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Everyone telling us to call it quits with dpony

(60 Posts)
Lalalalalalalalaland Fri 02-Aug-19 17:54:17

Bought a pony around 6 weeks ago for DD who is nearly 8.

Came from neighbouring pony club, ex BSJA pony flew through its vetting and came with millions of amazing references. He's 22x we wanted something older that had been there and done that.

DD tried the pony a few times and he was ace. Got him home and started having problems jumping he just always dashes out to the right. We went to camp this week and he did it at nearly every jump.

He is otherwise great, hacks out without a lead rein hoof perfect, the few times shes fallen hes just stood by her and not run off, great manners on the ground.

She has twice lost her reins bringing him back to trot from canter as he pulls his head down, I'm presuming this is due to her pulling too hard on his bit.

His bit is a 3 ring gag with a grackle which i think is too much though he can be strong at times but she isn't yet gentle enough with her hands.

A few parents at camp have said we should just chalk it up to a bad job and get a new pony after he dodged every jump in the cross country.

However i don't want to give up on him as he is otherwise perfect. His old owners have been amazing and offered us loads of advice but it all comes down to the fact that she needs to be bossy with him and she isn't. I'm not sure that confidence can be taught, you are either brave or you aren't.

In this scenario would you stick at it with lots of lessins with good instructors and hope it comes or sell and try something easier for her?

Bellebp Mon 05-Aug-19 14:43:17

My daughter has an 11.2 welsh cross who was just the same when we got her. In fact she’s the same now with anyone who is inexperienced or not bossy enough. It took around a year for my 8 yr old to learn how to handle her and probably another year to get the best out if her. She’s now 11 and handles her beautifully, typically just as she’s outgrowing her!
Stick with it, lots of lessons and lots of hacking! My daughters a much better rider for sticking with her and feels so proud of how far she’s come.

We’ve used a Tom Thumb and a Pelham, I know many will disagree with me but my young daughters safety came before the ponies mouth, in my mind at least. The pony needed a strong bit and would have had a lot more pulling at the mouth had she been in a snaffle.

Lalalalalalalalaland Mon 05-Aug-19 14:54:18

Thanks! I'm going to measure him up for a new bit today. Though won't change it tomorroe as she is hacking out with friends which will be the first time he's been ridden since camp ended thursday as we've all been unwell!

I'm glad others are saying not to give up on him as i do love him and we didn't meet any other ponies that can be loaded and clipped by an 8 year old!

We will persevere and will definately update on how it goes.

Booboostwo Mon 05-Aug-19 16:29:48

It usually takes about a year to get used to a competition pony for a child who’s never had one before. The best solutions I have seen is the child gets a lot of lessons and supervision, plus the pony is schooled by a more experienced rider until the child is ready to take over full time. Otherwise you go from one mistake to the other until both child and pony lose all their confidence.

CottonSock Mon 05-Aug-19 16:34:48

She's very young. Could a small adult / teen ride him and see if any issues? In case it's something else. I used to do this for small ponies that were bucking etc as I'm 5 ft.

bluebluezoo Mon 05-Aug-19 16:37:40

Grackle and 3 ring gag on an 8 y olds pony!

At a push for xc comps if he’s really strong, but for hacking, schooling etc?

Like pp said I’d give the jumping a rest. Get a good instructor, An enclosed school and a snaffle, and let them get used to each other.

I agree with pp- that sort of bit and a new rider and he could be ducking out because it’s physically hurting/uncomfortable.

happycamper11 Mon 05-Aug-19 16:49:24

I'm glad you're keen to persevere. He sounds great, just that your daughter is a little inexperienced for him but she can learn. If he's truly safe out hacking that's the main thing for now. An experienced jumping pony will be very sharp when doing the job and be used to a far more experienced rider (especially as your daughter is tall) I'd get an older rider/small adult to continue to do a bit of jumping just to keep that ticking over and definitely don't change bit for hacking until very confident with the other one. Lots of ponies are jumped in this kit with experienced kids because they need to turn on a hairpin and shorten a stride quickly but it can mean breaks in a snaffle even out pottering about can be compromised. She might always need that for jumping XC etc which is another reason it's important to go back to basics for now.

Belenus Tue 06-Aug-19 10:42:22

A 3 ring gag can be quite versatile. You could make gradual changes just by changing where you put the reins e.g. try a schooling session with the rein on the snaffle ring. This article explains it quite nicely I used to put two reins on and ride mainly off the snaffle, with the second rein as emergency brake just in case but I wouldn't expect an 8 year old to manage that!

FanFckingTastic Tue 06-Aug-19 18:22:52

OP - it sounds like the pony is perfect in so many other ways that he's definitely worth persevering with. There are normally little blips when you get a new pony as everyone is getting used to the new relationship and figuring out where the boundaries are.

On the subject of kit it seems like the grackle and gag are getting a bit of a hard time! Just for context from the other side my 8 year old uses a grackle and gag for jumping and x country. She's very good with her hands but it just helps her with jump off turns etc. She schools, hacks and does dressage in a cavesson and a snaffle and shows in a pelham with double reins (correct kit for working hunter and many ridden classes) She can ride perfectly well with all combinations so the fact that your DD is 8 shouldn't automatically exclude her from riding with this kit as long as the pony is comfortable and she's been taught how to use it properly and isn't hanging on to his mouth.

Pegase Tue 06-Aug-19 21:37:49

He is perfect to load, clip, shoe, vet. DD can do all his care as he is so gentle. She can hack him out perfectly, motorcycle backfired next to him and he didn't even flinch.

Just from the above text I would say persevere - hard enough finding all of those things in an adult's horse. Would love to have that for my DD!

Lalalalalalalalaland Wed 07-Aug-19 13:59:04

We are definately persevering.

She rode him yesterday for the first time since camp, 2 of her school friends came down with their ponies and they all went on a hack to the park and then went in the school.

No jumping planned just set up a mounted games course and let the kids decide what they were going to do. DD did end up jumping a little cross pole a few times and all was fine! The kids all swapped ponies and her more experienced but tiny friend flew over a few jumps on him.

But mostly they just messed around and had fun on their ponies with no lesson plan and no pressure. Which reminded me exactly why we bought her her own pony in the first place

Pegase Thu 08-Aug-19 17:24:18

That's great! I find with my own riding I need to almost keep a diary of what goes well as I find it so easy to dwell on the negatives otherwise (and it does sound like pony camp was a bit a nightmare for your DD!)

Lalalalalalalalaland Wed 28-Aug-19 20:28:58


DD friends came back up a few weeks ago and Dpony followed friends pony over a few jumps. Next thing i know they were flying over them. She must have jumped it 20 times!!

Following week she did the 3 day camp ran by the riding school. He jumped everything (only doing crosspoles) with no refusals! On the last day they built a cross country style fence and jumped it for the parents... inagine my shock to see DD flying over it 1 handed with the worlds biggest grin and getting the camp trophy for confidence!

Its not all perfect by any means, her hands are still a bit all over the place as he has started pulling his head down in canter which causes her to lose her reins but we are getting there and very glad we didn't call it quits!

compulsiveliar2019 Thu 29-Aug-19 01:05:10

You could try these
In combination with a gentler bit and noseband. Will stop the pony being able to tug reins out of her hands and maintain a consistent contact.

Manontry Wed 04-Sep-19 11:35:13

His bit is ridiculous and he's taking the piss. I doubt there's anything physically wrong with him but nice of you to check.

Bsja ponies aren't necessarily in the slightest bit forgiving.

Manontry Wed 04-Sep-19 11:36:32

Aha sorry just seen update ! Goid news. It can take a year to get the best out of a pony.

Lalalalalalalalaland Thu 05-Sep-19 15:38:50

He had a lesson in a full cheek snaffle which went fine. He cant go far in the school so didn't mind trying it.

At the moment we are just working in keeping him in trot. I presume before he worked mostly in walj and canter so just trying to keep working on a nice balanced trot but things are lookin up

Pollydron Sat 07-Sep-19 11:35:09

Late to the thread but here’s my 2p worth: OP it sounds like you’ve landed a unicorn so am very glad to hear you’re persevering.

If it was me, I’d be less focussed on the bit and more focussed on DD’s leg and driving aids. He’s obviously a seasoned soldier and I’d bet he was testing her. Alternatively, as an older pony, he may respond better to stronger leg and seat aids?

Not saying your DD isn’t a confident rider but if she’s used to younger and less clever ponies, she may not be pushing him forwards enough or catching him in time before he ducks sideways?

There are lots of tips and tricks for this kind of behaviour so I’d be asking around for a few lessons with a decent sj instructor. It’s one of the easier problems to sort.

Good luck with it all!

Lalalalalalalalaland Sat 07-Sep-19 20:16:11

We have our first clinic with a fabulous trainer next friday. And the ducking out does appear to have stopped after a lesson with the yard owner who realised that she just needed to 'let him go'

Being a showjumper hes used to working in canter, DD trying to jump him in trot and holding him bsck from cantering seemed to make him unsure what she was asking and so he was ducking out.

Now shes letti g him go the situation is much better. Definately learnt that it wasn't him it was her!

Now autumn has hit the pony club have lots of clinics on so we are going to knuckle down and attend lots of clinics and bond over the winter and see where we are in the spring.

We adore him, even if I'm pretty sure he owns us and not the other way around!

maxelly Sun 08-Sep-19 15:43:04

Really good to hear it's all going well for them grin

Booboostwo Tue 10-Sep-19 08:41:27

Great update! Hope things continue to improve over the winter and your DD builds a strong relationship with DPony.

Lalalalalalalalaland Thu 19-Sep-19 23:12:14

I come to you all with bad news...

We had a downturn in jumping again and general little shitness.

Our pony club have an excellent jump trainer so we decided to go to her tonight. She told us that she knew fudge with his previous owners and she told them to stop jumping him over a year ago.

He hates it, he is possibly in pain when he jumps and we are so upset. He was missold to us. Turns out they doped him for shows and possibly doped him the few times we tried him as he was so much more docile when we tried him compared to now.

We have hopefully found an amazing pony to loan for DD1 and dpony will stay with us now as a leadnrein for DD2 (no jumping) and then officially retire when she is ready to come off the lead rein.

We are so sad he was badly treated and doped and whipped to jump by his previous owner, and so mad that as a mother she would sell this pony to our 7 year.old for pony club.

Very expensive lesson learnt

Booboostwo Fri 20-Sep-19 07:34:25

Oh my goodness, what an awful end to this story! I am not surprised though, people will do anything to get rid of a pony. Good for you for keeping the pony and I am gladness your DD wasn’t hurt during all this.

Pleasedontdothat Fri 20-Sep-19 12:11:15

That’s a very sad update - poor pony and poor you

Spudlet Fri 20-Sep-19 12:17:25

Oh no, poor little pony! But lucky to have landed with you, and not someone who’d dope him up and shift him on. I used to work in equine welfare... the number of people who’d do this is depressing.

Bless him, I hope he has a long and happy retirement with you. You sound like good people.

Coffeeandchocolate9 Fri 20-Sep-19 12:42:12

Whaaaat??? What a crazy rollercoaster of a story over only 6 weeks (and 12 weeks of pony in your life)!

What does the vet say?

It seemed like daughter was getting on so well with him having gone back to basics and taking it slower, and you've ramped up speed again really quite quickly.

FWIW I think he sounds sour from being over competed but perfectly adequate for your daughter to do flat work on.

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