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Would pony stopping/steering to the gate be a deal breaker for YOU?

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  • Would pony stopping/steering to the gate be a deal breaker for YOU?

    Hi all,

    Well I've finally found a possible small lesson pony who has (so far) only one problem, he pulls to the gate and stops.

    Let me tell you about what I am looking for and what he is/does.

    I have a small lesson program and have several little kids ages 6,7 8 that are all ready to be turned loose. They can all ride the med pony that I have for lessons but I don't trust him to turn them loose. I trot along with them but they do all of the work. I 'm just there for extra brakes. They are all 45-50 lbs soaking wet. Tiny kids so they obviously need a small pony which I know can be trouble.

    For the moment, and I know this can change, he wants to stop and pull the kids to the gate. He doesn't spook, which is important in my ring because it is right on the road. He doesn't buck, rear, bite, kick.

    Little kids can lead, groom, bathe, etc.

    I'm on the fence about this little guy sota speak. I do get a good vibe from him it's just this one thing.

    His past is not one where he has had any disipline and I feel like this could be dealt with. I'm thinking daisy reins and a full cheek bit.

    Would this be a deal breaker for you. His personality is so sweet and I will and big kids will be riding him to get him and keep him tuned up.

    What do you guys think. Send him back or give him a shot?

  • #2
    Sounds like overall he's a nice pony for your needs--is there anyone who can give him a tune up? Have anyone with a good firm seat and no fear you can pop up there, let them ride a little schlocky, and then a big correction for gate pulling? Instructor can back it up with a longe whip if kid can stick to a little zipping away from the whip. (My coach had me doing this with a sticky one as a kid--I thought it was a riot to ride around like a beginner, then give him a big boot when he tried to run me to the gate). He fixed up quite nicely and went on to be a good schooling pony.

    Of course, never dismount at the gate or the center of the ring, just various places around the ring, that sort of thing.

    If the price reflected the issue, or you could get him on a month's try out, might be a good deal in the rough.
    Eileen
    http://themaresnest.us

    Comment


    • #3
      lol...tough spot..we have 2 small/med in our lesson program..both came in with a similar habit...one got over it with schooling from a bigger kid..one did not (goes great for bigger kid/or on long line) but will drag small kid every time.

      Can you take him for a month or so, and see if he will school out of it?

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is my personal experience. My parents own an ADORABLE bay small who teaches all the kids to ride on the lunge line. she is quiet, dependable, and as soon as you turn them loose its off to the gate! She stops and WILL not move! My girls and nieces have ridden her since they were little, finally at 11 my niece is strong enough ( and not too heavy) to make her go around. Of course she is now too big to show her. Even after a short training session with the older kids as soon as the little ones get on her its a B line for a gate. We purchased my youngest her own small pony this summer for this EXACT reason! Our new small pony does not have gate issues.
        IF you can get the pony on trial and have the bigger kids school her it might be worth a try, otherwise I would pass, sounds like you already have several that need a constant human sitter while the little ones ride , you don't need another one!
        Kim
        If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.

        Comment


        • #5
          With schooling from a bigger kid I think pony should come around. I think most ponies, especially if they've been around the block, have the potential to do this - until some one gets after them consistently for a bit.

          I'd say go for it.

          Eiride - I used to get to school the naughty ponies that way too as a kid. So much fun! I love ponies!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Yeah, I kind of have a gut feeling that he will school out of it. Spooking would break the deal but I think this little guy just has never had anyone really teach him not to pull.

            Like I said I will ride him as well as the big kids. I also have an 11 yr old who is as big as a 7 yr old but is strong as an ox who will be schooling him for me.

            He is fine up to the gate and once you get him past it and at the other end of the ring he is totally fine.

            Like I said my ring is right on the road and not spooking at the scairy traffic is a major plus for him.

            Comment


            • #7
              That feature would really piss me off. But as you say, the rest of the pony is good. I'd want to make sure he could be schooled out of it, not so deviously smart that he can't be changed because he retests every rider.

              In you shoes, I'd have a bigger kid school him. But before I was done, I'd have the kid give the pony the "stupid ride"-- meaning a loose or uncertain ride that mimics the one he might get from the smaller kids. You are getting the bigger kid to invite the pony to make the mistake he will with the wee ones. Post-schooling, if the pony is smart enough to know "weight means business" then pass on the pony. He'll need a really little kid pony jock and those are hard to come by.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment


              • #8
                I say go for it!
                "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong

                Comment


                • #9
                  My son's pony did this, and we cured it by allowing the pony to go to the gate, but as soon as she reached it, he would smartly tap her on the shoulder until she moved away from the gate.
                  Man plans. God laughs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How old is the pony and what was his previous program like? Since reliable, safe smalls are VERY hard to find, I would think seriously about taking this one if he fits your program. first off, I would get on him (of if you cant ride him have someone else do it) and see if he does it with a better rider. If he does I would then see how he reacts to correction. If after a 20 minute ride I couldnt school him out of it, I would hesitate. If, after 20 mins I could get him to behave with me, I would take him.

                    Smalls are tough and smart. They know exactly waht they can do. If anything, if he is safe, saafe, safe, the worst that will happen is that he teaches kids how to be aggressive (firm) and purposeful and serve to improve thier riding. at best, you have yourself a gem that is worth his little weight in gold
                    Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OK..let me clarify:

                      1. By aggressive, I do not mean little kids beating a pony past a gate. I mean teraching kids to ride with purpose and determination and to improve their strength and timing

                      2. When I say 20 mins, I mean that as the LONGEST amount of time. If he was still fighting me after 20 mins, I would most likely pass on him as a lesson pony...he doesnt want to play the game. I wasnt suggesting it takes me 20 mins to get anything past a gate. However, I have been on some that have some habits so ingrained in them, it might take more time than you want to invest to get him to behave. Hope this makes sense
                      Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How strongly does he pull? I really hate teaching on ponies that do this. I have one that pulls so hard its impossible for the kids to sit back, keep their heels down, etc. and the ones that fight back end up with bloody, blistered little hands. Its impossible for a small one to work on anything with this pony but sitting up and trying to stop her and usually they just don't have the physical strength to make a difference, so its almost a complete waste of a lesson.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It wouldn't put me off at all. I'd have him under long reins to do the initial training and I've got a very good apprentice groom that's tiny for exactly those sort of circumstances.

                          It doesn't normally take long to sort that sort of behaviour out.

                          You may want him on lunge line the first few times he's got novices or little children on him just to ensure he doesn't go back to his old ways.

                          I always think that kimblewicks are good bits for little children and wilful ponies. It's for what they were originally intended.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It depends on the intent of the pony.

                            there was a cute pony at a place I worked at that was strictly a leadline pony. I was small enough that I got on him one day and found out why - he darts from the back of the ring (he was facing away at the time) to the gate so fast I was on the ground before I knew what happened. Not good for a little rank beginner.

                            On the other hand, one lesson pony where I am now will go to the center of the ring if she sees another horse there and the rider does not really steer. If you turn her head, give her a kick, she will reluctantly go back on the rail and to work, but if you sit there, or pull the rein just slightly (like some kids do), she will scoff at you and stay put. It is good to teach kids about assertiveness with the horse.

                            So...depends on degree of pulling to the gate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              About a month and a half ago, I did a couple of tune-up rides for a large pony-sized 30 y/o Morgan, who would dash for the gate and scare the kiddos. She only tried it on a couple of times with me, for less than 5 minutes, and we did a lot of work on going past the gate, through the gate, stopping with the gate open and either backing, walking, or trotting off. Then, about a month ago, her owner had me hop on again for a few minutes just before one of the kids rode her, and do the "stupid ride" that mvp describes - deliberately flopping around a bit, leaning on her neck, etc. In less than 5 minutes, she was trotting quietly on a loose rein and ignoring the gate, and she was an angel for the kids. They've been riding her since, and I did one more tune-up with her (she's fun to ride anyway), and she hasn't given any further trouble. http://www.youtube.com/v/OAYWWXMM1H8 You can see her turn her head toward the gate for about one or two strides there, but she didn't do anything naughty, and for the rest of the video she didn't do it again. I'm certainly not an advanced rider, and she wasn't truly bolting or anything like that, just a little more than tiny beginner kids could cope with. She goes nicely in a plain snaffle, but like Thomas said, some ponies/kids need a little more bit.
                              Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Lots of stuff they can do far worse then this-that is impossible to school out.

                                Shopping for lesson Ponies, especially a Small, on any kind of a budget means a little compromise somewhere along the line. This is not a bad one.

                                I guess, being around a big lesson program stuffed with Ponies (not to mention the fancy show types), I have seen alot of what can be fixed, worked with or tolerated versus things that cannot.

                                I got no problem with this one. BUT it's because you did say you have some bigger kids plus yourself and are willing to make some er...adjustments. I'd never say yes for somebody's backyard buddy or anything outside a training situation.

                                But here it's a yes.

                                HINT...have somebody stand at the gate with one of the better little Pony jocks aboard giving that sloppy beginner ride. Give person standing at gate a lunge whip.

                                Amazing, they can see that at 50 yards.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I have a lovely,lovely, small horse that does this. I really discipline him when he does this and then carry on in whatever we are doing. He is a million times better and we can actually trot by the gate without him longingly looking towards the barn. Maybe you or someone else can get on and school it out of him. I am not rough with my horses, i love them all, but when he does this i really give it to him in a dose that is appropriate for the situation.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                                    On the other hand, one lesson pony where I am now will go to the center of the ring if she sees another horse there and the rider does not really steer. If you turn her head, give her a kick, she will reluctantly go back on the rail and to work, but if you sit there, or pull the rein just slightly (like some kids do), she will scoff at you and stay put. It is good to teach kids about assertiveness with the horse.

                                    So...depends on degree of pulling to the gate.

                                    That made me laugh! When I was teaching lessons there was a pony that would come into the center of the ring to me every chance she got if she thought the kiddo wasn't going to correct her. She was like "Oh are you talking to girlie? Then I better trot right up to you so she can hear better. Are we finished yet?" Some kids could deal with it and learned that it didn't take much to keep her mind on work but there were one or two that just got too frustrated and had to ride something else.

                                    I also agree with whoever said it should only take 20 minutes at the most to keep the pony from running out the open gate. Last time I schooled a small it tried to run me out of the gate and scrape me off in the process! Very naughty pony. Had someone there with the whip and I wouldn't let it get out. Then we had a number of "discussions" as we went past the gate over and over again and then finally I could go on a loose rein and it behaved.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by QM2 View Post
                                      Hi all,

                                      Well I've finally found a possible small lesson pony who has (so far) only one problem, he pulls to the gate and stops.

                                      Let me tell you about what I am looking for and what he is/does.

                                      I have a small lesson program and have several little kids ages 6,7 8 that are all ready to be turned loose. They can all ride the med pony that I have for lessons but I don't trust him to turn them loose. I trot along with them but they do all of the work. I 'm just there for extra brakes. They are all 45-50 lbs soaking wet. Tiny kids so they obviously need a small pony which I know can be trouble.

                                      For the moment, and I know this can change, he wants to stop and pull the kids to the gate. He doesn't spook, which is important in my ring because it is right on the road. He doesn't buck, rear, bite, kick.

                                      Little kids can lead, groom, bathe, etc.

                                      I'm on the fence about this little guy sota speak. I do get a good vibe from him it's just this one thing.

                                      His past is not one where he has had any disipline and I feel like this could be dealt with. I'm thinking daisy reins and a full cheek bit.

                                      Would this be a deal breaker for you. His personality is so sweet and I will and big kids will be riding him to get him and keep him tuned up.

                                      What do you guys think. Send him back or give him a shot?

                                      Offer to lease him for a month, and see how he works out. Then, buy him if you find he fits your program.
                                      Inner Bay Equestrian
                                      Facebook
                                      KERx

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Hm pulling to the gate can be a hard thing to break. I'd say if this pony is for kids that young and that small try it out for a month or two before passing. The only problem I see with having an older kid or adult "break" the pony of this habit is who's to say that the pony will stop doing this with the little ones who aren't as strong or have the leverage/muscle strength that may be needed. The pony may realize you mean business but could just as easily switch its attitude when it sees or feels a young child on its back.

                                        Good Luck!

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