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The tack room

help with our hooligan please?

21 replies

MitchyInge · 30/12/2009 10:53

this behaviour stopped for a while and we were floating about yard being v smug about how improved our pony is since we became his owners - but recently it has reappeared with a bit of a vengeance

because he's out all night he tends to be stabled for most of the day (say 8 - 4ish), and occasionally he'd hook his front legs over the stable door, get completely stuck, and call for attention. In past couple of days he has started to do it constantly - about 5 times every 20 minutes yesterday

in one stable recently he actually broke through to 'share' with a friend next door, I suppose hay is a bit like other people's chips on plates always looking better than our own?

what would you do?

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diedandgonetodevon · 30/12/2009 15:39

Does he need to be in most of the day or could you consider turning him out more?

Is he a bit bored? Maybe try something like a pig ball (one of those things you can put pony nuts in for him to mess around with)

Or is it company he's after? Does he have a particular friend you could bung him in a large loose box with?

Failing that, some heavy duty reinforcement to the box.

MitchyInge · 30/12/2009 16:25

thank you, fellow Otis loving friend

didn't see your message until after I threw a bucket of water over him however he has not done it since, though it remains to be seen whether this is a permanent cure

think he gets bored and lonely, is just a bit demoralising to know that if you hear any banging or other worrying/annoying noises it will be one of ours and not any of the other fifty or so horses and ponies there

the treat ball is an easy idea to try, anything structural might be a problem as he doesn't have an allocated space so it's musical stables throughout the day

poss. could be tied in the barn though

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diedandgonetodevon · 30/12/2009 17:01

The barn sounds a good idea, especially if there's lots going/other horses around. It's easy to forget that they are herd animals when we are so used to putting them in nice, warm comfy boxes.

mummydoc · 31/12/2009 14:31

can he go out more ? we have noddy officially living out at moment but this actually means he is in perdys box during day with yard empty as all others out then they swop over at night. he was looking a bit fed up and sad so now he comes in for feed and 1-2 hrs with haynet in morning while all other stables mucked out then he is put out agian with his friends. he doesn't seem bothered by being left out when they come in, i think he has really settled since living out .

MitchyInge · 01/01/2010 11:10

well yesterday they had to put him straight out again after his feed because it was BAD, he kept getting stuck halfway, but in the afternoon yard when he came back in for 2nd feed he didn't do it at all (perhaps he sensed that I was waiting round the corner with a lunge whip)

it is not very natural horsemanship is it but am hoping to scare him half to death before he impales himself on something, it's not that long ago that a horse not far from us killed itself doing the same thing although our stables are much safer

he's just v stressy at the moment, I know he's still quite a baby for his age but he is incapable of walking anywhere or standing still - thought we had nipped all that in the bud. hopefully is related to not having as much work lately, due to the weather - sort of puts you off getting on something that is being so silly doesn't it?

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Ponymum · 01/01/2010 14:00

My completely amateur opinion would be that it is bordeom related. This is purely based on the fact that you said it stopped for a while after he moved yards, then started up again. When he first moved he was possibly interested in observing his new surroundings, but now he's used to it he has gone back to being bored and silly.

Good luck - hope you crack it.

MitchyInge · 01/01/2010 15:31

yes would like to extinguish it totally, although it is good enough at the moment to just manage it - today he's been tied in stable (to string obviously, so as not to bring entire wall down) with haynet and there has been v little rumpus (after disastrous start)

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Nekabu · 02/01/2010 13:05

All I can say is, if he were my horse I'd move him. From what you've said, he's never liked that yard, he's never been very happy with being stabled there (either because he doesn't like the in during the day and out at night - in January?! Or he doesn't like the constant shifting of stables. Or there's something else.) and they let total beginners ride him. Nothing wrong with beginners but mixing a beginner with a horse someone else is riding at a higher level isn't always a happy combination as the horse may be more sensitive than is ideal for a beginner.

I know you have him on working livery so I am guessing it's either because it's cheaper or he is exercised for you or both - so I'd move him to a DIY yard and get a sharer. It may work out slightly dearer (though it may not) but if he isn't putting his back out by all this trying to climb out of his stable then I'll be astounded and that's going to result in a chiropractor bill at the best and a thumping great vet bill at the worst, so in the long run a yard move could be cheaper.

I hope you get it sorted one way or the other as he doesn't sound a happy camper.

Pixel · 02/01/2010 19:30

I've been pondering this wondering what would be the best advice to give and I think Nekabu makes a lot of sense.
My old pony hated being stabled at one place we were at, he would box-walk all night and be dripping with sweat in the morning, I would take me a good 10 mins to change his rugs as he couldn't stand still and I had to wrap the rope round his nose just to get him up the road to the field. I know all this is much more extreme than your boy but he wasn't at all happy. The YO wouldn't let me leave him out all the time so we left for a field with a shelter. Within a week he was a different pony, I just wished we'd done it sooner.

Also agree all this box-swapping must be unsettling for him. Is there any chance that he could be allowed to have the same stable for a while so it becomes 'his'? He might settle down a bit then. Perhaps as he is being such a pain atm your YO might be willing to give it a go.

Pixel · 02/01/2010 19:30

I've been pondering this wondering what would be the best advice to give and I think Nekabu makes a lot of sense.
My old pony hated being stabled at one place we were at, he would box-walk all night and be dripping with sweat in the morning, I would take me a good 10 mins to change his rugs as he couldn't stand still and I had to wrap the rope round his nose just to get him up the road to the field. I know all this is much more extreme than your boy but he wasn't at all happy. The YO wouldn't let me leave him out all the time so we left for a field with a shelter. Within a week he was a different pony, I just wished we'd done it sooner.

Also agree all this box-swapping must be unsettling for him. Is there any chance that he could be allowed to have the same stable for a while so it becomes 'his'? He might settle down a bit then. Perhaps as he is being such a pain atm your YO might be willing to give it a go.

Pixel · 02/01/2010 19:30

Doh!

Nekabu · 02/01/2010 22:00

It's really amazing the difference a yard can make. I was on a yard with a girl who had actually put electric tape round her horse's stable at her previous yard (I know, doesn't bear thinking of!) as he kept trying to climb over the door (like Mitchy's) and was fully expecting a similar performance at the new yard. Her horse loved his new home from Day One! Happy as a clam and never, ever tried to climb out of his stable again.

MitchyInge · 03/01/2010 12:11

ah hello - thank you for all those thoughts I wake up in the night worrying about this even though I know he is safe in the field then

am just about to take him out of working livery (it's our 'new' pony Joey not the old hooligan Barney - although he also has problems in stables but they are more manageable, we just leave the door open and put straps across and also he has his own one where he is away from horses who annoy him) and put him on the schooling livery that 3 and 4yr olds are on though is much more ££££, but just for a little while. I know he's 6 and he was obviously backed nicely, but don't think he's had much if any schooling - hope this will help

not sure it how we'd manage if one was at one yard and one another, and up until now he has been quite happy so it could be something to do with reduced work or extra feed (nothing heating though) or the cold?

he's got to the stage, since Christmas Day when he was quite stressy (maybe because we had music playing, he calmed down when it was switched off) where he can't stand still when tied, he just dances or tries to spin on the spot, and is a bit difficult for my daughter to lead although bigger people can manage him fine.

it's typical isn't it, because usually Barney is a bit of a handful over winter and he's been amazing, we've cracked the rug problem and he looks fab and is fun and safe to ride. Now we have the little one to give me grey hairs instead

yard owner has asked if there is a particular stable he is better in than another, don't think it would be a massive problem to allocate him one but unfortunately he does it where ever you put him

ooh that was a bit of an essay wasn't it

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MitchyInge · 03/01/2010 12:15

he didn't have beginners when he was on working livery, usually people working towards their stage 3

might be barking up the wrong tree with the schooling livery, although it won't do him any harm will it

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Nekabu · 03/01/2010 19:12

Sorry, Mitchy. I thought you were talking about Barney.

MitchyInge · 03/01/2010 20:06

still all good points tho nekabu so thanks, feel have been a bit feckless taking on a very green pony who had 3 changes of owner in 6 weeks but he was settling beautifully until Christmas. So maybe it is a winter thing?

fingers crossed being on schooling livery 5 days a week (starting tomorrow) will do some good - he's a chunky beast and has always lived out all year round, if he has to spend most of each day out as well as each night then so be it. Yard owner has not run out of ideas, although electric tape was not one of them!

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Owls · 04/01/2010 21:08

Schooling livery by experienced riders has got to help surely. Mmmm. Have you tried one of those controller headcollars for the leading problem? I've got one for my bolshy/pushy Cob and it's worked really well.

MitchyInge · 04/01/2010 21:29

ah yes, thanks Owls - we have one of those somewhere (ones with extra rope thing that tightens on nose?)

frustration at weather is boiling over a bit, as so limited in what we can do

this is true for everyone tho I suppose?

do not expect either of them to be perfect of course but would be fab to have at least one that you can just put in a stable and shut the door on? can you imagine travelling with him in a trailer while he is doing that

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MitchyInge · 05/01/2010 21:37

happy to report BIG improvements today, has been coming in for short periods of time then out again for a while then in again then out again

perhaps knowing he isn't stuck in there for ages makes a difference? anyway hasn't tried it once today

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Pixel · 05/01/2010 22:28

That's good, and your theory could be right. When my mum got her horse he was banned from the stables because he would bash at the doors all the time but the only time he had ever been kept in with his last owner was when he was ill and in for 2 weeks straight. Once he realised he would be going out all day every day he was fine. In fact we would often get to the yard to find someone had taken pity and brought him in as he'd been loitering at the gate for so long.

MitchyInge · 06/01/2010 07:08

ah I hope so

yes think Joey is realising that 'the grass is not greener' in the field, what with there not being any and yesterday he spent most of the time standing at the gate, looking sorry for himself

wonder if any other yard would put up with us?

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