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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2009
    Posts
    32

    Talking I Have a Winter Pony on my Hands!// Bit Advice Please?!

    My pony Casanova is a total angel in the summer. He goes usually goes quietly around in a Happy Mouth Snaffle. In the summer, less bit is MUCH more! The winter is a totally different story, he turns into the DEVIL. He pulls like a freight train, takes off, and does not listen. It is 100x worse when I jump. He especially hates going in the dark (it gets dark during my lessons in the winter… We do have lights, but he still gets wound up). During the winter (over the last two years) I have tried a variety of bits: the Happy mouth (regular D-ring jointed snaffle), another Happy Mouth (double jointed full cheek), A slow twist snaffle, kimberwicke, Twisted & Double twist wire full cheek. You name it , we’ve tried it. I ride have been riding for about 7 years and can keep my hands soft, soft seat, leg to hand, etc. I would appreciate any advice on bits, keeping him quiet etc.
    Thanks so much!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,002

    Default

    Which way does he pull? (e.g pigroot, straight-forward pull, head up to the sky?)



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2009
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OneGrayPony View Post
    Which way does he pull? (e.g pigroot, straight-forward pull, head up to the sky?)
    Usually down & foward



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2007
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    567

    Default

    I know all about winter ponies. I have three that I teach on and one who REALLY can be winter pony.

    1st - I would ask, has his turn out time been cut down. If he used to go out at night because of summer and now he is just out during the day, that could make a big difference. Can he get bundled up and turned out at night?

    2nd - Do you use a 1/4 sheet on him. I would have a 1/4 sheet on him the second that he gets his blankets taken off. He might not actually be COLD but he might be chilly enough to make him frisky and who wants that? Not me.

    3rd - Can you ride without the lights? We only have a couple more weeks until the winter solstice and then we will get 2 mins more of daylight every day. I find that outdoor lights tend to set some horses off and makes not really spooky horses spook and spooky horses almost unridable.

    I would address these things 1st and then just play with different bits if you need to. I like kimberwicks with a small port for naughty, fresh ponies. You can also put antigrazing reins on if he tends to root the reins or buck when he runs.

    Good luck. Winter ponies are a lot of fun aren't they?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2009
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by QM2 View Post
    I know all about winter ponies. I have three that I teach on and one who REALLY can be winter pony.

    1st - I would ask, has his turn out time been cut down. If he used to go out at night because of summer and now he is just out during the day, that could make a big difference. Can he get bundled up and turned out at night?

    2nd - Do you use a 1/4 sheet on him. I would have a 1/4 sheet on him the second that he gets his blankets taken off. He might not actually be COLD but he might be chilly enough to make him frisky and who wants that? Not me.

    3rd - Can you ride without the lights? We only have a couple more weeks until the winter solstice and then we will get 2 mins more of daylight every day. I find that outdoor lights tend to set some horses off and makes not really spooky horses spook and spooky horses almost unridable.

    I would address these things 1st and then just play with different bits if you need to. I like kimberwicks with a small port for naughty, fresh ponies. You can also put antigrazing reins on if he tends to root the reins or buck when he runs.

    Good luck. Winter ponies are a lot of fun aren't they?
    Thanks for the advice, and they are bunches of fun
    1. His turnout time is actually the same (:
    2. The 1/4 sheet is awesome for before I get on- he freaks out when I am riding in one haha
    3. I really try to avoid it whenever it is possible! I do think that is part of my problem, but definitly not all of it. I get out of school at 3:15 and get off the bus at 4:00 and can't get in the ring untill about 4:20. By the time I am warmed up it is already dark I can't wait untill SUMMER. Haha!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2005
    Posts
    3,823

    Default

    Hm, I put a slow-twist Dr. Bristol w/a copper-mouth on one of mine yesterday. Did the trick. Hoping that next ride we can go back to the Happy Mouth



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2000
    Location
    Southern California - on a freeway someplace
    Posts
    9,621

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    What works for my horse is going to more noseband as opposed to more bit. He has a lot more respect for the bit with a kineton noseband added.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2008
    Posts
    921

    Default

    My OTTB goes in a happy mouth in the summer and a pelham in the winter. Gives me enough brakes for when he has the tb crazies and he gives it way more respect than any other bit.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
    Posts
    1,931

    Default

    you also might want to try keeping the same bit, but lunging for a few minutes just to re-install the brain cells before you ride.

    NOT just in a halter, run around and buck like a crazy thing lunging, but in a bridle, saddle, and any equipment you normally lunge in (chambon, side reins, whatever). do transitions until pony has calmed himself and focused on you, and gotten a little energy out at a nice working trot. it sometimes helps to instill the "we are working now" mindframe before you get on.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    PONY'TUDE



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2008
    Location
    Hampton, VA
    Posts
    1,073

    Default

    My Selle Francais mare goes in a KK Ultra loose ring during the summer and short shank mullen mouth pelham in the winter. I'd say that 95% of the time she's perfect on the snaffle rein, but there's always a few moments when the curb rein comes into play to re-engage the brain.
    "Beware the hobby that eats."
    Benjamin Franklin



  11. #11

    Default

    Funny you should post this becuase one of my horses, who will remain namesless (LOL). I could say the same thing about him. If the temps are in the 50's, we're good. If it's 30 degress or less forget. If in the 40's then you've got a 50/50 chance. LOL This being said- Have you tried to lunge your pony? Also, more turnout is good. But when winter and weather comes around- all horses and ponies can act up. My other question would be to ride the pony more or have a trainer hop on the pony and school him/her to help aid through this transition time.

    p.s. I think that my horse is telling me. Please send me to FL for the winter, please. It's warmer (most days). LOL So, I'm currently taking donations to help his cause to be shipped FL. But right now, I think that he won't eve get past the VA state line. LOL



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