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To Have pony professionally reschooled.?

(14 Posts)
HebeJeeby Thu 22-Dec-16 18:12:51

Hello, I'm new to owning a pony so looking for advice. Bought my daughter a pony in July from a riding school, she is lovely and we are very happy with apart from her jumping. I was told that she was green at jumping when we bought her which I didn't think would be a problem. So far with the help of my daughter's experienced instructor we have now got her trotting nicely over a course of jumps about 30 or 40 cms high. However, any higher or if we try jumping in canter she rushes the jumps and bolts afterwards. This has been going on for a while and I wonder if I should send her away for a week or two to be properly trained. I have tried riding her but I am not experienced enough to solve this plus it frightened the life out of me!

I don't want my daughter to lose confidence, or worse, hurt herself, plus we have a pony that is struggling jumping. I've got the dentist booked to come and have considered getting an osteopath to check her out in case she's in pain jumping etc... However, can I ask what you think of my plan to send her away, I have found someone who will do this for me in the New Year. I don't think this is something we can sort out with a weekly lesson. I will speak to my daughter's instructor too but wanted to know other's thoughts on this and if anyone has done this with success. Pony is 11 years old.

Any advice much appreciated.

Cat0115 Thu 22-Dec-16 18:18:25

if your instructor is experienced, then surely they can advise? I suggest canter work rather than jumping from a trot over a course of 40cms. Canter work in school and also out hacking. Canter work through wings, canter work over poles on the ground and then start work over small fences. Build up slowly. To buy something "green at jumping" in July means more work before this is sorted in December.
It also depends, of course, on the age of your child, the age and size of the pony and the relative experience of the instructor. And the purpose you have bought the pony for...

neonrainbow Thu 22-Dec-16 18:23:12

Id wait till you've had her properly checked to make sure she's not in pain. What's her flatwork canter like?

Butkin1 Thu 22-Dec-16 18:24:18

We are very experienced horse people but when it comes to schooling jumping we would side with sending the horse away for a two or three week boot camp. We have a very good Working Hunter pony who lost his form/core strength towards the end of the showing season so we gave him a holiday and then sent him to a professional for 3 weeks. They rode him and got top class older children to ride him and he's now back on song and DD is enjoying jumping him again and having lessons. Was expensive but well worth the money..

HebeJeeby Thu 22-Dec-16 18:27:47

Hi, thanks for the reply, pony is 13hh and bought so daughter can do pony club, gymkhanas type activities. My daughter is 9 and of medium ability. Am definitely going to speak to our instructor as she is great, I will take her advice first, just looking for other views I suppose.

I guess I'm rushing things then if you feel that 5 months is not long enough to have sorted this - I'm not experienced so happy to take all advice. I do tend to like to 'fix' things, so maybe I need to be a little more patient. Thanks for your thoughts.

HebeJeeby Thu 22-Dec-16 18:54:27

Hello, thanks for all replies.

Neonrainbow - Transition into canter is ok but she has bucked twice going into canter and she seems to run into canter rather than straight into canter. She canters better going anti-clockwise (sorry about terminology). This is why I thought maybe getting her back checked might help.

Butkin1 - thanks for sharing your experience. That is what I think, I'd like to get the pony to a standard where my daughter can ride her safely and enjoy her. I just wonder how long it will take with weekly lessons but I will talk to our instructor.

neonrainbow Thu 22-Dec-16 20:21:40

Im no expert but it certainly sounds like she could be in pain. Worth getting her tack checked as well to make sure the saddle fits her properly. I would stop jumping or cantering until she's been checked out thoroughly as her trying to avoid any pain could cause her to form bad habits.

Pixel Thu 22-Dec-16 21:21:45

Have you tried getting her to jump on the lunge to see if she settles or not without a rider? If she can jump fine by herself then she's unlikely to be in pain (unless it's the saddle?). Sometimes ponies can rush their fences because they are anxious and want to get it over with, maybe if they have been jabbed in the mouth by an unbalanced rider or something like that (it's not unusual for a green pony to jump big and take the rider by surprise so it can easily happen). If you think that could be the case then lunging would also be a good way to build up her confidence and teach her that jumping isn't going to hurt her.
I agree working through and around wings concentrating on keeping a calm and steady rhythm can help.

lastqueenofscotland Fri 23-Dec-16 21:58:45

Firstly I'd check the pony is sound.

Then I'd look at sending pony away. Where in country are you?

Booboostwo Sat 24-Dec-16 06:28:57

Any loss of form or inability to do basic things like transitions should make you consider whether the pony is in pain. She might not be in pain, but if she is then reschooling will only temporarily mask the problem.

To eliminate the possibility of a health issue start with a vet. Unless you are very experienced with a particular health problem and its management, you should always start with a vet who can diagnose what is going on. The vet may then suggest a physio or other professional. Tack and teeth should be checked/done at least every year.

If all is well health wise it does sound as if the pony needs more schooling. What is the pony's history? At 11yo it should already have done all PC activities and have the temperament to teach your DD. If it is struggling with canter transitions it has a lack of balance with basic things that suggests this is a very green pony, this is not just an issue with jumping. You'd have to wonder why an 11yo is so behind with its schooling.

If you decide to send the pony away be very careful. You want someone light weight and a very sympathetic rider who can school the pony so that a child can ride her, not just drill her to the ground. Go by word of mouth via other PC parents, visit the person before the pony goes there, and definitely visit very often (twice a week? Ask for DD to have lessons with trainer as soon as pony is ready as well) to check on the pony's progress.

I know you did not ask for advice on this but the best way to get a PC pony is to buy one that has already been there and done that with a more experienced child. Expecting an inexperienced child to train up an inexperienced pony is unlike to work out.

Pixel Sun 25-Dec-16 01:16:16

I never got a chance to join PC but I always thought the point was to go to rallies etc and get help with learning about schooling and jumping. The Prince Philip cup was started as something that would be inclusive for those who couldn't afford expensive, well-bred ponies, but would encourage outstanding horsemanship, teamwork etc. I think it's a great shame that the original ethos has been lost and children are now expected to start off with 'made' ponies as soon as they join PC.
I don't think there's anything wrong with the child and pony learning together when they are obviously receiving regular instruction.

Booboostwo Sun 25-Dec-16 14:10:17

Pixel I think you are confusing two things: the PC is indeed aimed at DCs and ponies of all activities, the point being for everyone to have fun and enjoy horse riding. More competitive children may want to affiliate in their discipline and if they are seriously ambitious they will need extremely talented, and expensive, ponies. In that sense, if one is trying for national teams, money talks in a way that is not relevant to PC which is more about fun.

None of that is particularly related to my general point that a novice child with a green pony will have trouble doing basic, fun activities and may not even be safe (I don't know to what extent this applies to the OP as I don't know how green this pony is or how well her DD is coping with him). There is a famous horsey saying "green and green makes for black and blue" which captures the idea that either the rider or the pony need to be experienced. For a child to have fun at PC they need an experienced PC pony. This type of pony need not be a world beater or a super competition pony, just a well schooled, experienced PC pony. 'Inclusive' doesn't mean that one can bring a green pony and expect everything to go well.

Booboostwo Sun 25-Dec-16 14:11:17

'Of all abilities' not 'of all activities', sorry.

HebeJeeby Wed 28-Dec-16 11:28:24

Hello, thank you all for your replies. My daughter has had 2 lessons since my OP and I spoke with her instructor about sending the pony away. We have decided against it for now as we feel that the pony should learn to behave itself 'at home' and with my daughter. The lessons have been back to basics - lots of cantering over poles etc... As advised and they have gone really, really well, to the extent that my daughter cantered over a low cross pole jump yesterday with no problems at all. We left it there to finish on a high. So we are going to take it slowly and so far it seems to be going well. The instructor is also going to get her son's girlfriend to jump the pony, as she is small and a great rider, to try to get her going a bit better but so far so good.

I take your comments about green + green on board and about PC ponies it does make sense, although my daughter isn't too green and can manage the pony. I feel a lot better about things after these 2 lessons and we have another booked for Friday so finger crossed it carries on as well as it has.

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