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100+ ways to make your pony miserable on the way to making it a better equine citizen

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  • 100+ ways to make your pony miserable on the way to making it a better equine citizen

    OK, I hope you got the tongue in cheek humor.

    I'm really talking about things horses don't initially like, and you do them and they become nicer and easier to have around.

    Such as rustling a rag or plastic bag all over their bodies, or kicking the arena wall as you ride by.

    Suggestions for such a list would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Good with feet, walking through water, being sprayed by a hose, being clipped, being blanketed, respecting a person's space, not biting, good with leading, not freaking out with Velcro or cell phones ringing or heavy equipment or ....., standing tied, letting you carry a whip and not freaking out, being around kids or dogs, riding on the trail, loading on a trailer....

    And I'm sure there are many more, especially considering that about the only thing that horses like is eating grass and sleeping. Everything else is an imposition!!!


    • #3
      Putting the dreaded wool cooler on my mare! I really don't understand why that thing is so absolutely terrifying. She doesn't mind blankets too much. Put the cooler on, though, and she goes from quiet and happy to fire breathing dragon. But only if you're on her back. She's perfectly sweet and calm about it if no saddles are involved.

      Of course, this does mean she gets to experience more time under the cooler... Just for kicks!! She has no idea that the torture will decrease if only she acts like she doesn't care.

      Coolers do require assistants... Someone needs to calmly remove the cooler from her rump after a couple laps at the walk. When we're cooling out, someone needs to very gingerly drape the thing on her. I'm completely useless during any of this because my sole job is to keep my dragon relatively still.
      Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


      • #4
        Dealing with bicycles, umbrellas, strollers and balloons. And any other weird crap you can POSSIBLY think of that might happen in a fair environment. Cows, goats, pigs, ponies?

        Although right now we are working on standing while mounting. Small steps, right? But Miss Mare IS wonderful with all sorts of flapping tarp nonsense!


        • #5
          My mare is ridiculously tolerant and well behaved. I've had everybody from vets to trainers to complete beginners comment on her wonderful ground manners and relaxed manner. Part of it is her personality, but I also "torture" her quite a bit. She's not "allowed" to be afraid of things.

          She is regularily subjected to things like this:
          Fit Dog Blog
          Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitDogBlog
          Blogger: http://fitdogblog.blogspot.ca/
          Blog Post: How I Became a Werehorse and a Bit About Bites


          • #6
            You should be able to lead 'em into the house.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat


            • #7
              Besides scary things, and moving them around the arena/barn (just to scare them a bit more)...

              Riding them bareback, playing games on them (like Around the World, Thread the Needle) - the sorts of things kids will do to them, if they become a kids' pony.

              Hugging (because they're adorably cute)

              Leading by the forelock or mane

              Backing up by pulling the tail (great for straight-load trailers - you never know you need this until you need this!)

              Voice commands (like over, back, clucking)

              Tolerating having their heads washed, heads clipped, mane braided, being the last one fed, the last one out of the barn, changing paddocks so they aren't near their "friends"

              Putting on a slinky

              Head down on command

              Open/close gates

              Hobbling is a great skill

              Then we start on the totally unnecessary:

              -going swimming with deranged half-naked humans

              -getting them to drag a toboggan (this rarely ends well)

              You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


              • #8
                Bounce a beach ball off their butt.
                Drape a fake fluffy boa over their neck on a windy day.
                Drag a trash bag of empty coke cans behind them, while riding them.
                Pop balloons in front of them. Try it while mounted.


                • #9
                  Shooting a gun off around them and on them!
                  Introducing them to other barn yard friends. Pigs, chickens, geese, cows, Llamas, the dreaded MINI! Mules!


                  • #10
                    Introducing them to emus and ostrich!


                    • #11
                      Roll a "horse soccer" ball under their belly.

                      Making him approach the (fenced in) above-ground pool the BO's daughter was splashing around in and letting him graze near it. See? No monsters!

                      Approaching the goats.

                      Grazing muzzle during summer.

                      Making him hold up his feet longer than necessary when picking them out so he gets practice for when the farrier comes.

                      Not letting him lean down to snatch grass while riding/leading/being handled.

                      Making him halt on the trail even when we're headed home.

                      Going up and down the hill on the way home so he gets some hillwork. Instead of just going straight home.

                      Once we get home, bypassing the hitching posts, riding around the barn, then down around the fields. How dare we not stop immediately upon returning!!!!!
                      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                      • #12
                        Right now Sam and I are working on the idea that coming into
                        the barn by yourself while your herd mates stay outside is not going
                        to cause the world to end or poor Sam to die!
                        ~\"Think today so you will be here to think tomorrow\" Burma Shave~


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Preposterous Ponies! View Post
                          My mare is ridiculously tolerant and well behaved. I've had everybody from vets to trainers to complete beginners comment on her wonderful ground manners and relaxed manner. Part of it is her personality, but I also "torture" her quite a bit. She's not "allowed" to be afraid of things.

                          She is regularily subjected to things like this:

                          My son has that shark hat!! She looks totally unamused LMAO
                          Draumr Hesta Farm
                          "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                          Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm


                          • #14
                            When it's raining, I can go out to my mare's pasture, catch and halter her, lead her out to feed, then turn her back out again, all while carrying an open umbrella. (I dislike rain.)


                            • #15
                              I've made mine do much of the above, plus pony other horses (and be ponied), walk through pool noodles scattered on the ground, walk over tarps... and anything else that strikes my fancy. I think my horses have pretty much decided that I'm insane and go along with just about anything. Of course, the crazy lady is also the one who controls the food so it's better to keep her happy!
                              ~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard


                              • #16
                                You walk on your own feet, not mine.

                                No, I will not carry you. You CAN walk past the scary-whatever-it-is.

                                You can be medicated/doctored/bandaged/whatever without acting like a jackass. Or trying to kill whoever you can reach.

                                Thou shalt not kick thine farrier or vet nor any other professional I call to help you. You especially will not kick ME, no matter how mad/frustrated/whatever you get. Don't forget I AM GOD as far as you are concerned.

                                Knocking me down or making ugly face at me when it's feeding time, makes the food go away - really fast.

                                You CAN leave your friends. You CAN! You CAN! Please stop acting like I'm taking you to be executed.

                                All bad things for horses start with "W." Work, worm, wash. Tough. Deal with it.

                                Boy, this sure has made me miss my own silly boy and all his idiosyncracies. (And he had a million, believe you me.)
                                "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
                                - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

                                Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                  You should be able to lead 'em into the house.
                                  We lead the pony up to the steps for mounting block practice (we're practicing with odd objects now) you know that little snot started to follow me up the steps? He's not afraid of much man-made. When we got up to the edge of the retaining wall for the spring outfall, at the most two and a half feet down, what I'd consider a natural obstacle, drop went the shoulder and eek! went the pony.
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible


                                  • #18
                                    Noise makers and squeaky toys! Balloons and pool noodles, as mentioned. Being in the proximity of a water balloon fight and the accompanying squealing participants


                                    • #19
                                      A horse and carriage is no big deal. The carriage IS NOT eating the horse . This includes minis and thier carts .

                                      Any type of livestock must be tolerated and passed quietly.



                                      • #20
                                        Did we all forget to mention dressing up the pony? Never mind playing what I call "pretty ponies" where the pony is expected to stand for hours on end while little children comb and braid mane and tail.

                                        Ahh, pony abuse. So fun!

                                        You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng