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Ponying another horse?

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  • Ponying another horse?

    Any advice?
    I pony a draft off of my other draft back from their daytime pasture.
    The draft being ponied drags his butt the whole way back, which in turn pulls my arm out of the socket!!!
    Is there a way I should put the lead rope to encourage him forward and to keep up? It seems like a chain over his nose would probably cause him to put his head up and stop. I am riding my Shire with my only rope halter that fits either one of them (and can't afford another right now).
    I am by myself when I do this, so I can't have someone behind him giving him "taps" on his butt.
    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Chain under his jaw/nose. If you can handle a dressage whip skillfully that works too. I usually try and ride the easier horse, who can neck rein. You do want the second horse about 1/3 of the way back from the horse you are on, ie the ponied horses head nearer to your knee then the pony-ing horses head. Other wise you can get silly racing games, which are quickly dangerous to all involved.
    Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

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    • #3
      western saddle and a good pony horse.
      I loop the rope once around the horn, stand in the stirrup and let the pony horse do the work of dragging the other horse. They learn pretty darn quick and the pony horses don't put up with a dragger for long. A good experienced pony horse will snap at a horse who gets ahead of her shoulder and will threaten one who gets behind with their hindquarters.
      "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

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      • #4
        I've found it can be very helpful to work the ponied horse from the pony horse in the round pen a la the natural horsemanship people. Spend 5-10 minutes on the pony horse with the ponied horse loose and ask it to move forward and turn and stop.

        Every time I've done this, the ponied horse has gone from dragging behind the pony horse or not moving at all to walking smartly next to the pony horse.

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        • #5
          While on your pony horse you can also slow his walk up a bit until your toe is right behind slow pokes shoulder, then kick. They tend to make their walk a bit more brisk when getting a toe in the girth area. Just make sure your pony horse won't react to much when Mr Pokey takes a few quick steps.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by mjrtango93 View Post
            While on your pony horse you can also slow his walk up a bit until your toe is right behind slow pokes shoulder, then kick. They tend to make their walk a bit more brisk when getting a toe in the girth area. Just make sure your pony horse won't react to much when Mr Pokey takes a few quick steps.
            THanks, good idea...sometimes when you are not a a boarding barn, you don't think of something basic!
            I am bringing them back and forth from the big, lush 20+ acre pasture to home/barn/ 5 acre pasture, not so lush and I am riding bareback with rope halter w/ line, so no saddle to attach any thing to...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rebmik View Post
              THanks, good idea...sometimes when you are not a a boarding barn, you don't think of something basic!
              I am bringing them back and forth from the big, lush 20+ acre pasture to home/barn/ 5 acre pasture, not so lush and I am riding bareback with rope halter w/ line, so no saddle to attach any thing to...
              I wouldn't "attach" even if using a saddle.
              Janet

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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              • #8
                Ideally you need a bitchy old mare for your pony horse, one who won't tolerate a horse lagging behind and being within range of her hind feet. Most of my mares have been fantastic pony horses because they're bossy and hate having the other horse trail way behind them.
                Click here before you buy.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  unfortunately or fortunately these are the only 2 I have.
                  If I had a third hand I would carry a dressage whip and give a "tap" and that would work wonders, the horse I am ponying is very responsive, I just can't have lead rope of horse I'm riding in left hand and ponying horse in right hand and whip ?
                  How do the guys/gals I see ponying 4 polo ponies do it? walk/trot/canter?
                  No round pen or ring here, just open pasture and trails.???

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You can give a "flick" with the free end of the lead rope.
                    Janet

                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe a driving whip would work well--long enough to reach back to his flank/butt but no big long lash to deal with.
                      Click here before you buy.

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                      • #12
                        Once upon a time I exercised polo ponies, and could pony 3 at a time. A longish-dressage whip, held so it points back, helps a lot for really draggy ones. Also, these ponies knew their names, so you could say, 'Rita, whoa!' or 'Tiger, get UP!' and they would respond appropriately. I didn't train them to do that, though- but it was nice.

                        I did have one rather exciting day- a cool morning and for some reason all four thought the canter work would be much more fun if they had a race instead. I just sort of had to hang on until they blew off some steam, but I was pretty nervous, especially when the most outside horse started to 'win' and the rope was nearing its end! Luckily they came back down pretty quickly.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          more power to you!
                          I used to live in West Palm Beach and drive out to Wellington to see clients and would see the people exercising the polo ponies at a canter 4 in tow! And thought WOW! what great riders, what great horses!
                          These guys are way less active than any polo ponies to say the least!
                          That is the reason I am riding the Shire, he really likes to lag behind, unless you are riding him, then he responds great!
                          I may have to multi task and attempt to carry a dressage whip!
                          Thanks for all the great advice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ugh I have ponied polo ponies. It was always so much 'fun'. I do not miss those days. Though I would love to have a polo pony that needs a home for ponying the yearling wbs!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I ponied often in my youth...we used to use it as a way to get more horses exercised when out on condition rides. If you have horses that do well together then it's a great way to exercise more than one. Get two who dislike each other or are a mismatch and ponying is hell on earth.
                              Or in my last ponying attempt...never try ponying with a 17hh long strided fast moving spooky alpha mare and a 14.3hh tubby short legged laid back sloww moving APHA. *Not* a good combo...tried first riding mare and everytime gelding saw anything edible looking he slammed on the brakes to eat, mare spooked forward and I wnet off the ass end of the mare. So swapped it around and tried riding lazy Paint boy...he slows down to a crawl despite leg applied until my eyes bug out, mare hears horse eating squirrel and bolts ahead and I go up the Paint's neck like a ramp and off his head. Eventually I just gave up.
                              You jump in the saddle,
                              Hold onto the bridle!
                              Jump in the line!
                              ...Belefonte

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                              • #16
                                I pony a 17.2 hh warmblood from a 15.2 hh appaloosa. The appy keeps the big guy "in line" IYKWIM.
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Not trying to hijack but I've got a problem with ponying. I pony my mustang off my QH a lot and everything is just fine. She stays at the end of the rope, doesn't get too close and although does express some youthful playfulness, is really pretty good. The only problem is, when she has to poop, she stops dead. I almost get my arm pulled out of my socket because she just stops wherever we happen to be. I can't be up in the mountains where she is doing pack horse duty and have her just slam on the brakes so she can take a dump. It could cause a serious wreck and I don't have enough hands to carry a whip, hold the lead rope, and the reins. Any suggestions on how to get this horse to keep moving while pooping. She's good under saddle and won't stop only while being ponied. What about having someone behind her with a dressage whip to spank her with when she tries it?
                                  Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

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                                  • #18
                                    I used to ride one and pony two at a galllop. It was mostly letting go of thinking I was in control!
                                    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

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                                    • #19
                                      Always pony with a bridle to start. Please don't ever pony with a chain over or under the nose.
                                      Boss Mare Eventing Blog
                                      https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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                                      • #20
                                        the riding horse needs to be sensible.

                                        The ponied horse needs to be a really good leader. if you can't brisky step them right up into a walk, snappy trot, etc from the ground, how does sitting on a horse change anything but your altitude? Is the ponied horse a really good leader? If not, fix that with a fenceline on his off side, good running shoes, and a nice snappy dressage whip in your left hand, tickling his lazy butt. Teach him that your verbal cue, whatever it is, means pick them up, NOW.

                                        Get on saddle horse, use offside fence line again...hold reins and pony's lead in L hand, dressage whip over pony's back, just laying on his back, in your right hand. Move off into a gentle walk with your verbal cue to come onand pop that pony smartly on his right hip if he doesn't want to come right on. By reaching over him, and using the fenceline on his off side...he ideally chooses the easiest path- going forward with you. Great! go several strides, slowing to a crawl, then up to a bigger walk...Practice! Repeat til he's a mirror of the saddle horse.

                                        Graduate to a trot when you're ready. Don't get in a hurry and teach him to resist you by surprising him- set him up to be successful! verbal cue FOLLOWED by that pop, teach him to listen and respect you, not resent and worry about you.

                                        Wear gloves and never EVER dally to a saddle horn. One loop at the most. the very most.

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