New pony- when to ride?(41 Posts)
My sister has just gotten a new pony, a lovely sweet 5 year old mare who has done very little except the odd hack. We aren't a novice family and have had horses before.
Pony has seemed edgy but okay since she came yesterday. She was lunged and turned into bucking bronco and is very bargy and strong- excitement I think.
When would you think about getting on her realistically? Should we give her a week or so to settle or just try and get on board and hope what she did on the lunge she does not do ridden?!
Would a hack or school be better?
It's been a long time since a new horse came into the family and we are like a pair of novices again
How experienced are you? With all due respect some of the things you say/ask sound a bit novicey - this is not a criticism, everyone has to start somewhere but if you are novices be a lot more careful with a young horse.
Firstly turn her out 24/7 (but keep an eye on the grass). Bring her in every day to get her into a routine. In hand work will do her the world of good, especially as she has forgotten some of her manners.
Wear a hat and gloves when lunging and look out for stray hooves! Bucking on the lunge doesn't equate to bucking when ridden, many horses buck like crazy on the lunge but wouldn't dream of doing it when ridden.
I'd give her a few days of in hand and lunge work and then get on cautiously, I.e. with a helper on the ground, lead her around, use an enclosed arena. Also worth getting some lessons asap to help you with how you should ride her effectively.
We aren't that novicey in that we both have owned horses previously however this is our first young horse. I agreee everyone has to start with a youngster somewhere though and temprament wise she is a star
Admittedly I lost my confidence a bit with the horse I have had a long time however this is a much different type of pony temprament and size wise. My sister has ridden all of her life and has another horse, again not a young one though.
Thank you I will do more groundwork! Lots of people on the yard have suggested to start as we mean to go on and just ride her but I'm concerned about over facing such a young horse and wasn't sure if a week or so off would do her good.
Well it's a delicate line to get right. You don't want to leave her too long to her own devices but you don't want to overdo it either. How is she settling in? If she seems calm in the field, I would do more, if she is unsettled, I would be more cautious about the ridden work.
Take your time with mounting, i.e. introduce her to the mounting block, lean over, etc and always praise her for good behavior. If she knows all this and take some it in her stride then no harm done, if she education is lacking in some respect it's better to find this out now and teach her gently. It's also worth remembering that even a nicely tempered youngster will have wobbly moments and how you react during those times will determine how she learns to respond. It is important to remain confident and calm.
If you are on a large yard there must be an instructor around. Why not get her/him out for the first few rides for some hands on help?
Do you know why she has done so little ridden work? Was her in hand foundation work comprehensive? Was the seller trustworthy and did they use a professional to break her in?
I'm a great believer in getting on board asap, even if it's just for a quiet walk once around the school. Lots of horses are silly on the lunge. It's not something I do with mine.
When you bought her how did she ride?
I'd get on sooner rather than later too. Either book your instructor for a half hour lesson in the school or take the pony out with someone else riding a sensible horse. You can still do groundwork, but generally I thing confidently, kindly and calmly getting on with the pony's new life is the way forward.
The pony is 5 and has only been on a few hacks, I think the OP would be very unwise to rush things at this stage. She needs to establish that the pony has brakes and basic steering before going out. We don't know her set up and whether she has any direct off road riding. Taking an unknown, newly broken pony on the roads is the stuff A&E visits are made of!
None of my tack fits so sadly we've done nothing with her as yet. I struggled to lead her in a headcollar so will need to get one sorted asap.
She has settled more since being turned out so I'm hoping she will calm down once she realises everything is fine.
We have an arena. Hacking is fine but lots of country roads, meeting other horses and that sort of thing. I tried to walk her out in hand but I almost lost her so not a good idea!!
You'd think they'd know whether the pony had brakes and basic steering from trying it, but yes it would depend what the local roads are like as to whether you hack out. Of course it should be quiet roads. But done under the supervision of an instructor or with the company of a sensible horse, even if only in the school, you're not rushing by getting on within the first few days.
BlackFellPony have you got an instructor already? It sounds as though things could spiral if she's already dragging you around and whizzing off on the lunge. She doesn't sound like she's getting the ground lines she needs as a new, young pony.
Honestly she sounds very, very green. I would strongly suggest you get professional help asap.
Did you ride her at the viewing? What did you do with her and what was she like?
honeyroar we don't know if the OP rode her at the viewing and even if she did there are a few tricks to make a horse behave for a viewing like riding it really hard before the viewing and dehydrating her so that she is very quiet. If the OP has bought from a very reputable professional i would be more relaxed about making assumptions about what the pony does and does not know. But there are plenty of people out there who exaggerate a young horse's experience, so it's worth being cautious. The pony's bad manners on the ground are a worrying sign that she may have just been rushed for sale rather than being carefully produced.
I may be completely wrong, in which case the OP will have wasted a couple of days taking things slowly, but what's the harm in that?
Speaking as a professional - I always get on the day they arrive or the day after.
In my opinion though, you need some help with this. Why, out of interest, did you buy a green youngster?
Booboostwo, I'm not suggesting rushing, I'm suggesting getting qualified help as things don't sound quite right. Groundwork isn't working - there's no tack that fits, no control on the ground, it doesn't sound like a remotely prepared or experienced owner (sorry op!). I'm speaking as a qualified instructor myself. It's making me nervous reading of a youngster charging round on the lunge and dragging their new owner around on the lead rope. Neither are a good start with a new and green pony. I've taught people like this a million times before, I've even been this person with my first pony a few decades ago.
I didn't pick her, that was down to my sister who wasn't actually looking for a pony but liked her personality.
She was tried in the school in walk and trot and also hacked out alone on fields past dogs, people etc. She was a brave, independent and confident pony at the viewing hence why my sister liked her. I have had 2 very NOT brave horses hence why she went for the opposite of what I would normally choose
The vendor was very nice and had the pony professionally backed. She was for sale due to lack of time to bring on.
She is having a day out today to relax while we get some tack sorted etc and then we are going to start again with our instructor.
We have no fitting tack as she has a decivingly small head- we have about 10 cob bridles at home and thought we had more than enough but this pony has a tiny face! She's about 14hh and needs a pony bridle and a tiny bit way smaller than anything we have here. The seller tack shared hence she didn't come with any.
Ah well if you have no tack then you can't get on her, that makes sense.
I'd get myself a dually to lead her in. You will need the red pony sized one, and book a professional to do some groundwork with her so her manners don't get worse. How is she with grooming/ her feet?
She is fine to brush and handle. She is lovely in the stable, moves back when I ask etc.
I have tried tack on her and she has stood quietly. I have leaned over her and she didn't react.
She sort of lost it when I tried to walk her around the yard, squealing and trying to tank off. This was pre turnout though so I'm hoping things will improve now.
That sounds a lot more reassuring! Hopefully she is a bit unsettled and needs some consistent handling to settle in again. Getting an instructor to help you is the best thing.
honeyroar apologies I misunderstood your suggestions. I think we are on the same page.
Thank you boo. I will be getting lessons asap.
Managed to source a fitting bridle and bit today so was planning to lead her out again until the rain hit. Maybe tomorrow!
She's had a day out relaxing in the field with her new companions so I'm hoping that she feels better today.
Sugar I didn't officially vet her as I work for a vet so had a friend look over her.
She was less than £1000 and we didn't think it was worth bloods etc
As you say, she's still young and green, but she sounds lovely.
Let us know how you get on, she'll hopefully settle down soon.🐎
No need to apologise Booboos, I perhaps hadn't explained it well.
Brief update. New pony is a star, totally in love with her. She's bossy and opinionated but brave and comes galloping to me already.
Riding wise she is much greener than I thought. She barely even has basic steering and naps when she isn't sure. I'm planning on lessons and I hope I'm experienced enough to work through it.
Thanks again everyone.
Glad she's a friendly girl. Did you move yards with her?
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