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  • Ponying

    Thought I'd put this here as you guys probably pony horses more then anyone else.

    I'd like to get my coming 4 year old out on the trails and have ponied her once before, both horses did great. The only issue is that the younger horse is a tad lazy.

    How to I teach her to keep up? Using a whip to tap her up seems hard to do on narrow trails.

    any thoughts?
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.

  • #2
    I've had a friend riding behind the ponied horse give her a tap. If you have a good buddy, with a horse that is well tolerated by your two, that should help. I like to practice in a contained area until we're relatively competent before heading out.

    My current visiting horse is a draft. I can't wait to see how it looks to pony her off my 14.3 mare!


    • #3
      Good suggestion from Katyb.

      I do most of my training alone, so when I've ponied my young horses and have one wanting to lag behind, I dally the lead around the saddle horn and let my mount do the work (of course, your horse absolutely needs to be familiar with this sort of pressure...and it helps a LOT if they're bigger ). It doesn't take long for the ponied horse to figure out it needs to keep up. In addition, and more importantly, I train verbal cues on the longe line ("walk on"; cluck for trot; kiss for lope) until they respond consistently. I then move to ponying in my arena, continuing with the verbals. By the time I take the young ones out on the trail, they have no problem responding to verbal cues.

      I just posted this pic earlier on another thread, but ponying can be lots of fun for everyone!
      Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?


      • #4
        I pony a lot and have had my share of lazy horses who are a pain to drag along. What I found works for me is a chain shank under the chin. When they feel the chain dig in from lagging behind, they quickly figure out if they keep up the chain isn't an issue. This is especially helpful when riding alone.
        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


        • #5
          I was also going to suggest something that tightens when they pull and loosens when they give. I have an old Monty Roberts Dually Halter that a friend gave to me. That has been such a useful tool! I have worn it out from all the ponying over the years. I found I like to use a smaller diameter lead rope, long one, and I put knots on the rope in a few places that improve my grip if a horse does get strong. NO, they aren't huge knots because the lead diameter is slimmer, I don't catch fingers on the knots and hurt myself as the are rounded and smooth. I put a knot about 18" from the halter and this is for keeping a horse next to my knee. I have one fairly close to the end for when a horse has to follow behind my "pony" and one at the very end. I always have the end of the lead in my left hand with the reins and my right hand on the lead where it is needed. Do have your pony trained to neck rein and IMO use a hackamore or curb bit on the pony horse so that neck reining functions better and so that you have the ability to control a hyped up pony horse. Trust me, when you have two horses side by side trotting, trotting faster, then suddenly galloping, it's not just the led horse that can be a challenge to control!

          Always wear gloves!



          • #6
            It's especially annoying when the horse you're ponying decides she absolutely must stop to take a dump and suddenly your arm is 6 inches longer
            Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


            • #7
              Originally posted by chicamux View Post

              Always wear gloves!


              Love the idea of the knots, I'll look at that
              I'm not sure if I grew out of stupid or ran out of brave.

              Practicing Member of the Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine Clique


              • #8
                If your horse isn't keeping up then it probably has a training issue. Does it lag behind when you lead too? Most of the time when you get out of the arena and into the open you may have the opposite problem ( as in keeping the horse beside you). I wouldn't want to be the rider behind you who urges the horse on and it decides to kick out and I wouldn't use a chain as they are prone to making the horse stop and back up before going forward ( sometimes). Unless your horse is used to pulling objects from the saddle I wouldn't try this either, especially if you are not using a roping saddle.

                Stay in the arena and get this horse trained to keep pace with you before heading out in the open. Practice at the walk and trot and also practice stopping your horse quickly and know how to turn and back together too.
                I would use a long whip if necessary to get the point across only if the pony horse is not afraid of them or too sensitive to them.

                Once the horse is responsive to you then take them out for a test drive and see how it goes.

                Another thought: If the horse you are ponying is intimidated or afraid of your pony horse at all, it will be hard to get him up where he should be .


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
                  It's especially annoying when the horse you're ponying decides she absolutely must stop to take a dump and suddenly your arm is 6 inches longer
                  Or worse. I was ponying a horse while riding bareback, when the ponied horse decided it wanted a bite of grass...NOW. Not paying any attention, I suddenly slid right over the rump of the one I was on, landing right on MY rump, and could barely hobble around that evening.

                  Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                  Another thought: If the horse you are ponying is intimidated or afraid of your pony horse at all, it will be hard to get him up where he should be .
                  True. I have a mare that was fine to pony a filly from, but since she's ugly to my 2-yr old gelding (unless she's in heat), he doesn't want to get too close. The said filly (now mare) has no problem ponying the young guy, but she's smaller, so out on the trails I use Uncle Tucker, the big older gelding who likes everybody.
                  Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?