View Full Version : New pony
2nd Nov 2004, 02:37 PM
I've just taken a pony on part loan and wanted some advice really. She is a stunning pony and I'm having no problems riding her - even hacked her out on our own the 2nd time I took her out which was very brave I thought. We didn't go faster than a trot though.
Anyway the problems I am having are on the ground. She absolutely hates her rug being put on or taken off and has attempted to kick me many times and has bitten me once. I don't have much experience of mares so wondered if mares particularly hate having their girth done up as well as being rugged? What is the safest way to rug her without getting bitten or kicked. I can see myself being battered and bruised quickly.
Thanks for your help in advance
2nd Nov 2004, 02:44 PM
no, it's not a mare thing. the most likely cause is that somewhere along the line someone has hurt her and she has a long memory!
check her rugs fit well, don;t rub anywhere, you don't pinch her when doing the buckles up etc. check the withers especially, under the mane, as they can get sores there.
once you've checked and made sure that she's in no pain now, then tie her up short so she can't get you when you rug her up, first of all. make sure you are very gentle and deliberate when you do the rugs, don't fling them on or drag them off - make sure she is as comfortable as possible. if she has leg straps, do them back up before you take the rug off - then they won't flap around and hit her legs when the rug goes back on.
hopefully, once she realises that it no longer hurts and she's got no reason to bite, it should ease off. especially as she gets to know you and knows you won't hurt her - with a new person she may be just being defensive and it'll ease off as she gets to know you anyway.
does she also object to the girth beign done up?
2nd Nov 2004, 03:36 PM
It's not a defined mare trait, but both of mine are savage when being rugged and girthed and also when having their underside brushed. As they're both TB and have well fitting tack and rugs i put it down to being over-sensitive.
Would agree with all that Es says. Also be firm and if she goes to bite you shove her head away and tell her "no" and she should get a bit better (as in she snaps at the air and makes faces rather than actually eating you!!)
I'm afraid i have had to learn to dodge with mine, it's just one of their less charming mannerisms!
2nd Nov 2004, 03:45 PM
Oh well I guess I had better get used to it then - and make sure I keep my well padded coat on! Not that worried about the biting really its the legs thrashing about that make me move very quickly!
Thanks for your advice. I will try tying her up shorter as well.
No she's not keen on her girth being tightened either but not as bad as being rugged.
2nd Nov 2004, 03:50 PM
that's also either remembered pain, or her saddle doesn;t fit and it hurts now, or perhaps she's just sensitive and ticklish. some horses are, and they find it very hard to tolerate things tickling them, like the rug moving over their hair, or the girth ruffling the hair,. how is she about grooming?
if she is just a delicate flower, then you just need to let her know that she can't bite *you*, as sophini says, and do your best to minimise the tickling.
2nd Nov 2004, 03:53 PM
I wouldn't say get used to it as it is bad manners and she needs to know that it's not acceptable, but you will find you learn to manage it.
If she's grumpy being girthed then she may have had a badly fitting saddle or rugs before so she associates the previous pain with the action of tacking/rugging up. This can be hard to break but being gentle but firm should help with the biting, the kicking i would probably shove her sidways away from you then reward her when she stops and stands. Try and make sure you're talking to her all the time to keep her from getting too wound up, if you're get cross or nervous or rush things she will pick up on that and react badly as a result.
Has her owner had these problems? Is she better if she has some hay to pick at whilst you're changing rugs?
2nd Nov 2004, 04:13 PM
thanks. Her owner does have the same problem - she hasn't mentioned anything to me about any bad experiences. her owner has had her for 10 years I think.
I stuck a polo under her nose whilst putting the rug on at the weekend and I managed to distract her enough to get it done up! Bribery always works.
2nd Nov 2004, 04:14 PM
I'd check with the owner, she might be trying it on to see what she can get away with!
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