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pony problems, need advice

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  • #21
    Sounds like A LOT of prep for a pony that you say doesn't need prep. If he isn't sore I wouldn't be surprised that he is a bit sour. If that is the normal routine for everyone of the shows he goes to then he may have just reached his limit of schooling, schooling, going in a class with you, then schooling more and more with the kid, and then going in classes with her. I know my lesson and sales ponies wouldn't put up with all of that in a day.

    If pain is not the problem, then give the pony some down time from hard work and just have the kid take him for hacks. Ponies like riders do get burned out.

    Comment


    • #22
      I would think if it's a physical issue, you would have noticed it creeping up on you long before this.

      Perhaps the little bugger saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. When that worked, it became a repeat performance. Now that he's got the kid's number, it's something she'll have to fix or it's never going to go away.

      Do you have a good pony jock that you can put on him in the ring? Sometimes you have to set them up to be naughty and then have someone with the skills to read him the riot act.

      Comment


      • #23
        Ponies are smart. He did it once,and it worked.

        Let kid do the riding instead of you. Trainer should help kid ride through these things. Put the fences down, trot the line...whatever it takes...but sounds like the kid is a good enough rider to not have trainer get on. May seem like a nasty pony on that day, but if you can teach the kid to ride through it, that pony is invaluable.

        Comment


        • #24
          I think the pony is in some kind of pain. I think the saddle that was acquired 2 months ago is a likely suspect. Sometimes, when horses are in pain, their reactions don't make sense and don't seem to be linked to the pain. They can become more reactive to things that would not normally bother them, for example. Like being alone in the show ring, or having a 9 year old kid not give them a perfect ride. The same horse, despite the pain, might not pull the same thing with a stronger rider because the horse knows it can't get away with it. That doesn't mean the horse isn't experiencing pain with that other rider - it just means that the horse is plugging along despite the pain.

          Most horses try to do as we ask, most of the time.

          Comment


          • #25
            You mentioned this was a "move up" division? Could the pony have been overfaced? I had a lovely pony who would babysit at the short stirrup level but need a very firm ride to the jumps at anything over 2 ft.

            If not overfaced, perhaps too exhuberant at the new height? Maybe he is just a great short stirrup pony...and let him be that.

            Just a thought
            Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              All of your replies have been helpful in my evauluating the circumstances, and providing different angles to assess the situation and my plan moving forward. I do have some ideas, one being to reevaluate saddle with fresh eyes.

              Just to clarify, those questions of prep/ routine. The only initial change in program was my riding in the under saddle in the am, due to sudden drop in temp at an outdoor show in the wind. Normally, pony waits for kiddo to hack.

              All the additional, rides, and shools etc, came about becuase of the moment, and subsequent repeats. I am thinking that we started out with a yee-haw moment gone bad, that became a game.

              Comment


              • #27
                I agree with the excessive schooling. I have never heard of a trainer getting on and doing this much before the kid gets on. And also riding the pony in a class?? Whats that about? IMHO it sounds like the pony has HAD IT with all this fussing.
                In ponyland this does not sound right.
                Sandy
                www.sugarbrook.com
                hunter/jumper ponies

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by mrsbradbury View Post
                  saddle is new
                  Originally posted by mrsbradbury View Post
                  I am pretty sure the saddle fits him.
                  This speaks volumes to me. Horses/ponies just don't do this out of the blue for no reason if it's not part of their regular MO. What you describe is often related to pain. Just because a brand new saddle fit when you first got it doesn't mean it fits now. Also, not all saddle fitters are created equal. We have one local saddle fitter who's qualifications are simply owning a tack shop. IMO, that doesn't make one qualified to fit a saddle properly.

                  As a side note: As a judge, I would not consider it kosher for you to get on the pony in the middle of a pony hunter class and school unless it was a very low level schooling show. It needed to be done in the warm-up ring afterwards or unjudged in a class you are eligible to go in....or sent the pony back into the next class with an older junior rider to school him. It's just not proper etiquette to run in the ring and get on and school while a class is in progress.

                  I think he's trying to tell you something - that he's in pain. The fact that he has a new saddle and this is a new incident would lead me to believe it's an ill fitting saddle...but it could also be a pain issue somewhere else.
                  www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                  Home of Oldenburg, Westphalian & RPSI approved pony stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                  Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness www.EquineAppraisers.com

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                  • #29
                    Another vote for pain!

                    An what's with all the Hateful Pony talk - I feel for ANY Pony stuck in your programs

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I may be alone here, but it doesn't sound like pain to me, otherwise why would it only manifest in the show ring? Also, if the pony were in pain, there should be other indicators, and normally you would get some head shaking, tail swishing or SOMETHING other than just hitting the brakes and putting his head between his legs out of the blue. I also think it's telling that he takes off directly for the gate the minute she's off. Sounds more like he's being a stinker than like he's in pain. He's probably show sour, and it does sound like perhaps he's being overschooled. The smarter horses/ponies do not like to be schooled excessively when they're already doing their jobs well and can often resent it.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by alto View Post
                        Another vote for pain!

                        An what's with all the Hateful Pony talk - I feel for ANY Pony stuck in your programs
                        Pain doesn't usually just magically manifest in the show ring and no where else. I think this is a bit uncalled for - you don't even know this person, and she's frustrated. We all say things when we're frustrated. She's here asking for constructive input, she didn't say she's about to ship the pony off to Canada for goodness sake. She doesn't need blind criticism of her 'program', which you likely are not even familiar with.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by OGSponymom View Post
                          Pain doesn't usually just magically manifest in the show ring and no where else. I think this is a bit uncalled for - you don't even know this person, and she's frustrated. We all say things when we're frustrated. She's here asking for constructive input, she didn't say she's about to ship the pony off to Canada for goodness sake. She doesn't need blind criticism of her 'program', which you likely are not even familiar with.
                          Only one singling out the OP is you

                          Try reading with retention

                          nasty pony
                          the little bugger
                          you have to set them up to be naughty and then have someone with the skills to read him the riot act
                          He's a pony - and that always means taking every advantage they can
                          nasty pony tricks
                          stinking pony
                          Mr.#@$$
                          The $%#@@$%&
                          Turn him loose on the freeway
                          Mr. Evil Pony
                          needs his little behind beaten!
                          little buggers
                          little $h!ts
                          dirty tricks
                          always means taking every advantage

                          As I stated - alot of disparanging remarks about Ponies in this thread ...
                          The pony in the OP has been wonderful for 2 years - then has a very uncharacteristic day: but it can't be pain or just because he's a horse it's because he's an Evil pony that needs to have the Evil beaten out of him ...

                          Ponies everywhere thank all the wonderful posters who suggested alternate motivations for this pony's actions


                          she didn't say she's about to ship the pony off to Canada
                          What are you implying about Canada & ponies!!!
                          ???
                          Daventry is a fine pony breeder

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Posted by mrsbradbury:

                            Pony is home. He broke his little girl's heart. I'm super worried about reliving another jekyl & hyde day. I felt I did every right move, I rode, kid rode, school, rest, try again, I rode, kid rode etc. etc. The only thing I didn't do was take him back to the stall and stick him.
                            Stick him with a needle?

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              When you said 'your programs' I assumed you were referring to OP, as you didn't specify otherwise. I'm just sick of people jumping down soeone's throat for asking a question, so my apologies if I misinterpreted.
                              And I have nothing against Canadian pony breeders, it was a reference to people who ship unwanted horses to Canada for an unfortunate fate. And for the record, ponies ARE stinkers and they DO have dirty tricks, but it's because they're smart, and it's actually a good thing. Any kid will learn more from a little stinker who knows every dirty trick in the book than they ever will from a push button packer.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                It's extremely rare for a perfectly good pony to suddenly turn dirty bucker for no good reason...by rare I mean almost impossible :-) I've seen more good, knowledgeable trainers then I can count confirming good saddle fit only to have a professional fitter out to show them there is a lot more than just dies it clear the withers and sit level? Get a good fitter out right away. My horse went from awesome jumping one day to dirty bucking the next. I had just had my saddle fit 3 weeks earlier but still called my fitter back. My horse had changed drastically in 3 weeks and the saddle was pinching his shoulders upon landing from a jump. Saddle fixed...awesome horse back:-). I could give you so many saddle fitting causing behavior problems stories that cleared up instantly after a GOOD pro fitter evaluation it would make your head spin! And every time the owner/trainer swore up and down the saddle fit great. If saddle is cleared by a good pro then I'd just have a basic vet exam and teeth check. I'm almost positive your solution will be found. If its none of those then its a rider error unfortunately. Ponies don't just go crazy for no good reason. Do everyone a favor and do a full pro workup before jumping to conclusions. The faster you move the faster you can get him fixed and get the little peanut back safely in the saddle! Good luck and please post your results as you work through the possible causes!
                                Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  If the kid has undergone a growth spurt and is a little bit bigger, the saddle maybe isn't quite right, the kid maybe a tad out of balance and this could all add up to your problem.

                                  The saddle may fit standing but it can be uncomfortable in motion, too. I've seen that sometimes, where something that looks perfect nevertheless does not make the horsey happy. And ponies IME have a way of changing their weight and shape very quickly.
                                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by OGSponymom View Post
                                    And for the record, ponies ARE stinkers
                                    I've seen what they put up with - stinker is the last word I'd apply to these wonderful little guys

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Keg-A-Bacchus View Post
                                      It's extremely rare for a perfectly good pony to suddenly turn dirty bucker for no good reason...by rare I mean almost impossible :-) I've seen more good, knowledgeable trainers then I can count confirming good saddle fit only to have a professional fitter out to show them there is a lot more than just dies it clear the withers and sit level? Get a good fitter out right away. My horse went from awesome jumping one day to dirty bucking the next. I had just had my saddle fit 3 weeks earlier but still called my fitter back. My horse had changed drastically in 3 weeks and the saddle was pinching his shoulders upon landing from a jump. Saddle fixed...awesome horse back:-). I could give you so many saddle fitting causing behavior problems stories that cleared up instantly after a GOOD pro fitter evaluation it would make your head spin! And every time the owner/trainer swore up and down the saddle fit great. If saddle is cleared by a good pro then I'd just have a basic vet exam and teeth check. I'm almost positive your solution will be found. If its none of those then its a rider error unfortunately. Ponies don't just go crazy for no good reason. Do everyone a favor and do a full pro workup before jumping to conclusions. The faster you move the faster you can get him fixed and get the little peanut back safely in the saddle! Good luck and please post your results as you work through the possible causes!
                                      ditto this... our pony's saddle fit great 3 months ago, two weeks ago she started landing and bucking off jumps and it is also saddle fit. her body has changed so much that it no longer fits her, in that short a time... so there you go.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        This is another vote for a full work up with the vet. The most common reason any equine would start showing uncharacteristic behavior is pain.

                                        It could have manifested in that ring. Maybe he has some arthritis which was aggravated by the cooler temps that day and maybe it's not something that makes him lame, but it's something that every 3rd or 4th fence he lands from, really frickin hurts! So if he jumps into the line, maybe he left longer and had more weight on his front end on the other side, or maybe it's his hocks and the spot kid got him too hurt on take off...well he's not dumb, he's not going over that next jump. Because it hurts.

                                        And by the time kid got to the flat class, pony said "Look, I've been telling you people ALL DAY that I can't do this right now!"

                                        What was his body language like when he pitched the kid? Was he swishing his tail? Ears back? That would all indicate something was not right. The naughty ponies out there will drop a kid with their ears up and trot away like nothing happened. Was he going the same direction for all of the falls? That would also point to something hurting on a particular side of his body. Could be a sharp tooth even, that going that direction, the bit pressure to turn sends shockwaves through his skull.

                                        Before you label him a bad pony and before you confirm for the kid that her pony is bad... have a vet check him out. check his teeth, his joints, his soft tissues.
                                        Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          All ponies have bad days; even the ones who show routinely. Some of the one's that get ridden everyday, show all year, etc get burnt out. Some of them need some time off. We had a welsh mare in the barn who was younger but reliable, would never stop, never had an attitude problem. It al started at one show where she would intentionally throw the kid in the dirt (in a very nasty way) and she would do it in every o/f class at every show. She would drag the kid down any line with a rock solid mouth and all-out launch bucks in the corners that would put any rodeo horse to shame. She was NASTY. She was a very fancy pony who was nice enough to compete at the big time so they had her in a routine of being ridden almost everyday, showing 3-4 times per month, etc. In the end; the pony got burnt out.

                                          In all seriousness: that's what it was. She was fried. The pony went on a low, low grain diet with hay twice a day and she got turned out for 2 months. That's what it took to restore her sanity again. She lived in a show barn prior to that but had all-day turnout and was exercised nitely. It's not like she was couped up in a big-time show barn 24/7; the workload just sent her over the deep end. After her vacation she came back refreshed and better than ever. From there on out; she had days off during the week to get turned out and relax. She didnt show more than 3 times a month either. The owners had to put their foot down in order to keep the pony's best interest in mind. They also did fun things with her to keep her happy: trail rides, hunter paces, beach rides, etc. These activites wern't schooling rides: they were simply for pleasure and it WORKED. Just a thought-

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