big boy in a bridle, with lunge line clipped onto far side bit ring, then over his head and through the nearside bit ring (as if you were to lunge in a bridle). I use an old bridle with the browband and noseband taken off so that it's easy to put on and take off. My horse doesn't rear but has been known to drag people (not me so far, thank goodness) around if he doesn't want to do as he's told and as he is so very strong a headcollar just doesn't do anything, not even one of those 'control' headcollars. With the bridle and lunge line I have more control if he decides to go but he doesn't even try as he seems to associate the bridle with me being serious with him. I have never used a chiffney on him but wouldn't hesitate to do so if I felt I needed it. Safety first.

marge2 Wed 12-Oct-11 12:24:30

Is a chiffney only for rearers then? I thought it was for extra control with any number of handling problems from the ground. It's has sorted out quite a few tricky leading situations for me. My girl is normally impeccably behaved, but just sometimes, in season, on a windy cold day, event going on winding her up while I am trying to lead in from field, then a chiffney works a treat. Better than a bridle.

I would give a hard tap with a long whip behind me to make the pony go forward, whilst keeping in control of the front end with the bridle or chiffney. It's not harsh. They are big bloody strong things and even a shetland can drag a grown man about. Under normal circumstances yes, fine, of course nicey nicey, but this sounds like a dangerous situation to me and I would rather a bit forceful than OP or her DD being hurt. I have had to control some massive bolshy warmblood types to and from a far away field past scary stuff and unless you take control they will just get away from you or you will be dragged and hurt.

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