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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 6, 1999
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    Ocala, FL
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    10,448

    Default Very depressed about a nasty, nasty pony.

    I need advice. This rising three year old pony filly was raised by a family which, in my opinion and quite frankly, handled her poorly and spoilt her terribly. Now she is pinning people against the wall of her stall, kicking, knocking people over and even getting so aggressive in her pasture that the folks taking care of her currently actually have to carry a whip with them out in the pasture. Give her an apple, she's bold and friendly. Try to pet her instead of giving her another piece of apple and she pins her ears back and turns away from you. Reach out to pat her and she may very well kick at you--just because you ran out of apple.

    The pony is a brat--a mean, selfish, aggressive brat. And I fear there is no hope for her to change. She is super, duper smart and I think she has learned to read people so well that she can never be trusted. I refuse to stand behind a pony like that and I would never breed her to my stallion (because as a 3/4 TB, I'm not sure my guy would have the genetic ability to improve on her temperament). Her half-brother IS a sweetheart, though, so I'm thinking that breeding her to a stallion known for putting outrageously nice temperaments on would be the only option.

    She certain cannot be SOLD, y'know what I mean? I wouldn't breed her either if she didn't have to do something in life. I'm thinking breed her, wean the foal as early as possible, and maybe see if being a mother improved her attitude a bit (y'know how that happens sometimes?).

    But that's just it: I honestly don't know WHAT should be done. This pony could become (or already IS) dangerous. Help!
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2006
    Location
    Black Forest, Germany
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    1,216

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pwynnnorman View Post
    I need advice. This rising three year old pony filly was raised by a family which, in my opinion and quite frankly, handled her poorly and spoilt her terribly. Now she is pinning people against the wall of her stall, kicking, knocking people over and even getting so aggressive in her pasture that the folks taking care of her currently actually have to carry a whip with them out in the pasture. Give her an apple, she's bold and friendly. Try to pet her instead of giving her another piece of apple and she pins her ears back and turns away from you. Reach out to pat her and she may very well kick at you--just because you ran out of apple.

    The pony is a brat--a mean, selfish, aggressive brat. And I fear there is no hope for her to change. She is super, duper smart and I think she has learned to read people so well that she can never be trusted. I refuse to stand behind a pony like that and I would never breed her to my stallion (because as a 3/4 TB, I'm not sure my guy would have the genetic ability to improve on her temperament). Her half-brother IS a sweetheart, though, so I'm thinking that breeding her to a stallion known for putting outrageously nice temperaments on would be the only option.

    She certain cannot be SOLD, y'know what I mean? I wouldn't breed her either if she didn't have to do something in life. I'm thinking breed her, wean the foal as early as possible, and maybe see if being a mother improved her attitude a bit (y'know how that happens sometimes?).

    But that's just it: I honestly don't know WHAT should be done. This pony could become (or already IS) dangerous. Help!
    HONEST (and probably unpopular) answer is - if she does not improve with proper handling I'd put her down. I would not breed from her as the foal learns so much from mummy's attitude.

    I KNOW it is almost certainly not the mare's foal and I really feel for you to be put in this situation - it sounds like these people really failed that pony, it's a crying shame but no - I'd not breed her and if there is no other option to make sure she has a useful life and won't end up in the wrong hands it would be kinder and safer (for her AND those humans that may encounter her along the way) to put her to sleep.
    I'm sick of following my dreams, man. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.
    Figiel



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 6, 1999
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    Default

    Yes, BF, I'll admit that thought is going through my head--dangerous is dangerous and could actually get worse as she gets older.

    But the thing is, the folks who "did this to her" (and while I truly hate this pony, I really don't blame HER for being the way she is) are willing to take her back! Granted, I don't think they are willing to PAY to take her back and she'd have to be shipped, etc.

    I was hoping maybe someone out there has dealt with something similar and could provide maybe a touch of anecdotal support for trying to test the maybe-it's-really-just-an-old-wive's-tale about having a baby improving temperament.
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18,442

    Default

    Okay, since we are talking about potentially putting this pony down, I'm going to mention this:

    I have seen wicked horses turned around by laying them down. A couple went down by accident and the owner took advantage of the situation and kept the horse down for some time (15-20 minutes of sitting on the neck.) A couple others were put down on purpose, by a knowledgeable cowboy. In ALL circumstances the attitude improved 100%.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2004
    Location
    IA
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    4,145

    Default

    Sorry to hear about your pony brat. As far as breeding changing their dispositions, that depends on who you ask. My friend is convinced it makes them worse, but yet I've seen the opposite... whereas normally very standoffish type mares turn sweet and learn to like and accept attention and become easier to catch and handle.

    What I would worry about is how she would be around the foal for when it needs to have the umblical stump treated and so forth? Will she be one of those super protective, aggressive type mothers or will she chill out and go w/ the flow?

    As my friend would say, it sounds like she needs a few "come to Jesus" sessions.
    A Merrick N Dream Farm
    Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2004
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    IA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    Okay, since we are talking about potentially putting this pony down, I'm going to mention this:

    I have seen wicked horses turned around by laying them down. A couple went down by accident and the owner took advantage of the situation and kept the horse down for some time (15-20 minutes of sitting on the neck.) A couple others were put down on purpose, by a knowledgeable cowboy. In ALL circumstances the attitude improved 100%.
    Excellent point and have done that myself w/ a few unruly (sp?) weanlings, yearlings. They learned real quick and it stuck! Though one particular one needed to be laid down THREE times to get the point acrossed, but it did indeed work.

    This is right up the alley of the "come to Jesus" meetings and very well part of it. Learning who is alpha period.
    A Merrick N Dream Farm
    Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2003
    Posts
    6,852

    Default

    Well what I would do is spend a lot of time - with someone helping - wit her in the stall. Have a good lead line on her and HOLD her up against the wall with your bodies - let her struggle but keep holding until she give in. Then spend time with her daily - (more than once a day) doing this and also constantly stimulating her all over her body by rubbing you hands all over her.

    Her problem is - she doesn't know what she is and if the people who raised her spoiled her - she also doesn't know were she is in the pecking order.

    Give it a week or two with an intense de-sensitizing and submission work - you may be able to turn her around. I would also leave her turned out with a short leadline on all the time.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2003
    Location
    NE FL
    Posts
    6,555

    Default

    I agree, you may need some Come to Jesus meetings. Even if she has to only be handled by certain people with a chain over her nose, or turned out alone and only has human contact on human terms, for a number of months, you may even have to wear her behind out a time or two to get the point across, that may be what you have to do.
    My filly was a witchypoo as a baby (not this bad but would try me every chance she got) and it got so bad I had to go in a stall after her one day and wear her butt out. That solved a lot of it, although she will always be a dominant horse who will run over you if you let her, she is not spoiled or nasty.
    With yours, you have to overcome incorrect handling. I wouldn't breed her til you at least see if it can be done, or else you risk having a crappy baby too.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2004
    Location
    East Central Mississippi
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    Default

    Ummm, if this filly was spoiled by her previous owners and has a brother who is a decent citizen then...

    Imo, humble as it is, she is not past redemption. She needs to be handled correctly by someone who knows how to deal w/her attitude. She is not mad because you ran out of apple. She is simply exerting her dominance. It's like a pasture mate who runs around finding these great little patches of succulent grass, calls her over, and then she runs them off to eat it all by herself.

    She comes to you to get the apple (something she likes to eat) and then when you don't have anymore she exerts her authority. She simply needs to learn she HAS no aurthority to exert. It is a fairly simple procedure and ise@ has some great suggestions... as well as Jeager's butt whopping.

    By 'pony' I'm not sure what you mean. Small? Medium? Large? Exactly how big is she right now?

    I free-leased a 9yo pony/appy cross mare about 7 years ago. She was 14.1... maybe 14.2. And all attitude. She was spoiled and had learned to kick and bite. My sister and I were riding in her pasture one day (before I leased her) and she literally ran us out of there.... and then followed along the fenceline squealing and running and acting as though she were going to jump the fence (which was entirely possible given the condition of the thing).

    I took her on knowing full well her capabilities. First day here she was sniffing noses w/my gelding and squealing and being a bitty. I reached across the fence and popped her butt w/a flashlight I had in my hand. She squealed and kicked out. I popped her again. She squealed and kicked again. I popped her again. She turned to look at me... and then kicked again but w/less gusto. I popped her one more time... and she turned and walked off.

    We had several discussion such as that over the next several months but that mare ended up being one of my favoite horses to ride. As long as I wasnt' in a big group of strange horses (like 20 or more) she was a dream to ride. Obedient, willing, capable, and cute, cute, cute.

    As a matter of fact I bred her and am now training her 5yo daughter. Who is, point of fact, nothing like her.

    Do not write this filly off. Just because no one at your barn can handle her (or wants to handle her) doesn't mean there is no one at all who would be interested in redeeming her. sylvia



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2001
    Posts
    8,542

    Default

    This story is all too common. People spoil a horse or pony and then when they have taught it to have bad manners they put the animal down. ARGHHHH. I just saw this happen on another board. Everyone said, oh poor you, yes, put her down.

    She needs an attitude adjustment from someone who knows how to train a horse like this. First red flag is this

    Give her an apple, she's bold and friendly.
    This pony should not be getting any treats PERIOD from the hand. Big Mistake there. No treats.

    Hate to say it but this may be a job for someone who knows how to use a round pen. Seriously. I cured a so called 'nasty' horse that way. Even my coach thought he should be put down. The pony lacks respect for people because she has been spoiled. She *just* needs to learn to respect people . It requires a disciplined trainer who knows what she is doing.

    And NO TREATS.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2006
    Location
    Black Forest, Germany
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    Default

    Obviously I was not suggesting (or at least MEANING to suggest) that she was put down without trying to turn her into a good or at least managable citizen first .... The caveat with that however is that YOU may be able to teach her respect - there is no guarantee that she would stay that way though if she was ever sold as they have a habit of reverting back to their "old" self at the first sign of less accomplished people being around them.

    As far as breeding her to see if it improves her nature goes, the ones I had met that did improve only did so for part of the pregnancy and reverted to old habits once not pregnant any more - and it's a risk I would be reluctant to take as a year down the line I might find myself having gone from one problem pony to having TWO problem ponies........

    I don't envy you :-(
    I'm sick of following my dreams, man. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.
    Figiel



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,368

    Default

    Pwynn,

    There is a superb cowboy in Ocala that I once used for ground work with a very big, pushy and aggressive colt. He is a son of the HH Hudson Brothers transport family. I am fairly sure his name is John Hudson. He is relatively gentle but gets the job done. I can recommend him very highly. I'd have him fix her attitude first and then breed her. Feel free to PM me for his # and i will dig it up.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2007
    Location
    Loudoun County, Virginia
    Posts
    2,567

    Default

    I'd honestly find a reputable "natural horsemanship" trainer. Sometimes you can just be too close to the situation and it's worth it to pay someone else.

    We have a trainer that I use on occasion that does some parelli-ish games, etc and it's been amazing. One or two sessions at $50 a pop for someone to come out is not a big investment at all - especially when your other choice is to put her down. Is the pony in FL?



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2000
    Location
    NY
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    Default

    As my friend would say, it sounds like she needs a few "come to Jesus" sessions.
    3-second rule applied when necessary, every time - you must be consistant.

    Throughout my childhood, my mother picked up several of these lovelies dirt cheap as "projects" for me. I didn't get them all "turned around" 100%, but I developed a mutual respect with the less cuddly ones.
    I gotta do-over and am doin it my way!!!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2004
    Location
    Virginia. We Do Ponies!
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    12,025

    Default

    I honestly believe this pony is young enough to get turned around.

    No hand feeding.

    No treats until she has earned them.

    Being ugly to her won't fix the problem. This is learned behavior. She can unlearn it with patience.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver, Equine Insurance Specialist



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    I would not breed her. Imagine trying to handle her and the baby. Imagine if something goes wrong and you need to nurse one or both of them. Imagine if she teaches baby to act the same way.

    I would try to rehab her into a solid citizen and if I could not do it... then -

    Personally.. I would put her down.. I have one like that here, same situation with the owners.. mine truly has a bad temperament. I look at my three year old gelding, they would have had to try hard to ruin him as he has a stellar temperament. This filly was born nasty and perhaps could have been changed w/the right handling but it is too late and too dangerous now.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    NJ
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    1,521

    Default

    I think with boundries set and kept up with you may find yourself another pony. I recently became the owner of a simialr mare. Breeding her was good for her overall mind, we did wean the baby early , 3.5/4 months, to make sure he didnt pick up mom's habits no ill effects. Find a good "cowboy" and let him work with her for a month or two. That doesn't work put her down.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2003
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    2,794

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    She needs to submit and submit completely immediately and this usually takes a pretty hard, beat the crap out of them (not literally), come to Jesus type scenes. I agree, she should not get one single treat for a long time if ever again. I'd take away food and water until she decides to play nice. Get a wiffle bat and beat her across her side if she pushes. Be careful she doesn't wheel around and kick, if she tries that, keep whacking until she is standing cringing in the corner. Even knock her down and sit on her. When you turn her out, leave the halter on and don't let her eat or drink until she puts her head out nicely to have the lead rope clicked on to come back in. Total dominance.

    A big cowboy type man is great but I'd be careful because they soon learn that a big man is not the same as someone else and they know when to act bad and when not too.

    It sounds mean but when they get dangerous, you have to be drastic or else, I agree, put her down before she hurts some kid.



  19. #19
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    Jun. 27, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by tri View Post
    I'd take away food and water until she decides to play nice.
    I have no problem with tough love, come to Jesus sessions or what have you when necessary but starvation & dehydration are crossing the line to abuse if you ask me.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Default

    This is easily the story of hundreds of ponies each year. There is lots of hope for her, especially if she's a brat from being so smart. I would donate her to a pony trainer before euthanasia, if i found her antics beyond my abilities.

    i have a student that LIVES for the evil ponies and loves retraining them, you can't tell me she's the only 16 year old out there with such feelings.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



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