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do you pony a horse for a hack?

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  • do you pony a horse for a hack?

    I have 2 horses. I'm not too worried on fitness since both foxhunt at least 1x week. But there are times that they don't due to weather, but since they are out everyday from breakfast to dinner in the winter, I think they are doing ok.

    At night, I have use of a huge, but old and dusty indoor, so i try not to stay in there more than 20 minutes since the footing isn't ideal..so i try to either ride or lunge over raised cavelettis to low gymnastics.

    but some days, by the time I get out there, I could ride out on the trails, but wouldn't be able to get both out unless I could get someone to ride the other horse.

    So, have any of you pony a horse on a hack? I used to pony my mare when she was a baby with my other horse around the arena. but i'm thinking for the days I want to do an hour of walking or some trot sets, is it possible while ponying a horse? is it beneficial to the ponied horse?
    I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!

  • #2
    I pony for fitness all the time....as do many people I know. It really is one of the only ways I can get two horses fit on my time schedule. Of course right now...footing isn't so good out so not much hacking out! But come spring...yes I will do it several times a week. I trade off which horse I ride and which one I lead.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

    Comment


    • #3
      Absolutely.

      The only way I can get my conditioning sets done, and all the walking in, is to pony one.

      I usually put a surcingle and side reins, or bungie reins on the horse who is being ponied, and then put a halter on over the bridle and then lead using a regular cotton lead.

      Ponying one horse is easy, back when I used to condition polo ponies I would ride one and pony four, two on each side, and we would do full canter sets that way! Granted, doing "canter sets" with four fit polo ponies in hand is mostly an exercise in stopping them from running away with you, by the time you get them under control again its time to walk.

      Lots of people do it: http://www.galwaydowns.com/ scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see a photo of Katherine Groesbeck and her two horses; she is quoted in some article talking about how she regularly ponies them to get her trot sets in with her tight schedule.

      Comment


      • #4
        I was wondering about this to. I brought it up, because not only is it a great time-saver, but it gets the job done with no pounding on their backs.

        I've ponied polo ponies before, glad they had the routine down, because I'm not sure stopping was going to happen otherwise

        Comment


        • #5
          We pony horses all the time for fitness! I got really good at it, haha. The horse being ponied went in a surcingle and neck stretcher, their regular bridle, and then we run the lead rope through one side of the bit and clip to the other. The hardest part is getting on, lol!
          http://eventer4life.wordpress.com

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          • #6
            We pony them all the time for hacking. Gets them done efficiently, gets them out for a longer period of time, and they almost all learn to do it pretty well. I've used a rope halter or a regular halter plus chain and a long leadshank and it works quite well. I prefer not to pony for trot sets as some of the spots we trot aren't particularly wide, but don't object to it on principle if you've got ones who are decently behaved.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've ponied for fitness as well, though it is more fun to do it with a buddy!

              The guys at Rancho Alegre used to pony the polo horses in groups of 4--so 1 ridden and 4 ponies at the same time. I was amazed they never had any get away & run amok down Willow Road or 421, but they seemed to know the drill well enough.

              Comment


              • #8
                I saw a guy down in Wellington ponying 4 horses off each side... that is 9 horses, and remarkably enough, they all behaved themselves...
                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another "go for it!"

                  Back when I had two eventing, I did it all the time.

                  I would ride one, and pony the other in a halter (with the rope over the nose for some extra stop), or in a halter over a bridle.

                  I would walk / trot / canter+ with them. Stopping could be a bit of work sometimes but we lived.

                  I have even stopped and swapped the saddle, riding each for 50% of the ride.
                  APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes. My old guy was a pony horse on the track, so I could pony even only moderately well behaved youngsters with him and did so regularly.
                    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks!

                      Thank you! My friends are always acting like I'm the nutty one! I would not have thought using a surcingle for ponying, but think that is a great idea too! Both my horses are fairly well behaved, So i'm sure once I figure it out, I should be fine.

                      OMG. doing 4 to 8 horses at once! crazy! But then I can see how the horses would learn the drill. When I used to work weekends at a barn to pay for board, the BO would get mad at me because I would bring 5 horses in at a time (as in take the entire pasture in at once). those horses knew the drill, would wait patently while I put on halters. Two horses in one hand (in stall order of course), to in the other and the old blind horse would just put his nose on my back and we'd walk in. So it would make sense at ponying.!

                      And LAZ..that must have been a sight down 421! LOL
                      I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by quietann View Post
                        I saw a guy down in Wellington ponying 4 horses off each side... that is 9 horses, and remarkably enough, they all behaved themselves...
                        Probably polo ponies. They are regularly ponied in groups of 8 - 10.
                        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


                        • #13
                          I haven't for a while, but certainly have done so in the past. Bonnie's a great pony horse--everyone shakes in their shoes in her presence and she's totally oblivious to her She-Ra powers so it makes her the ultimate "iron fist in a velvet glove" type for ponying.
                          Click here before you buy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Go for it!

                            I'm another person who ponies 2 horses while riding the 3rd to get fit for hunting ...makes life so much easier. No special gear, just rope halters and lead ropes. I do usually do it off of my western saddle, so I can dally up if necessary or just drap the ropes across the horn to give my hands a rest.

                            And absolutely bring all the horses in from pasture at the same time! Saves time, teaches discipline, obedience and respect.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I really want to but I'm scared.

                              My 2 are OTTB, so of course used to being ponied, but both act silly on the trail, and both play/fight so much I can hardly lead them up from the field together.

                              It would be such a time saver, but I'm afraid I'd lose one when they spooked in different directions or snapped at each other.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We do it with our polocrosse horses all the time - walk/trot/canter - even gallop sets. With one of our mares it is the only way she is manageble to get fit, as she will not hack out alone.
                                www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                                www.pegasusridge.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Yep. I practiced in my field at home just to make sure the two I was planning on taking would behave themselves, and to teach the ponied one the ropes a bit. Now I take them both out on a long hack whenever I can.

                                  It's actually more of a workout for the ponied one - his strides are shorter and he's not as fast a walker as the one I usually ride. There's a fair amount of plod, plod, plod, (cluck-cluck!) jog jog jog...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I used my older brick house gelding to pony horses. He didn't care if anyone bumped into him, and he'd happily drag a horse behind him if they didn't want to cooperate.

                                    Do it in the arena several times and then venture into a fenced in area first. If you can ride western that would help out. Try using a chain shank and run it through the bit rings for more control if you think you need it. You can also carry a dressage whip and poke the horse in the nose if it gets ahead of your lead horse. If something goes wrong drop the lead rope so you don't draw and quarter yourself. If you saddle both you can ride one out and one back.
                                    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by bigbaytb View Post
                                      I have 2 horses. I'm not too worried on fitness since both foxhunt at least 1x week. But there are times that they don't due to weather, but since they are out everyday from breakfast to dinner in the winter, I think they are doing ok.

                                      At night, I have use of a huge, but old and dusty indoor, so i try not to stay in there more than 20 minutes since the footing isn't ideal..so i try to either ride or lunge over raised cavelettis to low gymnastics.

                                      but some days, by the time I get out there, I could ride out on the trails, but wouldn't be able to get both out unless I could get someone to ride the other horse.

                                      So, have any of you pony a horse on a hack? I used to pony my mare when she was a baby with my other horse around the arena. but i'm thinking for the days I want to do an hour of walking or some trot sets, is it possible while ponying a horse? is it beneficial to the ponied horse?
                                      i go out on one then the other lol

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Beam Me Up View Post
                                        It would be such a time saver, but I'm afraid I'd lose one when they spooked in different directions or snapped at each other.
                                        lol...I managed to lose one of mine once :P I was riding my warmblood and ponying my TB (who has been being ponied for ever and is so good about it). We were trotting next to a really quiet road by the barn and there was a utility truck or something parked on the side of the road. They did something...I don't exactly know what lol...and it scared me (very spooky) TB who leaped sideways and backwards at the same time. I wasn't prepared and lost the lead rope. Luckily I was able to just be like "whoa dawkins....whoa hold on" and he was like OMG WHAT DID I DO???? and I could ride over, grab the lead rope, and trot on like nothing happened
                                        http://eventer4life.wordpress.com

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