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Pony on trial been a bit naughty tonight...please help!

26 replies

Whitegrenache · 04/07/2012 21:05

We have a lovely 7 year old 11.1hh mare on a 4 week trial for 6 year old dd as first ridden pony (off lead rein.)

So far so good.

Taken it to arenas with other horses, hacked out and generally done stuff with it etc and it has behaved lovely.

Tonight an instructor came to give her a lesson in the field ( that she grazes in)

She and my gelding have formed a strong bond and he was in the stables adjacent to the field whinnying like a good un!

Anyway pony was napping a lot in the field and instructor was telling dd to walk and halt and turn her back on the track etc


I was filling Haynet and heard a scream Sad

Pony had decided to gallop to gate towards stables and dd fell off in the mud.

Dd not badly hurt with only a bust lip.

I was very upset and the instructor who has only just seen pony tonight told me to send it back and not buy it...

3 very horsey friends have all advised me that she only galloped off to be with the other horse and that we should not have been riding n the field really as it is her pasture which she relaxes in, and to basically give the pony the benefit of the doubt.

Going to take it to friends Arena on sat, then a gymkhana on Sunday then make a decision.

Owner swears she has never done this before and has been a prefect pony for the little girl who previously rode her and I tend to believe her to be honest as why give her on a 4 week trial and she seems an honest person, I have also asked around and people sing the ponies praises.

Would love people's thoughts.....

Or should I Just go out and buy a bloody rocking horse and be happy with that!!!

OP posts:
Eve · 04/07/2012 21:12

Hard one,

But riding it in the field & napping back to a gelding she has strongly bonded to isn't unexpected.

You've not had her long and she's probably unsettled hence the over clingness... Keep her a bit longer , get her on some moody mare and separate her from the gelding regularly.

Whitegrenache · 04/07/2012 21:17

I only have till next Wednesday to make a decision.....
Owner won't lengthen the trial period

OP posts:
horseylady · 04/07/2012 21:53

Tough one. Depends how sensitive the mare is and if she's used to being ridden in fields.

I always say go with gut instinct. You're dealing with it, youve seen what happened and has been happening.

PigletJohn · 04/07/2012 22:07

pony has been naughty and has successfully dumped dd. Pony is now boss.

What is going to make pony respect dd and not take control again?

marialuisa · 05/07/2012 08:29

TBH it doesn't sound like that big a deal to me and is why I'm not keen on "trial periods". Ponies aren't machines and when going through a lot of upheaval may behave differently or "badly", equally a bright pony may try it on initially-just like kids! Unlike PigletJohn I don't read anything in your OP that makes me think that the pony was deliberately trying to dump your DD, sounds more like an unfortunate side effect.

Remembering your previous post I wonder if you're expecting a bit too much from the ponies? Our 12.2hh is as safe as houses, but we've been through phases where's he's been challenging and there have been occasions when things DD has done have contributed to it. Part of building the relationship and learning to really ride is working through it IMO. As your DD is only 6 you need to have the support in place to do that though, including having an older child/small adult who can get on the pony occasionally. My friends have the most easy, well-mannered pony you could hope to meet for their 4 year old, who rides off the lead in an open field. But big brother or dad get on every couple of weeks to keep up the schooling.

Whitegrenache · 05/07/2012 08:42

Oh thanks Maria

I think you have hit the nail on the head...maybe I am expecting too much I.e the rocking horse scenario

The other incident with the rearing pony I feel comfortable that I made the right decision.

I am suffering badly from anxiety at the moment so this is perhaps swaying my decisions...

OP posts:
marialuisa · 05/07/2012 10:21

Full-up rearing would be a "hard limit" for me too, especially with a 6 year old.

I can understand your anxiety-DD broke her shoulder falling off 6 days after we bought dpony. With hindsight we put him in a position we shouldn't have, DD wasn't prepared and the accident happened. It would have been easy to say he was spooky, dangerous etc and he is anything but.

Would it be easier to send DD for lessons for a wile, until you feel a bit more relaxed about things?

PigletJohn · 05/07/2012 10:59

"What is going to make pony respect dd and not take control again?"

did not mean you have to discard the pony, but it probably means dd needs to improve ability and confidence. Ponies are often naughty and will take advantage of a weak rider. Schooling the pony will IMO do limited good as pony will be able to tell the difference between a confident and a less-confident rider and will behave according to his perception of their relative status. However it will be difficult for dd to improve confidence if pony is now boss unless she takes lessons on other ponies.

However I am not experienced with 6-y-o riders.

Callisto · 05/07/2012 13:26

Bloody hell WhiteGrenache, you are expecting way too much from your pony and your daughter. Perhaps your DD isn't ready to go off the lead rein yet? I can't think of many ponies that wouldn't do what this one did. And your instructor sounds a bit ott in her reaction. Next time have lessons in a school or enclosed space or keep your DD on the lead rein until she is strong/competant enough to cope with the napping.

My DD's good as gold pony naps, it is his only fault. But DD has learnt how get after him and to ride through it and he does it less and less. However, I have changed his bit from an eggbut to a fulmar with keepers and he wears grass reins so he can't stick his nose out and drag the reins from her hands. And I also go at DD's speed with regard to lessons/things we do (jumping, cantering etc) and we avoid situations (big grassy areas being one) where he might nap, get up a head of speed and dump her.

frostyfingers · 05/07/2012 14:15

Definitely give the pony the benefit of the doubt - try and put yourself in her position (!). She must be really unsettled with new sights and sounds and people looking after her, riding in her field when you've got to know her is probably fine, but right now was too much for her to take, especially with her new best friend calling for her.

They aren't machines, and I think to discard her now would be unfair. Try and encourage your daughter to get back on, and a strategy for dealing with it should it happen again. I'm afraid falling off and being intermittently frightened goes with having a pony or horse, obviously you don't want to scare her so much she doesn't want to ride, but we all fall off occasionally! If she does turn out to be really nappy then that's different, but for a "first offence" I would recommend leniency, especially if she's been good in lots of other settings. Also, could she have come into season?

Butkin · 05/07/2012 16:07

DD is an experienced rider and her ponies are generally 'good' but they would nap to their friends in the field given half a chance.

Maybe just ride the new pony on either hacks or in a school for the time being. If - like us - the fields are tempting then get them ridden together so they go round like a PC ride and less likely to do their own thing.

Mirage · 05/07/2012 16:24

Yes,I agree,it doesn't sound the end of the world to me.The poor pony is in a new place with new people and new routines,away from everything she knows,no wonder she wants to be with her companion.

Dpony is great in nearly every way,but she naps going into the school sometimes,DD1 is bigger and stronger than your DD though,but she has had to learn to deal with it and has done,even when the naughty old thing runs backwards.I'm afraid that ponies are like that,none of them are perfect and you have to decide what you can live with and work with.If the pony was good in every other way,I wouldn't worry about that.

DD2 has just turned 7 and her little Section A naps to the gate sometimes if he can see me.She can usually turn him around and get him going,but if not I send him on his way again.He napped on the road during a hack last week and he has NEVER done that before,or since,but that day he went on the lead rein for safety's sake.I wouldn't consider returning him because of it though.

Can your DD go back on the lead rein until she feels more confident/able to deal with her?

Whitegrenache · 05/07/2012 17:53

Thanks all for your advice, I think I really need to get a grip! It was because dd hurt herself and had a bloody lip which concerned me do much Sad

I think I will give her the benefit of the doubt and indeed keep her on the lead rein when in a field.

She has been perfect in an arena and out on a hack trotting alongside my gelding.

She is in season and has formed a very strong bond with my gelding.
The little girl who has been riding her was an 11 year old and much stronger than my 6 year dd who is a teeny 6 year old!

I guess the only issue I have is spending 1500k on a pony which may be no good.

My anxiety is terrible and I am a bit irrational at the moment and I am looking for reassurance really I think.

I think maybe slow dds riding down a little bit and not do anything in an open field off the lead rein.

I think the only thing bothering me is the flat out gallop back to the gate rather than a trot and the fact that the instructor thinks she is no good.....she is also an instructor at pony club so I don't want to end up with egg on my face....she is a lovely girl mind so I am sure she would be fine.

Thanks for your support ladies x

OP posts:
Butkin · 05/07/2012 19:10

Wonder if you go to our PC because our instructor is very quick to say that perfectly good ponies are "no good" !

I think if you're happy in other respects go for it. At that price she should be resaleable if things didn't work out. Remember that children only get bigger, stronger and more capable.

Callisto · 05/07/2012 19:19

It is really difficult, I have crises of confidence whenever DD falls off (twice in the space of 5 mins the other day, neither of which was really pony's fault, and we were in the round pen so it can happen anywhere). I always say that we all get bad days, but the good days should outweigh them. If it stops being fun it's time to give up.

I think with the gallop you need to take into account the distance between the gate and where the napping began, which is why I say don't let pony and your DD loose in wide open spaces. Genuine first riddens are like gold dust, and I'm not sure they really exists. I also think that at camp and rallies your pony will be fine. She may nap back to the other ponies, but it will be a short distance and there will be plenty of people on hand to make sure the pony goes where it is meant to. If you are generally pleased with the pony otherwise then she is probably worth sticking with. I'm not sure why your instructor was so negative - at the recent PC show we went to it was carnage with ponies behaving extremely badly everywhere, it really is par for the course and your instructor would know this.

My only concern would be your pony's love affair with your gelding. That would be worth nipping in the bud as soon as possible otherwise you may find that eventually she can't survive anywhere without him (used to look after a hunter like this - if her best buddy wasn't with her she would holler and scream all the bloody time, even out hunting). Is there the possibility of turning her out with other horses rather than him so that she is a little bit more independant?

Mirage · 05/07/2012 19:44

If you are happy with the pony,don't worry what the instructor says.There is an instructor at our PC who always says something negative about dpony,even when she has done absolutely nothing wrong.Dpony has been to the same PC with various kids over the years,so possibly she did do something naughty in the past to cause this person to have such a downer on her,but she hasn't with us and that is what is important.

Like Callisto I've seen some really awful behaviour from PC ponies,rearing,kicking,all manner of stuff.

Mirage · 05/07/2012 19:49

Forgot to add,one of mine came off after loosing a stirrup over a jump yesterday,then they both fell off whilst racing across a field tonight.thankfully at different times or I wouldn't have known where to run to first.Grin

careergirl · 05/07/2012 20:41

totally agree with what your friends have said. Would be unreasonable to say pony not suitable on basis this episode.

Whitegrenache · 05/07/2012 20:57

Thanks girls x

OP posts:
Booboostoo · 05/07/2012 22:13

Do you just have the two horses? Sometimes having two on their own creates quite a few separation problems and it might be easier to have 3 or keep them in a larger yard with more horses where they can swap fields, be in larger herds, etc.

Whitegrenache · 05/07/2012 22:32

Got 3... Dds mare my gelding and my Shetland mare.

No way I can change the grazing.

OP posts:
frostyfingers · 06/07/2012 08:12

Perhaps you could swap them round a bit, or take the Shetland when you are hacking - fixation on another pony is a real pain. It may be worth looking into something to stop her being in season, my sister used something for pigs once! Have you a good horse place - my friends at Countrywide are my bible for all things equine.

Another thing, could she have lessons with another child and pony - I'm just trying to think of ways to distract her from her boyfriend (pony, not child obviously!)

Treblesallround · 06/07/2012 11:31

We had problems with our gelding falling in love with a pretty little mare, we're at a big yard so seperating them wasn't a problem, but as others have said, you do need to watch the situation as this could become a real problem.

I was going to suggest a return to the lead rein until your dd can manage her pony herself, and very sensible of you to have done so. They are all unpredictable, even the best of them. Gd's saint of an old pony once took off at a gallop with her across our (large) jumping/riding field, considered jumping the fence then slammed the brakes on, depositing gd on the deck.

He wasn't being naughty, she had over-estimated his usually bombproof nature and bent down to collect up the dressage markers. She was carrying two, they clanked together, spooked him badly and he panicked. Lesson learnt, gd!

Whitegrenache · 06/07/2012 18:17

Took pony to friends indoor Arena tonight.

Pony was fab x

Dogs and kids running around.....did some games with pc games equipment , horses where galloping around in adjacent field and pony behaved impeccably

OP posts:
Callisto · 07/07/2012 07:46
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