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How would you have disciplined this "bratty" pony?

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  • How would you have disciplined this "bratty" pony?

    I need some advice on how "I should have disciplined" our pony on this particular trail ride. I will try to make a long story short.

    5 of us go out on trail, including my daughter on our Pony of America. After a nice 30 minute ride. My daughter and my friend decide they are going to separate and canter around a big oval trail around a pond and the other 3 of us decide to wait at on side of the pond. I guess some brush had overgrown on this trail and they were cantering and had to zig zag while cantering and our POA decides to buck and throw my daughter off (she is bareback) in the field. I go and help my daughter brush herself off as my friend rounds up our pony. I then tell my daughter she needs to get back on and ride her back to the barn. As she tries to remount ( she was bareback so she usually takes a small leap and throws her leg over while grabbing the mane) the pony then rears up and then bucks and kicks out throwing my daughter on the ground again. Well by the time I get off my horse and calm my daughter down I am wondering if the horse is going to know what I am disciplining her for and I didn't quite know what to do? My daughter was riding in short contest reins so it would have been hard to lunge in circles. I don't want the pony to think this is okay behavior , but I guess I froze, not knowing what do. My daughter did get back on with my help and rode a 1/2 mile back to the barn. Hmmm, I guess I need to find out what would have been the correct reaction from me in case our pony acts like a "freak" again.

  • #2
    I have a POA myself. My first question- Is he normally like this? Could it be possible the brush hit his belly, possibly prickers?

    As far as the remount, maybe she threw herself too hard up on him, startled him, possibly kicked him in a sensitive spot by mistake, hurt his back by leaping up on him?
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
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    • Original Poster

      #3
      She can get over excited sometimes and buck a little on trail (she is very spunky). But this time was inexcusable to me, she threw my daughter off. Secondly, my daughter mounts like this all the time and the pony never budges, she is great on the ground. Hmmmm. I tend to think she is just getting a little bratty lately and need to nip it in the butt.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ah, okay... Is it possible for you to get on and work her or take her on a trail ride?
        POA's are great, but still a pony.
        MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Huntertwo View Post
          Ah, okay... Is it possible for you to get and work her or take her on a trail ride?
          POA's are great, but still a pony.
          Yes, I can work her myself, I guess I have never been in this situation. My 2 other horses are my lazy trusty dusty trail horses, I never had to be agressive about bad behavior and I have seen all types of discipline and I don't agree with some people that decide to beat their horse?

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't think there's any "discipline" (ie punishment) that is useful after the fact. He wouldn't learn anything from being hit after she fell off, for example. He might have gotten worked up from the brush/fall situation and the leaping on startled him, because his mind was still elsewhere. I would have taken a read on his body language before leaping back on - was he calm and relaxed, or still tense and fussy? If the latter, then walk him in some circles or patterns or back him up a few times, or walk him over to a log or rock for remounting, or stand and chit chat for a moment, waiting until you see he has settled and is paying attention.

            If it was a one time thing, I think he was probably just goosey from what had just happened and needed to refocus his mind on his rider.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by busterwells View Post
              I need some advice on how "I should have disciplined" our pony on this particular trail ride. I will try to make a long story short.

              5 of us go out on trail, including my daughter on our Pony of America. After a nice 30 minute ride. My daughter and my friend decide they are going to separate and canter around a big oval trail around a pond and the other 3 of us decide to wait at on side of the pond. I guess some brush had overgrown on this trail and they were cantering and had to zig zag while cantering and our POA decides to buck and throw my daughter off (she is bareback) in the field. I go and help my daughter brush herself off as my friend rounds up our pony. I then tell my daughter she needs to get back on and ride her back to the barn. As she tries to remount ( she was bareback so she usually takes a small leap and throws her leg over while grabbing the mane) the pony then rears up and then bucks and kicks out throwing my daughter on the ground again. Well by the time I get off my horse and calm my daughter down I am wondering if the horse is going to know what I am disciplining her for and I didn't quite know what to do? My daughter was riding in short contest reins so it would have been hard to lunge in circles. I don't want the pony to think this is okay behavior , but I guess I froze, not knowing what do. My daughter did get back on with my help and rode a 1/2 mile back to the barn. Hmmm, I guess I need to find out what would have been the correct reaction from me in case our pony acts like a "freak" again.
              not the horses fault its yours for letting your daughter ride the horse bareback and not fully under control - bit of unfairiness to your daughter in my book your the adult and should be a tad more responsible

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
                not the horses fault its yours for letting your daughter ride the horse bareback and not fully under control - bit of unfairiness to your daughter in my book your the adult and should be a tad more responsible
                I'll second that!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  There's legitimate spooking - a dove takes off twittering and flapping right right as you go past, a deer leaps out of the woods, etc.
                  Then there's bratty spooking, where a fresh and frisky horse decides to jump sideways and throw a bucking fit at the same rock you've ridden past for the last two years.

                  In my opinion, the cure for both is the same - put the horse to work. Just approach the work differently. If the horse is truly scared, the work is a way to show that you are confident and unfazed by the scary object. Hopefully the horse will pick up on your confidence and focus on that rather than the scary object. Do a little bit of work: some stopping and backing, a few side passes, etc. and then continue on once you feel the horse relax. The work should be gentle and focussed, so that the horse thinks, "I guess my human isn't scared if she's thinking about sidepasses instead of those flapping things."

                  If the horse is being a brat, the work is a way to assert your authority and to redirect the energy into something other than bucking and bolting. Spin in circles, back for twenty strides, practice going from a trot to a dead stop and then into a trot again, whatever. The work should be hard enough that the horse says, "Well, that's no fun, I really would prefer to be quietly poking along right about now."

                  Unfortunately, since your daughter was bareback, she wasn't going to have a secure enough seat to win a pissing match if the horse copped an attitude about having to work. Bad decision on a brisk autumn day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would suggest that until the pony gets over the bucking on the trail your daughter ride in a saddle so she has a little more control.

                    Pony did learn on this occassion that the behavior wasn't going to get it out of work as your daughter rode it back.

                    Pony should be corrected for bucking on the trail every time! its not excusable even if its fresh (if it were my horse it would get a sharp smack when he bucked).

                    If pony rears again then I would get someone to ride it that has experience with rears its a nasty dangerous habit and needs to get nipped in the bud asap!
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
                      not the horses fault its yours for letting your daughter ride the horse bareback and not fully under control - bit of unfairiness to your daughter in my book your the adult and should be a tad more responsible
                      Ditto.

                      Sounds like this is a mare, right? Many of them are more sensitive to stuff under their belly, etc. Then you throw in brisk weather and a gallop with other horses, PLUS a rider who may have slid back and "goosed" the mare in the flank -- total recipe for disaster.

                      Riding bareback is great for developing the seat, but obviously you don't have the security & control you do with a saddle.

                      Personally, if you let your daughter ride a "spunky" pony at a canter with other horses out on the trail, expect the kid to part company with the horse from time to time.

                      If you ride, you fall off. Happens to us all. It's not the horse's fault if the person can't stay on them....that's our job.

                      If you feel strongly about the child NEVER falling off, get her a saddle. She'll still come off on occasion, but probably not as often

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would say saddle on the trail, bareback in more controlled environment in the arena. Separating from other horses and cantering around was something I would have allowed only on a very bombproof quiet old pony that had proven itself. I think there were just too many opportunities for issues on this ride and I really don't blame the pony. Okay so your daughter always mounts like that, however the pony was already obviously freaked out, upset. Doesn't sound like the best way to mount, a leg up would work much better.

                        As long as she got back and rode back I don't think any other discipline was needed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by busterwells View Post
                          She can get over excited sometimes and buck a little on trail (she is very spunky). But this time was inexcusable to me, she threw my daughter off. Secondly, my daughter mounts like this all the time and the pony never budges, she is great on the ground. Hmmmm. I tend to think she is just getting a little bratty lately and need to nip it in the butt.
                          Wait -- is this the same mare that you sent to a trainer and it started bucking all the time out on the trail? It seems it is:(posted by busterwells)

                          "Okay hear is the story. I hope I can get some good advice because I am so frustrated.

                          I have a Poa mare that is 11 years old. She is very spunky, but was my favorite horse because she was so trustworthy, never bucked or reared.
                          My only issue with her was slowing down, she always wants to go, but I enjoyed her spunk and happiness to play on the trail. She always made me feel safe.

                          Well, I decided to work with a trainer to do some showing in western pleasure and thought this would also teach her to slow up a little and be a little more controllable in the ring.

                          Well, after working with her to put her head down and putting a training fork on her, the horse started to get very irritated. She started kicking out her back legs and then to eventually bucking and now trying to throw me off.

                          I am so upset because now AND I cannot ride her at all and have tried to work with her for the last month to work out this bucking issue. I have her walking now, but If I try to get her in a trot she instantly starts bucking. I feel like I have ruined my wonderful trail horse and wish I had never started this.

                          I guess I am lookig for advice on how to work out this issue, I feel it is mental with her and maybe this was not a good idea with such an energetic horse to train for western pleasure showing or maybe the trainer worked too fast at trying to set her head and setting her pace at the same time. I am new at this so I don't know. I just want my old happy horse back. Help!

                          If this is the same mare she has a pretty long history of bucking...you mention it over & over again in your posts. Really NOT the appropriate horse for a young kid to be riding bareback, Mom!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Daughter needs to ride in saddle. Mom needs to be sure path is clear and safe before daughter goes cantering off.
                            If pony has had bucking problem, daughter should probably ride a different pony....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree with Twofatponies- 'getting after' a horse after it's dumped the rider really doesn't accomplish anything. What works is getting right back on the horse and working it harder, the ol' make the right thing easier and the wrong thing harder work philosophy.

                              When riding in France, I was assigned to a young selle francais mare who had succesfully mastered the 'drop the shoulder and dump the rider' technique. I was somewhat prepared, knowing it would be coming sooner or later- and when it did, I made sure to hang onto the reins, pop up, get right back on. She was astonished. Never tried it with anyone again. Mind you 'one time' doesn't cure many of them.

                              In your case, there could be a whole lot of reasons why the pony bucked when being ridden on the trail bareback. If it were mine, I'd ride saddled only on the trails, bareback to kid's heart's content in an arena, where, if rider falls off, getting right back on and continuing the ride is more easily accomplished and less intimidating. Maybe in a year or two, try bareback on trails again. Set pony and rider up for success, not failure.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                If this is the same mare she has a pretty long history of bucking...you mention it over & over again in your posts. Really NOT the appropriate horse for a young kid to be riding bareback, Mom!
                                It seems to me that when someone comes to these parts seeking some friendly advice, and all you have to offer is a haughty lecture, maybe you should just skip posting?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                  It seems to me that when someone comes to these parts seeking some friendly advice, and all you have to offer is a haughty lecture, maybe you should just skip posting?
                                  Or maybe the mom should not put her child bareback on a horse with a history of bucking? That's what I advised, and if you define that as "haughty" you & I are not using the same dictionary.

                                  When someone posts on a public forum, they are asking for anyone's advise/opinion, etc. Please notice that I was far from the only one who advised that a) disciplining a horse AFTER it had bucked someone off was pointless and b) a child should be using a saddle in this case.

                                  So what makes my advise "haughty" and yours just ducky?

                                  Please....

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If you feel your daughter is safe riding this pony under normal circumstances then it isn't a " bratty pony" issue. Most horses will give us a warning if we are taking the time to listen . Now that we are into cooler weather the horses are going to be more fresh. I would suggest a good lunge session so you can gauge her attitude before your daughter rides. Put your daughter in a saddle if you are trail riding or away from home please. Once you got your daughter back on the pony, you should have ponied her at least for a while to see if the pony was still feeling the same. I think ponies get a bad rap and are blamed for the incompetence of the adult who owns them. My kids had a wonderful shetland. I couldn't ride him but I lunged and worked him from the ground before they got on and even when they didn't ride . We never had issues.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                      So what makes my advise "haughty" and yours just ducky?

                                      Please....
                                      Oh, the longwinded recap of prior threads, presented in a manner that suggests something 'bad' about the poster, and ending with:

                                      "Really NOT the appropriate horse for a young kid to be riding bareback, Mom!"

                                      Sure doesn't come across as an effort to be helpful.

                                      You are quite correct that you are not the only one who stated disapproval of a Mom 'allowing' her daughter to ride a horse under a given set of circumstances. BS, I say, just another example of the helicopter parenting so prevalent these days. All horses are potentially dangerous, one accepts risks riding any of them. I say good for Busterwells for wanting to get to the bottom of the pony's issue so her daughter can enjoy her. If you're going to condemn a parent for letting a kid ride a horse that 'might' buck or otherwise misbehave- well, gee, guess we better outlaw kids from from riding, huh? I wonder if today's riding child gets to have any fun at all- I suppose some of y'all would be horrified that us 'barn rats' back in the 60s rode all sorts of different horses, all over the place, all day long, without a speck of adult supervision, and, gasp, no hard hats or safety vests. What fun it was.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                        If you're going to condemn a parent for letting a kid ride a horse that 'might' buck or otherwise misbehave- well, gee, guess we better outlaw kids from from riding, huh? I wonder if today's riding child gets to have any fun at all- I suppose some of y'all would be horrified that us 'barn rats' back in the 60s rode all sorts of different horses, all over the place, all day long, without a speck of adult supervision, and, gasp, no hard hats or safety vests. What fun it was.
                                        10-4, 10-4. I think my mom probably would have been in jail today for the stuff she 'let' me do while out at the barn...'by myself'. Didn't see me from sun-up to sun-down when it became too dark to do anything fun.

                                        Anyway, first off, a horse(wo)man never blames the horse for falling off. If you're overmounted, then find another horse to ride. People fall off horses. Just the way it is. If you haven't fallen off, you haven't 'really ridden' much.

                                        Next, bucking is when a horse bogs his head between his knees and you might even hear a bellow when he blows. His mouth will be open (usually) and to the person standing on the ground, his hooves will be about eyeball height. They can either peg-leg it or do a sunfish, which is that spectacular sight you see in rodeos. Usually, a horse might crow-hop a bit and while it seems scary from aboard, it's not really that much. I've even seen firsthand where people thought a horse bucked with them when the horse coughed.... But, you can fall off of any of them.

                                        Personally, I think the kid should get back on and ride back, which she did. This sounds like a case of **** happens. Don't blow it up into something where the pony starts to think ahead. Just go along till something does happen, then deal with it. Sounds like you've had problems with her for quite a while. I'm thinking that maybe you should get the help of the trainer again...and let your daughter be a kid with a pony.
                                        1.20.2013

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