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Loan pony issues

14 replies

welshowl · 28/05/2020 11:00


We have a pony on part loan for my daughter who is 5. She's a confident, quiet little rider who been having lessons for just over a year and competent in walk and trot off the lead rein.

The pony she has is so temperamental and I'm starting to question it she's right for her, well I know she isn't right for her but I don't like giving up on a pony.

She'll refuse to come in from the field and has started rearing on me when we get to a certain part of walk back to the yard. My daughter has to run to get a feed bucket to get her to even consider walking on.
She's constantly got her ears back and tries to bite every now and again, especially when her girth is being done up.

When being ridden she's not easy, she will hollow her back and bring her head up trying to evade the bit. She will have a strop when being asked to trot and will rear on me when I try and lunge her.
Surely this should be fun and it's not. I don't like to battling with her when my daughter is around as I don't trust her.

The owner has a son who rides once in a blue moon and when I talk about her behaviour I get nowhere.

Like I said, I hate to give up on a pony but I just wanted advice from the outside as to what others would do?

Teeth, back, saddle etc have been checked.

Thanks for reading

OP posts:
lastqueenofscotland · 28/05/2020 11:27

Sounds in pain. I’d suspect ulcers. Would you be able to get them scoped?

Rearing is an absolute no no for me. It is so dangerous and so inappropriate for a child’s pony. If there was no pain I wouldn’t be keeping a rearer for a 5 year old. What’s to stop it doing it under saddle

lastqueenofscotland · 28/05/2020 11:28

Also you say her back but have you checked for kissing spines? It sounds a miserable, sore pony.

welshowl · 28/05/2020 11:59

Thanks for reading and for your suggestions.
I've spoken to the owner a few months ago about her possibly having ulcers but it's gone in one ear and out the other. A another owner on the yard suggested trying gaviscon mixed with her feed to see it that makes a difference, but again in one ear and out the other. I don't feel it's my decision to feed her it without the owners support.

I'm not sure she has been checked for kissing spine, i will check.

The rearing is dangerous and like you say, totally not suitable for my daughter. I don't trust her in the slightest.
I think seeing all the issues written down has made me realise I may be fighting a losing battle sadly.

OP posts:
Ravenswick · 28/05/2020 12:05

Sounds very like a horse in pain rather than behavioural. Agree though that not fun or safe for your child (or the pony) to carry on.

AngelicCurls · 28/05/2020 23:00

Find your daughter something safe and enjoyable. This doesn’t sound like it’s fun for anyone, and how would you feel if your daughter was injured? It’s admirable you care so much about the pony but your daughter has to come first. Good luck, it’s hard, especially if your daughter is attached to her but surely the best thing in the long run for your daughter

Destroyedpeople · 28/05/2020 23:06

I was also going to suggest ulcers when you mentioned the girth. Gaviscon wouldn't be enough.

Honestly your dd is so little you dont want her put off or scared when she us doing so well.

Our pony had ulcers and it's a long term management thing esp making sure she has something passing thro her gut at all times. Whether that is grass or hay.
There is loads of info online about it.

The rearing sounds ..dodgy.
I really think you might be looking for a different pony.

maxelly · 28/05/2020 23:13

No way would I be putting a child of mine (or anyone else's for that matter) on a pony that rears, not even one which does little hoppy rears. It's so so dangerous, in any horse never mind a kids pony, and once a rearer always a rearer IMO, it usually only escalates once they start doing it.

Agree with the others that its probably pain behaviour, rearing usually is, but even in the best case scenario and it's just pony being naughty to evade work, it sounds as though you don't have the time/resources to sort it out, and it's never a great idea to invest too much in someone else's pony anyway. Like you I feel sorry for the mare but this really isn't your problem to solve, you've done your best and time to move on I think.

confusednortherner · 28/05/2020 23:30

My first thought was ulcers, you are lovely to want to care for her so much but honestly don't risk your daughter on her. Dd first pony went from saint to a rearer in a year. Turned out she had arthritis and was unrideable.
The vet insisted the children went nowhere near her as she was so unpredictable.
Two loan ponies later where owners didn't care how their pony behaved and told lies knowing a child was riding them I'm very wary.

britnay · 29/05/2020 13:41

Honestly, its meant to be fun and this pony will just ruin your child's confidence.
Send it back to the owner and get something safe and sensible.

P0lka · 29/05/2020 13:47

I rode a nappy, bitey, spinny, rearer from the age of 11 (much less brave these days!) - a novice 5 year old? No way would my child be riding that pony!

Agree it sounds like pain under saddle, and a reaction to it in hand (knowing coming in from the field = being ridden = pain = stubbornness being led).

It's sad that you'll be sending pony back to a neglectful/disinterested owner, but sometimes you have to prioritise your child.

Azaziel · 29/05/2020 13:52

Health conditions or not, my child would not be around that pony. Your daughter is only tiny, this should be a lovely experience for both of you. Your daughters confidence is at risk of getting ruined before she’s barely started, plus she’s at risk of being seriously hurt! It’s not ‘giving up on a pony’ when the pony is unsuitable for you

Booboostwo · 01/06/2020 09:25

This pony is almost certainly in pain but you are stuck with a common sharer's problem: it's not your horse so you don't have much of a say on when to call the vet.

This is sad for the pony but ultimately he is very dangerous for your DD. A pony who rears can cause a horrific accident. I think you need to terminate the loan immediately.

As for moving on, why not get lessons in a riding school instead? Your DD will get to ride loads of different ponies. To be fair, children are not really balanced enough to get much out of riding until about 8yo and then they progress quite quickly so need access to many different ponies.

SansaSnark · 01/06/2020 12:03

I wouldn't have a 5yo near a pony that rears, to be honest. From what you've described, I think it is pain related too, and probably only a matter of time before he does it under saddle.

Kissing spines and ulcers are two likely causes, and I'd also be wondering about saddle fit- I know you say it has been checked but by who and how recently?

Even if you got to the bottom of it and it was somehow solvable, the pony has learned to rear as an evasion and might continue to do it due to remembered pain or if there was ever another issue. I don't think you could ever trust her completely- she's not a safe pony for a child.

I agree that the obvious answer is to walk away and look for something else or take your DD back to a riding school for a while. I'd also warn others in the local area- it would be pretty dangerous if it e.g. reared in hand with a slightly older child.

If you have a lot of money to throw at the problem, I'd consider offering to buy for a very nominal sum, knowing that the pony might never come right. This would be in essence taking the pony on as a welfare case and not something many people would be able to do.

I wouldn't continue with the share as is.

britnay · 20/07/2020 10:35

Any update OP?

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