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bigbaytb
Jan. 17, 2011, 10:39 AM
I have 2 horses. I'm not too worried on fitness since both foxhunt at least 1x week. But there are times that they don't due to weather, but since they are out everyday from breakfast to dinner in the winter, I think they are doing ok.

At night, I have use of a huge, but old and dusty indoor, so i try not to stay in there more than 20 minutes since the footing isn't ideal..so i try to either ride or lunge over raised cavelettis to low gymnastics.

but some days, by the time I get out there, I could ride out on the trails, but wouldn't be able to get both out unless I could get someone to ride the other horse.

So, have any of you pony a horse on a hack? I used to pony my mare when she was a baby with my other horse around the arena. but i'm thinking for the days I want to do an hour of walking or some trot sets, is it possible while ponying a horse? is it beneficial to the ponied horse?

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 17, 2011, 11:09 AM
I pony for fitness all the time....as do many people I know. It really is one of the only ways I can get two horses fit on my time schedule. Of course right now...footing isn't so good out so not much hacking out! But come spring...yes I will do it several times a week. I trade off which horse I ride and which one I lead.

53
Jan. 17, 2011, 11:09 AM
Absolutely.

The only way I can get my conditioning sets done, and all the walking in, is to pony one.

I usually put a surcingle and side reins, or bungie reins on the horse who is being ponied, and then put a halter on over the bridle and then lead using a regular cotton lead.

Ponying one horse is easy, back when I used to condition polo ponies I would ride one and pony four, two on each side, and we would do full canter sets that way! Granted, doing "canter sets" with four fit polo ponies in hand is mostly an exercise in stopping them from running away with you, by the time you get them under control again its time to walk.

Lots of people do it: http://www.galwaydowns.com/ scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see a photo of Katherine Groesbeck and her two horses; she is quoted in some article talking about how she regularly ponies them to get her trot sets in with her tight schedule.

goodmorning
Jan. 17, 2011, 11:32 AM
I was wondering about this to. I brought it up, because not only is it a great time-saver, but it gets the job done with no pounding on their backs.

I've ponied polo ponies before, glad they had the routine down, because I'm not sure stopping was going to happen otherwise :eek:

PuraVidaEventing
Jan. 17, 2011, 11:33 AM
We pony horses all the time for fitness! I got really good at it, haha. The horse being ponied went in a surcingle and neck stretcher, their regular bridle, and then we run the lead rope through one side of the bit and clip to the other. The hardest part is getting on, lol!

GotSpots
Jan. 17, 2011, 11:38 AM
We pony them all the time for hacking. Gets them done efficiently, gets them out for a longer period of time, and they almost all learn to do it pretty well. I've used a rope halter or a regular halter plus chain and a long leadshank and it works quite well. I prefer not to pony for trot sets as some of the spots we trot aren't particularly wide, but don't object to it on principle if you've got ones who are decently behaved.

LAZ
Jan. 17, 2011, 12:13 PM
I've ponied for fitness as well, though it is more fun to do it with a buddy!

The guys at Rancho Alegre used to pony the polo horses in groups of 4--so 1 ridden and 4 ponies at the same time. I was amazed they never had any get away & run amok down Willow Road or 421, but they seemed to know the drill well enough.

quietann
Jan. 17, 2011, 12:35 PM
I saw a guy down in Wellington ponying 4 horses off each side... that is 9 horses, and remarkably enough, they all behaved themselves...

Appsolute
Jan. 17, 2011, 01:06 PM
Another "go for it!"

Back when I had two eventing, I did it all the time.

I would ride one, and pony the other in a halter (with the rope over the nose for some extra stop), or in a halter over a bridle.

I would walk / trot / canter+ with them. Stopping could be a bit of work sometimes :) but we lived.

I have even stopped and swapped the saddle, riding each for 50% of the ride.

scubed
Jan. 17, 2011, 01:11 PM
Yes. My old guy was a pony horse on the track, so I could pony even only moderately well behaved youngsters with him and did so regularly.

bigbaytb
Jan. 17, 2011, 03:05 PM
Thank you! My friends are always acting like I'm the nutty one! I would not have thought using a surcingle for ponying, but think that is a great idea too! Both my horses are fairly well behaved, So i'm sure once I figure it out, I should be fine.

OMG. doing 4 to 8 horses at once! crazy! But then I can see how the horses would learn the drill. When I used to work weekends at a barn to pay for board, the BO would get mad at me because I would bring 5 horses in at a time (as in take the entire pasture in at once). those horses knew the drill, would wait patently while I put on halters. Two horses in one hand (in stall order of course), to in the other and the old blind horse would just put his nose on my back and we'd walk in. So it would make sense at ponying.!

And LAZ..that must have been a sight down 421! LOL

Janet
Jan. 17, 2011, 03:29 PM
I saw a guy down in Wellington ponying 4 horses off each side... that is 9 horses, and remarkably enough, they all behaved themselves...
Probably polo ponies. They are regularly ponied in groups of 8 - 10.

deltawave
Jan. 17, 2011, 03:36 PM
I haven't for a while, but certainly have done so in the past. Bonnie's a great pony horse--everyone shakes in their shoes in her presence and she's totally oblivious to her She-Ra powers so it makes her the ultimate "iron fist in a velvet glove" type for ponying. :)

mountainbells
Jan. 17, 2011, 03:44 PM
Go for it!

I'm another person who ponies 2 horses while riding the 3rd to get fit for hunting ...makes life so much easier. No special gear, just rope halters and lead ropes. I do usually do it off of my western saddle, so I can dally up if necessary or just drap the ropes across the horn to give my hands a rest.

And absolutely bring all the horses in from pasture at the same time! Saves time, teaches discipline, obedience and respect.

Beam Me Up
Jan. 17, 2011, 03:47 PM
I really want to but I'm scared.

My 2 are OTTB, so of course used to being ponied, but both act silly on the trail, and both play/fight so much I can hardly lead them up from the field together.

It would be such a time saver, but I'm afraid I'd lose one when they spooked in different directions or snapped at each other.

pegasusmom
Jan. 17, 2011, 04:30 PM
We do it with our polocrosse horses all the time - walk/trot/canter - even gallop sets. With one of our mares it is the only way she is manageble to get fit, as she will not hack out alone.

saje
Jan. 17, 2011, 04:44 PM
Yep. I practiced in my field at home just to make sure the two I was planning on taking would behave themselves, and to teach the ponied one the ropes a bit. Now I take them both out on a long hack whenever I can.

It's actually more of a workout for the ponied one - his strides are shorter and he's not as fast a walker as the one I usually ride. There's a fair amount of plod, plod, plod, (cluck-cluck!) jog jog jog... :D

enjoytheride
Jan. 17, 2011, 05:47 PM
I used my older brick house gelding to pony horses. He didn't care if anyone bumped into him, and he'd happily drag a horse behind him if they didn't want to cooperate.

Do it in the arena several times and then venture into a fenced in area first. If you can ride western that would help out. Try using a chain shank and run it through the bit rings for more control if you think you need it. You can also carry a dressage whip and poke the horse in the nose if it gets ahead of your lead horse. If something goes wrong drop the lead rope so you don't draw and quarter yourself. If you saddle both you can ride one out and one back.

goeslikestink
Jan. 17, 2011, 05:49 PM
I have 2 horses. I'm not too worried on fitness since both foxhunt at least 1x week. But there are times that they don't due to weather, but since they are out everyday from breakfast to dinner in the winter, I think they are doing ok.

At night, I have use of a huge, but old and dusty indoor, so i try not to stay in there more than 20 minutes since the footing isn't ideal..so i try to either ride or lunge over raised cavelettis to low gymnastics.

but some days, by the time I get out there, I could ride out on the trails, but wouldn't be able to get both out unless I could get someone to ride the other horse.

So, have any of you pony a horse on a hack? I used to pony my mare when she was a baby with my other horse around the arena. but i'm thinking for the days I want to do an hour of walking or some trot sets, is it possible while ponying a horse? is it beneficial to the ponied horse?

i go out on one then the other lol

PuraVidaEventing
Jan. 17, 2011, 05:49 PM
It would be such a time saver, but I'm afraid I'd lose one when they spooked in different directions or snapped at each other.

lol...I managed to lose one of mine once :P I was riding my warmblood and ponying my TB (who has been being ponied for ever and is so good about it). We were trotting next to a really quiet road by the barn and there was a utility truck or something parked on the side of the road. They did something...I don't exactly know what lol...and it scared me (very spooky) TB who leaped sideways and backwards at the same time. I wasn't prepared and lost the lead rope. Luckily I was able to just be like "whoa dawkins....whoa hold on" and he was like OMG WHAT DID I DO???? and I could ride over, grab the lead rope, and trot on like nothing happened :)

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 17, 2011, 08:46 PM
I really want to but I'm scared.

My 2 are OTTB, so of course used to being ponied, but both act silly on the trail, and both play/fight so much I can hardly lead them up from the field together.

It would be such a time saver, but I'm afraid I'd lose one when they spooked in different directions or snapped at each other.


You need to fix their manners on the ground first. My boys like to play...but they know not to pull that crap if I have a halter on them. You then need to be able to fix it while riding. But the long rope is to help you with the spooking and going in different directions;)

I've lost my mare once when the horse I was riding decided to be a jerk (rearing and plunging and bolting). I let go of her as I needed both hands to get him under control. She followed along (we were in huge open fields) for a little while. Then stood and watched while I...um...had a discussion with the brat. Then I rode over to her, picked up her lead and we continued on our way. I still have her...sold the jerk (who did end up a nice horse--but my mare is special):lol:

Friday1
Jan. 17, 2011, 11:38 PM
I am seriously starting to get the winter blues, BUT the upside is that it is staying light until 5:30. I was expecting by the end of Feb. to be able to start riding atleast one of my 2 a few days during the week again. After reading this I think I may experiement with ponying the girls. Then atleast one day a week I could get them both out in the limited daylight we have.

hmmmm....

it would be in a big open field with fencing too start...not too much could go wrong beyon broken tack. :lol:

clm08
Jan. 18, 2011, 12:42 AM
Yep, I also pony one of my horses to save time. I use regular halter and lead rope, and voice commands so there is no lag in picking up the next gait between the horse being ponied and the horse I'm riding.

Most of the time they behave well, although the horse I usually pony is boss over the one I ride, which can lead to some squabbling when we go into a canter. But I've tried to switch horses in the past and it doesn't work well, because the other one thinks he needs to stop to poop, and once I lost the lead rope when he suddenly decided he couldn't possibly trot and poop at the same time! :lol: Luckily he just stood there looking surprised and I was able to go back and grab him again. I was relieved he didn't decide to graze, as I'd have had to dismount to pick up the lead rope from the ground and wouldn't be able to remount as I was riding bareback.

bigbaytb
Jan. 18, 2011, 12:50 AM
Since the mare (16hh WB) had been ponied first, I'll probably do that first. She's the easiest to handle. Hopefully, when I pony my gelding (17hh ottb) he'll behave. Both have excellent ground manners are used to being handled together and are rarely silly, except the ottb has been alittle spooky lately . and probably break out the western saddle and the rope halter the first few times til I get the juggling act right! LOL.

Now the weather has to cooperate.