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First time POA owner, need advice.

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  • First time POA owner, need advice.

    Just a little curious from other POA owners what kind of "attitude" yours seems to have.

    I came across my POA a little over a year ago from some people who could not afford her, so I took her in. She is sooooooo adorable and cute and lovely on the ground. But boy is she spunky...... wow, a sure spitfire when we ride, always snorting and wanting to run. She is very safe, but I always have to hold her back on the trail, and is not happy unless we are romping around playing or galloping through the fields. I was wondering if this is normal with this breed? And maybe some advice on calming her on the trail? She seems to have a boundless amout of energy even if I ride her relentlessly in the ring before I ride on the trail? I think she could go go go all day.

    So, please tell me about this breed, I would love to hear more about them and find out if mine is just unusually full of "piss and Vinegar" WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • #2
    I don't have a whole lot of experience with POAs, but of the few I've known, I would say they were pretty steady eddies, reliable packers on the trail and in the show ring for kids and small adults.

    It's great to have one that will go all day- but if you feel a need to 'work her down' in the arena before heading to the trails, all you get is a fitter spunky horse.

    I'm fine with a horse with lots of energy, but I want them to channel that energy and still have manners and be a pleasant ride. First I get them going the way I want in the arena- and then get them going the same way on the trail. Really, for the horse, arena and trail 'should' be the same, but many riders convey 'trail is different' and the horse picks up on that.

    First thought is, too many groceries? Second thought is, what age, and what's the prior training and riding experience?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Beverley View Post
      I don't have a whole lot of experience with POAs, but of the few I've known, I would say they were pretty steady eddies, reliable packers on the trail and in the show ring for kids and small adults.

      It's great to have one that will go all day- but if you feel a need to 'work her down' in the arena before heading to the trails, all you get is a fitter spunky horse.

      I'm fine with a horse with lots of energy, but I want them to channel that energy and still have manners and be a pleasant ride. First I get them going the way I want in the arena- and then get them going the same way on the trail. Really, for the horse, arena and trail 'should' be the same, but many riders convey 'trail is different' and the horse picks up on that.

      First thought is, too many groceries? Second thought is, what age, and what's the prior training and riding experience?
      Okay, I'll add that she is 11 years old and the previous owner was a 11 year old girl that tried to do contesting and barrel race her. She listens quite well, but I feel that I always have to be in her mouth the whole ride to slow her up, she just has so much pent up energy, sometimes it is nice to go on a ride with others and have a relaxing ride instead of me having to circle her constantly to get her to "pipe down".

      Comment


      • #4
        She may be a hot horse just naturally - they do exist I have several.

        Coupe of things to consider:
        What's her feed?
        What's her turnout?
        What's she like when you ride her out alone *same/different?*
        When you ride her in a group setting, is she worse when behind other horses, or worse when in front?
        How often is she being ridden overall? Some horses need more work then others.

        At her age, she' probably been a crackerjack all her life, so workig to have her settle is probably going to take some time and patience.

        And while I agree with Beverly about working in the arena gets you a fitter/spunkier horse - not all the time is that a detriment.

        I posted on another thread, I have one gelding who's crazy fit and hot hot hot. And this spring he decided to add 'stupid' on top of it.

        My solution:
        I would put him in the arena, and just let him cowboy it up, pushing him until he wanted to slow down, then pushed again. Then rode him in the arena, -- then took him out for his 12 mile training ride. I did this for about 2 weeks, (everyday) --wore his little butt right off.

        Now.. he's back to normal, happy to work at the pace I want
        Originally posted by ExJumper
        Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by rainechyldes View Post
          She may be a hot horse just naturally - they do exist I have several.

          Coupe of things to consider:
          What's her feed?
          What's her turnout?
          What's she like when you ride her out alone *same/different?*
          When you ride her in a group setting, is she worse when behind other horses, or worse when in front?
          How often is she being ridden overall? Some horses need more work then others.

          At her age, she' probably been a crackerjack all her life, so workig to have her settle is probably going to take some time and patience.

          And while I agree with Beverly about working in the arena gets you a fitter/spunkier horse - not all the time is that a detriment.

          I posted on another thread, I have one gelding who's crazy fit and hot hot hot. And this spring he decided to add 'stupid' on top of it.

          My solution:
          I would put him in the arena, and just let him cowboy it up, pushing him until he wanted to slow down, then pushed again. Then rode him in the arena, -- then took him out for his 12 mile training ride. I did this for about 2 weeks, (everyday) --wore his little butt right off.

          Now.. he's back to normal, happy to work at the pace I want
          24/7 turnout except for bad weather, 3/4 scoop pellet grain morning and evening, and round bales 24/7 and is ridden about 10 hours per week, sometimes a little more. If she rides in front, it is a contest. If I ride her in the back of the line she is better but I have to hold her back because she is quicker than the others, then she gets mad and will throw in a little buck out of frustration. I have never ridden her alone, I guess I have never been an alone rider, I may try that this week.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by busterwells View Post
            24/7 turnout except for bad weather, 3/4 scoop pellet grain morning and evening, and round bales 24/7 and is ridden about 10 hours per week, sometimes a little more. If she rides in front, it is a contest. If I ride her in the back of the line she is better but I have to hold her back because she is quicker than the others, then she gets mad and will throw in a little buck out of frustration. I have never ridden her alone, I guess I have never been an alone rider, I may try that this week.
            So she has what I call 'race brain'. It's a common occurrence - I run into it a lot being that I ride/own endurance horses.

            Here are my solutions for these, which I use.

            1. You will need to ride alone sometimes, so she is focused on you, not other horses. *This will resolve way more problems then you can imagine, I hate to say You relax more, because you aren't worried about her reaction to other horses, she relaxes eventually!, because she's not worried about them- and you aren't stressing out. We all ride differently when we are relaxed ourselves - and they feed of us a lot as you know

            2. Put her in the back of the pack for awhile and leave her there. If you have an accomodating friend with a rock solid horse, put her behind that horse. That horse will be her brakes. ie:if she tries to pass, said horse moves over so she can't. Let her have her hissies, she'll learn eventually that it ain't gonna matter, she still has to stay in her spot in the pack - I'm sure there's an official name for this somewhere - I just call it herd training, you and the horse in front of her force her to stay in her spot in the trail heirarchy. Period.

            3. Slowly move her up the pack as you ride, and she improves. Put her in the middle, if she's good there eventually, let her closer to the front. etc etc. Does it take time, omg, yes, you bet

            4. Also (almost forgot) when you all ride in a group, do you always ride slowly? Sometimes it helps this kind of horse to just have a chance to move out.

            I've been through this more times then I can mention.
            Funny story, I had a stallion (homebred) that developed a serious case of race brain after about 4 years of endurance racing. I went out riding with some friends, one who had never riden with me. we are trotting along this angled cow path in the middle of a hillside, and I had my stallion in the middle of the pack. I was chatting away to the person in front of me, (my friend was behind me) She suddenly pipes up in the dry witty tone "well he is certainly athletic"

            My stallion had been bucking the entire way, but I was making him be where I wanted him. regardless of his temper tantrum
            Originally posted by ExJumper
            Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.

            Comment


            • #7
              If it were mine, I'd start by losing the pellets for a couple of weeks and see if that makes a difference.

              I agree with the concept (and train mine that way) that a horse needs to understand that it ought to conserve its energy, because you just never know how long and how hard you'll be going on a given day. True that 'hot' horses like my late great OTTB aren't going to be 100% with this concept, but they can still accept certain parameters. Now- when said TB had brain cramps, my solution was to give him a gallop (really just a hand gallop if in the arena, but same concept) and he'd say, okay, I've done my Secretariat thing, I'm done, now, what did you want to do? Might be worth a try- give her that 5-10 minute speed workout and see if she relaxes a bit.

              At age 11, if she was previously used as a gaming horse, then probably all she was ever taught was the 'let's go' button. You're therefore shifting gears considerably, I expect she'll be more than willing to execute once she understands the new expectations. If she were mine, I'd teach her some new stupid pet tricks- lateral work, serpentines, whatever- and use those to occupy her mind when ridden, wherever ridden. I might also, either riding or on longe or in round pen, have 'just' a walking session for 5-10 minutes and call it a day- can't tell you how many horses I've had who think that longing or roundpen is only for speed, and they are truly amazed when I say no, walking's all we're doing today- and they do get it. Same principles apply as with anything else- make the right thing easier to do and set 'em up for success.

              On the trails, for horses like that, whether alone or in groups (recognizing need not to disrupt or impose on the group thing), I'll do lots of boringly repetitive circles or stop and back, for hours, in addition to the stuff mentioned above, to keep 'em listening and make the point that if they go faster, those circles are going to account for a whole lot of extra mileage. Good idea to have a steady eddy in front on the trails but don't- repeat, don't- use that as an opportunity to teach her to tailgate. She gets closer than 3 feet behind that horse, half halt, or stop and back, or circle. She needs to learn where that magical polite buffer is, might as well start now.

              I started out way back when taking hot horses including barrel racers and converting them to useful western pleasure/equitation horses. With patience, all things are possible.

              Comment


              • #8
                You can always put her behind my old guy- she has to slow down then :P He is used to young/green horses climbing up his tail from time to time and is pretty good about it.
                Appy Trails,
                Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org

                Comment


                • #9
                  You got a lot of good ideas here, your main problem is she probably is not used to consistant handling from her previous rider. Most 11yr olds are not consistant riders, in what they ask of the animal. Kid may have just hung on the reins at all times, so your steady contact is expected by the pony.

                  I second reducing the pellets to about nothing. She is a PONY, which is known for living on air and looking good at the same time. She doesn't need much extra if there is good pasture or hay for her to eat. Maybe a couple pellets as the reward for coming when called, loading in the trailer. And I do mean a COUPLE pellets, when they are the reward. Real easy to overfeed ponies, feel guilty when they give you the "look", but they don't NEED grain or pellets to be well fed.

                  Your ring work to retune her for manners, better responses, is going to take some time. You will have to learn to "give" with the reins, allow her to make a mistake, correct her, then give her space to do it right again. I must have made way over 300 circles one day trail riding, with one of mine who pranced. I HATE prancing horses!! EVERY time she started that prancing, we did circles until she settled, then walked on with a loose rein. She got left behind, passed by other horses as she circled, had a VERY BAD day covering that 20 miles at a walk. Circles probably added another few miles! I let her walk as fast as she wanted, but flat-footed walk was the only gait allowed. She was MUCH IMPROVED on the second day of the trail ride, walked a hole in the ground, very few circles!

                  It was all better from then on, learning we could do many things needed by any trail horse, with ease. She is a smart horse, just trying too hard to anticipate what I want.

                  The training time is something you have to work thru, be very firm, not give in to the horse even ONE time. She is NOT in charge, not allowed choices in gaits, position in the group, has to accept that from you.

                  All the POAs I know are pretty nice animals. Not quite the usual pony attitude to deal with, more horse-like. They are regularly reliable in most situations, very dependable when well trained. Better gaited than most ponies. I would take one if I were a smaller person, my long legs are too long for ponies.

                  Give your girl some consistant training, show her your expectations for working on loose reins, good trots and walks, more polite in company. POAs usually have a great length of stride, can walk with horses if asked, have their big trail gaits developed with practice. Think of her as a rough diamond, just needs polishing to be her best. Sounds like a nice animal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    She sounds like a fun and adorable project. Honestly, I'd rather work with an OTTB than an ex-gaming horse. They always seem to be jumping out of their skins!

                    The POA's I have seen at hunter shows have all been talented and really well behaved. Your girl will be too, you've just got some training to do with her.
                    Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by busterwells View Post
                      24/7 turnout except for bad weather, 3/4 scoop pellet grain morning and evening, and round bales 24/7 and is ridden about 10 hours per week, sometimes a little more. If she rides in front, it is a contest. If I ride her in the back of the line she is better but I have to hold her back because she is quicker than the others, then she gets mad and will throw in a little buck out of frustration. I have never ridden her alone, I guess I have never been an alone rider, I may try that this week.
                      I would most definitely cut back on the grain. I have a 13.1 h 10 yr old POA mare whom only gets a few handfuls of Purina Strategy.

                      If it is the typical scoop, 3/4 scoop is wayyyyyyyyy to much grain for a pony.

                      Mine is a doll on the trail, but will have her get up and go moments, but always controllable. We always ride alone.

                      She does love to be free lunged in the arena. Yes, it does get her in shape, but I find she is more calm on the trails if I do that a few times a week. Her turnout is not huge and it must feel good to get the bucks out. Maybe try that with yours?

                      I'd be curious how your POA does alone on the trail. But I'm sure if she was used for gaming, it just might be in her blood to want to move out.

                      Again, I think the grain should definitely be cut back to almost nothing, especially if she has access to hay 24/7.

                      Have you considered a calming supplement like Quiessence?

                      Good luck! They are great little ponies with a big heart. I love mine.

                      Do you have pictures? I'd love to see them.
                      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                      http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Huntertwo View Post
                        I would most definitely cut back on the grain. I have a 13.1 h 10 yr old POA mare whom only gets a few handfuls of Purina Strategy.

                        If it is the typical scoop, 3/4 scoop is wayyyyyyyyy to much grain for a pony.

                        Mine is a doll on the trail, but will have her get up and go moments, but always controllable. We always ride alone.

                        She does love to be free lunged in the arena. Yes, it does get her in shape, but I find she is more calm on the trails if I do that a few times a week. Her turnout is not huge and it must feel good to get the bucks out. Maybe try that with yours?

                        I'd be curious how your POA does alone on the trail. But I'm sure if she was used for gaming, it just might be in her blood to want to move out.

                        Again, I think the grain should definitely be cut back to almost nothing, especially if she has access to hay 24/7.

                        Have you considered a calming supplement like Quiessence?

                        Good luck! They are great little ponies with a big heart. I love mine.

                        Do you have pictures? I'd love to see them.
                        Here is a picture of my POA mare and my daughter Ashleigh!!!!!!!!!

                        http://feed724.photobucket.com/album...ls/account.rss

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                          You got a lot of good ideas here, your main problem is she probably is not used to consistant handling from her previous rider. Most 11yr olds are not consistant riders, in what they ask of the animal. Kid may have just hung on the reins at all times, so your steady contact is expected by the pony.

                          I second reducing the pellets to about nothing. She is a PONY, which is known for living on air and looking good at the same time. She doesn't need much extra if there is good pasture or hay for her to eat. Maybe a couple pellets as the reward for coming when called, loading in the trailer. And I do mean a COUPLE pellets, when they are the reward. Real easy to overfeed ponies, feel guilty when they give you the "look", but they don't NEED grain or pellets to be well fed.

                          Your ring work to retune her for manners, better responses, is going to take some time. You will have to learn to "give" with the reins, allow her to make a mistake, correct her, then give her space to do it right again. I must have made way over 300 circles one day trail riding, with one of mine who pranced. I HATE prancing horses!! EVERY time she started that prancing, we did circles until she settled, then walked on with a loose rein. She got left behind, passed by other horses as she circled, had a VERY BAD day covering that 20 miles at a walk. Circles probably added another few miles! I let her walk as fast as she wanted, but flat-footed walk was the only gait allowed. She was MUCH IMPROVED on the second day of the trail ride, walked a hole in the ground, very few circles!

                          It was all better from then on, learning we could do many things needed by any trail horse, with ease. She is a smart horse, just trying too hard to anticipate what I want.

                          The training time is something you have to work thru, be very firm, not give in to the horse even ONE time. She is NOT in charge, not allowed choices in gaits, position in the group, has to accept that from you.

                          All the POAs I know are pretty nice animals. Not quite the usual pony attitude to deal with, more horse-like. They are regularly reliable in most situations, very dependable when well trained. Better gaited than most ponies. I would take one if I were a smaller person, my long legs are too long for ponies.

                          Give your girl some consistant training, show her your expectations for working on loose reins, good trots and walks, more polite in company. POAs usually have a great length of stride, can walk with horses if asked, have their big trail gaits developed with practice. Think of her as a rough diamond, just needs polishing to be her best. Sounds like a nice animal.
                          Ditto all that advice!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by busterwells View Post
                            Here is a picture of my POA mare and my daughter Ashleigh!!!!!!!!!

                            http://feed724.photobucket.com/album...ls/account.rss
                            Busterwells,
                            The link did not work for me.. Could you try again?

                            My POA is in the link below.
                            MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                            http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Huntertwo View Post
                              Busterwells,
                              The link did not work for me.. Could you try again?

                              My POA is in the link below.
                              Trying my picture link again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I have it this time.


                              http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/w...ghandmisty.jpg

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by busterwells View Post
                                Just a little curious from other POA owners what kind of "attitude" yours seems to have.

                                I came across my POA a little over a year ago from some people who could not afford her, so I took her in. She is sooooooo adorable and cute and lovely on the ground. But boy is she spunky...... wow, a sure spitfire when we ride, always snorting and wanting to run. She is very safe, but I always have to hold her back on the trail, and is not happy unless we are romping around playing or galloping through the fields. I was wondering if this is normal with this breed? And maybe some advice on calming her on the trail? She seems to have a boundless amout of energy even if I ride her relentlessly in the ring before I ride on the trail? I think she could go go go all day.

                                So, please tell me about this breed, I would love to hear more about them and find out if mine is just unusually full of "piss and Vinegar" WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!
                                I have a POA who is very well bred for temperament. From what the other POA owners have told me, it is the bloodlines, there are good and not so good just like every other breed. The good thing about the POA world is that most owners will flat out tell you which bloodlines to stay away from unless you want a firecracker.
                                What are your pony's bloodlines?
                                Mine are Takaupa Gold/Gold Prince.
                                My pony is a pony-dog. He loves attention, comes running and neighing when he sees you, is curious, kind, even-tempered, and not as "sharp" as the welsh ponies I have trained in the past. I would buy another from his bloodlines in a heartbeat because this is what they are known for.
                                I give only a couple handfuls of pellets (Legends) to add his supplements to (Remission, he is on 24/7 pasture). I never feed ponies alot of feed as it tends to make them hot.
                                Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                                Takaupas Top Gold
                                Gifts Black Gold Knight

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Lori View Post
                                  I have a POA who is very well bred for temperament. From what the other POA owners have told me, it is the bloodlines, there are good and not so good just like every other breed. The good thing about the POA world is that most owners will flat out tell you which bloodlines to stay away from unless you want a firecracker.
                                  What are your pony's bloodlines?
                                  Mine are Takaupa Gold/Gold Prince.
                                  My pony is a pony-dog. He loves attention, comes running and neighing when he sees you, is curious, kind, even-tempered, and not as "sharp" as the welsh ponies I have trained in the past. I would buy another from his bloodlines in a heartbeat because this is what they are known for.
                                  I give only a couple handfuls of pellets (Legends) to add his supplements to (Remission, he is on 24/7 pasture). I never feed ponies alot of feed as it tends to make them hot.
                                  I don't know my POA's breeding. I think she had been passed off from owner to owner maybe because of her "firecracker" spirit which I think was irritating to some previous owners. But she does have the "pony-dog" personality like yours, she loves attention, comes running to the gate for attention and loves to ride on the trail and work. She just has alot of energy which I do love, I just need to channel in the right way. I did go out on a long trail ride yesterday and had her follow behind my more laid back QH and made her stay back and rode on more loose rein after a while as suggested by others on this thread. She did seem to pipe down when she knew what was expected of her. I think others in the past have always let her get away with it (and I am at fault too of letting her run and gallop all over just because she just seemed to always want to snort and run). So, we are just trying to back track, I guess. She is a very sweet pony.

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                                  • #18
                                    I'd agree if she was used for gaming, and with a kid, she is probably used to a lot of stop-and-go-fast with someone hanging on the reins! Surprise her by NOT hanging on the reins. Slow her down, then drop the reins, slow her down, then drop the reins - so she starts to understand that she can go slowly and not have that constant pressure in her mouth. Sort of like some OTTBs I think - the more you tighten up on the reins, the more they think they should go faster. Just a habit, and one you can change, with patience.

                                    The other advice all useful, too, I think.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by busterwells View Post
                                      Just a little curious from other POA owners what kind of "attitude" yours seems to have.

                                      I came across my POA a little over a year ago from some people who could not afford her, so I took her in. She is sooooooo adorable and cute and lovely on the ground. But boy is she spunky...... wow, a sure spitfire when we ride, always snorting and wanting to run. She is very safe, but I always have to hold her back on the trail, and is not happy unless we are romping around playing or galloping through the fields. I was wondering if this is normal with this breed? And maybe some advice on calming her on the trail? She seems to have a boundless amout of energy even if I ride her relentlessly in the ring before I ride on the trail? I think she could go go go all day.

                                      So, please tell me about this breed, I would love to hear more about them and find out if mine is just unusually full of "piss and Vinegar" WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      I had a POA pony hunter for years as a child growing up and he was the best pony ever and won in top rated shows against some of the best. POAs have a lot of different breeding - arab, shetland, appy, qh,..etc. The registration is based on color and height and a lot of the breeding ponies have all kinds of different blood in them. This is why you just never know what you'll get. Like I said, my POA was a rock solid pony hunter that even did dressage too, and not one lame day in his life. They come in all kinds of different packages.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by busterwells View Post
                                        I did go out on a long trail ride yesterday and had her follow behind my more laid back QH and made her stay back and rode on more loose rein after a while as suggested by others on this thread. She did seem to pipe down when she knew what was expected of her.

                                        It's important to remember that for many western trained horses- gaming or roping in particular- riding with loose reins is the 'we aren't doing anything' program, and picking up the reins and establishing contact is the 'get on your toes, we're about to go' program.

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