New pony kicked me - help!

Philosopycat

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Sep 9, 2020
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We have had our lovely fat little coblet (first pony ever) for about 4 weeks now. He is kept on a fantastic yard on full livery and is turned out every day with a small herd of geldings. Yard owners have had no problems with him. Me neither until today! wenbt to catch him with bucket of feed. lots of ears back and bum turning. and then cow kicked catching me in my thigh. It really hurts. I was so shocked I didn’t react towards him (wish I had slapped him with the lead rope). right after that he reared up at a nearby horse. I perservered and got the headcollar on him and brought him in, but didn’t ride him. he was also really pissed off with me in the stable - ears, bum, etc. trying to work out how to approach things tomorrow. the other horses were crowding us when I was trying to catch him - could this be it? could it be the treats in the bucket? I have been usijng apples but last couple of times he snatched them and ran off ... the yard owenrs also find him difficult to catch but he hasn’t tried it on with them. should I take a long whip tomorrow? harrass him until stands still? leave it for a few days? I’ve heard of new pony horrors and I know it is early days, but I want to nip this in the bud and have him trust and respect me. the yard owners say he is really smart so I don’t wany him to get ideas stuck in his head. he is a great little ride and is really starting to listen to me. sorry for long post. this is such a kind forum ( this is my first post) Thanks !!
 

Jessey

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First breathe ?‍♀️ it will all work out in the wash but you’re right to want to address it head on before it becomes a habit, new horses will often test boundaries and calm consistent interactions will get you where you need to be.

Personally I don’t do bribery to catch, I’ve had it fail to help or cause more problems (as the bucket probably did here) too many times in the past! If being in a herd makes it harder, work on catch and release in a solo space (spare paddock, arena etc) and don’t always catch him to work him when he’s out with his buds, he’ll soon associate you with only that. Spend time doing advance and retreat but you need to be sure you get your timing spot on or you’ll reinforce the current problem.

I recently bought a 2 year old who’d apparently had very limited handling and had obviously been wearing a headcollar full time in the field, a real hint they couldn’t catch him as the others weren’t. Within about a week with me he clocked I was worth knowing and now (3.5 months on) he’s like me shadow when ever I’m doing anything, getting him out from under my feet is more the issue ?

Above all keep yourself safe, wear your hat and if he so much as hints at his butt coming your way send him away from you rather sharpish, shout, stamp, cluck, twirl your lead rope or indeed swish a whip, but be sure to be very clear and consistent about what you are discouraging so he doesn’t get the wrong end of the stick and get worse to be caught.
 
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Philosopycat

New Member
Sep 9, 2020
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First breathe ?‍♀️ it will all work out in the wash but you’re right to want to address it head on before it becomes a habit, new horses will often test boundaries and calm consistent interactions will get you where you need to be.

Personally I don’t do bribery to catch, I’ve had it fail to help or cause more problems too many times in the past! If being in a herd makes it harder, work on catch and release in a solo space (spare paddock, arena etc) and don’t always catch him to work him when he’s out with his buds, he’ll soon associate you with only that. Spend time doing advance and retreat but you need to be sure you get your timing spot on or you’ll reinforce the current problem.

I recently bought a 2 year old who’d apparently had very limited handling and had obviously been wearing a headcollar full time in the field, a real hint they couldn’t catch him as the others weren’t. Within about a week with me he clocked I was worth knowing and now (3.5 months on) he’s like me shadow when ever I’m doing anything, getting him out from under my feet is more the issue ?

Above all keep yourself safe, wear your hat and if he so much as hints at his butt coming your way send him away from you rather sharpish, shout, stamp, cluck, twirl your lead rope or indeed swish a whip, but be sure to be very clear and consistent about what you are discouraging so he doesn’t get the wrong end of the stick and get worse to be caught.
thank you - that’s very reassuring. staying calm will be key. i am going to catch him tomorrow and spend some quality time grooming, then working on his manners being led etc. the riding bit seems easy compared to getting the tone right with him!
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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Bringing a bucket of feed into a field full of horses is not a great idea. The horses will all gravitate towards you and it causes competitive and aggressive behaviour as they all want the food.

My horse has always been tricky to catch and the key has been making him come to me in the field. He needs to make the decision that I am safe and worth coming in for. It takes time to build that relationship and things won’t improve overnight.

I would suggest ditching the bucket but have a small treat in your hand or pocket that you can discreetly give him once you have caught him. Turn him out in a leather headcollar so the lead rope is easy to click onto and be quiet in your approach. Quiet persistence is the key in my opinion. I have found that keeping a crisp packet in my pocket and standing still, looking down and making a noise with it has been enough to make my horse curious enough to walk over to me. Or going round and gently patting the other horses can also give off the vibe that you are a safe person. It might sound daft, but sitting in the field reading a book is likely to make him come to you. Horses are naturally curious and social beings, they enjoy human interaction but need to trust the humans to look after them.

If he seriously tries to kick you I would make myself big and as scary as I can, but I suspect in your case the problem was due to the food bucket and the other horses crowding. I think that being patient, calm and confident will build your relationship and his trust in you.
 

Philosopycat

New Member
Sep 9, 2020
5
11
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Bringing a bucket of feed into a field full of horses is not a great idea. The horses will all gravitate towards you and it causes competitive and aggressive behaviour as they all want the food.

My horse has always been tricky to catch and the key has been making him come to me in the field. He needs to make the decision that I am safe and worth coming in for. It takes time to build that relationship and things won’t improve overnight.

I would suggest ditching the bucket but have a small treat in your hand or pocket that you can discreetly give him once you have caught him. Turn him out in a leather headcollar so the lead rope is easy to click onto and be quiet in your approach. Quiet persistence is the key in my opinion. I have found that keeping a crisp packet in my pocket and standing still, looking down and making a noise with it has been enough to make my horse curious enough to walk over to me. Or going round and gently patting the other horses can also give off the vibe that you are a safe person. It might sound daft, but sitting in the field reading a book is likely to make him come to you. Horses are naturally curious and social beings, they enjoy human interaction but need to trust the humans to look after them.

If he seriously tries to kick you I would make myself big and as scary as I can, but I suspect in your case the problem was due to the food bucket and the other horses crowding. I think that being patient, calm and confident will build your relationship and his trust in you.
thanlks a lot - this makes a lot of sense to me. he is trying to find his place in the herd and they were all crowding for the feed. i am going to try to catch him today with different tactics. if i manage he will get a lovely quiet groom and an apple, and then back in the field. i’ve read it can take months if not years to build up trust - i’m in this for the long game and i want him to want to come to me. thnaks again
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Jings! I'd be dead if I went into the field with a bucket - and there's only two of them! Agree with all the above - I'd even say treat when you're through the gate. If you carry on doing what you're doing, ie a nice fuss, groom and a feed, he'll soon click that coming in is rather nice, and not always work.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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What you're doing today sounds ideal.

As for building up trust, it does take time, but it mightn't be as long as you think. I had my first pony 10 years and at the end of that time we knew and trusted each other through and through. But after only about 3 months he was fine to catch, and after a year he trusted me enough to come back to me when I'd had a fall, even though he was scared. He'd not had a great life before I got him and I think he was pleased to find a human who would treat him kindly and consistently.
 
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Debbieann

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Dec 13, 2020
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We have had our lovely fat little coblet (first pony ever) for about 4 weeks now. He is kept on a fantastic yard on full livery and is turned out every day with a small herd of geldings. Yard owners have had no problems with him. Me neither until today! wenbt to catch him with bucket of feed. lots of ears back and bum turning. and then cow kicked catching me in my thigh. It really hurts. I was so shocked I didn’t react towards him (wish I had slapped him with the lead rope). right after that he reared up at a nearby horse. I perservered and got the headcollar on him and brought him in, but didn’t ride him. he was also really pissed off with me in the stable - ears, bum, etc. trying to work out how to approach things tomorrow. the other horses were crowding us when I was trying to catch him - could this be it? could it be the treats in the bucket? I have been usijng apples but last couple of times he snatched them and ran off ... the yard owenrs also find him difficult to catch but he hasn’t tried it on with them. should I take a long whip tomorrow? harrass him until stands still? leave it for a few days? I’ve heard of new pony horrors and I know it is early days, but I want to nip this in the bud and have him trust and respect me. the yard owners say he is really smart so I don’t wany him to get ideas stuck in his head. he is a great little ride and is really starting to listen to me. sorry for long post. this is such a kind forum ( this is my first post) Thanks !!
Hi I’m completely new to this site and am also having some issues with our first pony purchase.
we brought him at auction and he was delivered last Thursday morning. He’s a gorgeous looking 3 year old gelded welsh section A pony 11.2 hands all white ...
not having owned ponies before ever , have had a few snippets of advice from friends but I think im a bit out of my depth with his behaviour ? I know it’s early days and he’s only still adjusting to life with his new owners and surroundings ...but I’m worried it’s not a good sign that he’s extremely jumpy at loud noises and I go in the paddock daily with treats ( apples and carrots etc) trying to gain his trust ( he came as broken in ridden by 2 small boys , but they got bored with him apparently and he’s been pastured for the last 12 months, he’s only 3 years old) he comes up to me after being coaxed with treats but is very wary ( as am I) he’s turned on me quite a few times now and gone to rear end at me , this morning he did it and I got out of his way in time .
I brought him for my 5 year old granddaughter to ride when she visits , but am concerned that he’s not going to get any better ? has anyone any ideas on how to break this habit and or any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated... thank you ? any responses to the previous post might help me also . Sorry for hijacking your previous post but I’m needing similar help . Thank you in advance ?
 
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Huggy

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Hi I’m completely new to this site and am also having some issues with our first pony purchase.
we brought him at auction and he was delivered last Thursday morning. He’s a gorgeous looking 3 year old gelded welsh section A pony 11.2 hands all white ...
not having owned ponies before ever , have had a few snippets of advice from friends but I think im a bit out of my depth with his behaviour ? I know it’s early days and he’s only still adjusting to life with his new owners and surroundings ...but I’m worried it’s not a good sign that he’s extremely jumpy at loud noises and I go in the paddock daily with treats ( apples and carrots etc) trying to gain his trust ( he came as broken in ridden by 2 small boys , but they got bored with him apparently and he’s been pastured for the last 12 months, he’s only 3 years old) he comes up to me after being coaxed with treats but is very wary ( as am I) he’s turned on me quite a few times now and gone to rear end at me , this morning he did it and I got out of his way in time .
I brought him for my 5 year old granddaughter to ride when she visits , but am concerned that he’s not going to get any better ? has anyone any ideas on how to break this habit and or any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated... thank you ? any responses to the previous post might help me also . Sorry for hijacking your previous post but I’m needing similar help . Thank you in advance ?
It's very early days for him - and he's very young. Imagine how you'd feel a few days after moving into a new home, new people - totally out of your comfort zone. Poor wee lad has no idea what's going on! If you only got him Thursday, I'd say you've got a way to go (and would have even if he were older) My farrier uses the 6 month rule for a horse to settle in a new home - take everything very slowly, and even more important, very gently. Spend time in the field with him, let him come to you in his own time while you're there. Catch him, pet him, turn him loose. He's very young to have been backed and ridden - (at 2!) from what you wrote. Personally, I'd really just handle him, get him used to you and gently teach him the basic manners - it sounds like he's been rushed in the past. When the time comes for him to be ridden, I'd get an experienced person to start him again. Sorry - that sounds like a lot, and a slow road, but you've taken on a baby, with not the best start in life. You can make things so much better for him. ?
 
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Debbieann

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It's very early days for him - and he's very young. Imagine how you'd feel a few days after moving into a new home, new people - totally out of your comfort zone. Poor wee lad has no idea what's going on! If you only got him Thursday, I'd say you've got a way to go (and would have even if he were older) My farrier uses the 6 month rule for a horse to settle in a new home - take everything very slowly, and even more important, very gently. Spend time in the field with him, let him come to you in his own time while you're there. Catch him, pet him, turn him loose. He's very young to have been backed and ridden - (at 2!) from what you wrote. Personally, I'd really just handle him, get him used to you and gently teach him the basic manners - it sounds like he's been rushed in the past. When the time comes for him to be ridden, I'd get an experienced person to start him again. Sorry - that sounds like a lot, and a slow road, but you've taken on a baby, with not the best start in life. You can make things so much better for him. ?
Thank you so much huggy .. sounds like good solid advice. I agree totally, I just wasn’t sure on the timeframe... more than happy to wait and get to know hI’m better ... my granddaughter will have to understand that all good things come to those that wait ? thank you again I’m happy knowing that quite obviously your experienced in these scenarios ?
 

chunky monkey

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Eek. Three year old. Green horse, green owner, with young child riders. Could be an accident waiting to happen. Im sorry but you may have been better to buy something thats got the tshirt, probably the other end of the age range.
You have him now. So hopefully you can make it all good. I would spend the time working on the ground work for a year, then get him properly broken. His bones and muscle may not be formed for another year and riding to young could cause back issues etc if ridden to early in life. Get yourself some local instructors who can help you with ground work and teach you how to handle.

He sounds like he has been left in the field and not handled at all recently. You need to build a good bond. Theres some good advice already been given.
 

Debbieann

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Dec 13, 2020
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Eek. Three year old. Green horse, green owner, with young child riders. Could be an accident waiting to happen. Im sorry but you may have been better to buy something thats got the tshirt, probably the other end of the age range.
You have him now. So hopefully you can make it all good. I would spend the time working on the ground work for a year, then get him properly broken. His bones and muscle may not be formed for another year and riding to young could cause back issues etc if ridden to early in life. Get yourself some local instructors who can help you with ground work and teach you how to handle.

He sounds like he has been left in the field and not handled at all recently. You need to build a good bond. Theres some good advice already been given.
Thank you ? yes I think the advice so far is the way to go ... so onwards and upwards.. my relationship with Him is far more important at this stage and I don’t want him messed up any more ?thank you again ?
 

Jessey

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he’s turned on me quite a few times now and gone to rear end at me , this morning he did it and I got out of his way in time .
I totally agree with the others but this also stood out to me, in the horse world the lesser animal is the one who gets out of the way, reaffirming the others higher rank in the herd. So while staying safe, I’d try to be sure you send the pony away when he pulls any antics, so that he doesn’t start to think he’s in charge. I’m not staying don’t get out the way if you’re going to get hit, but if you can take control of the situation safely do so, if you don’t know how then a baby is probably the wrong choice for you because there’s an awful lot you’re going to have to teach him over the next few years, at the very least get an instructor/trainer to help you learn to deal with him on the ground.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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My trainer's first task with me was can you catch your horses? He said it was good to just wander around the field, go give them a scratch, say hello, not bring them in, not associate it with work at all. and yes I can catch them all. The one we couldn't we did join up with took 3 hours and failed then next day he did it. He was then easy to catch and on the rare occasions I couldn't i just put him onto a circle and invited him to come in and he remembered this game and did it, Or I would get close to him and ask him to lift a foot, and would lift his foot, scratch him and catch and often just release him again just to ensure it was no big deal. I would if possible keep him in for a bit and work on handling on a yard, stable, teach yielding if you can or get someone to come in and help you a bit as it is harder to undo bad behaviour learned by accident than it is to teach in a way they can understand and work with. Buckets and herds of horses are always a bad idea unless you want to get flattened.....the worst one i have with that would be my riding horse Buddy, who is herd leader and believes he is perfect. Which he is, but just occasionally i have to remind him that he has to do what i would like him to do....I installed a coral at the gateway, when i had to bring my herd in at night and cross a road, so for safety. just a bit of hardcore and a second gate so you could lead one in there close the gate and then take out of the field. I am amazed that very few folks do that as it makes life so much easier, you can groom, tack up in there and it avoids a melee at the gate as in a livery you are having to deal with other folks horses who may or may not be good to handle. It would make safety in livery yards much better for the owners and horses as it gives you a space to isolate and avoid getting caught up in herd politics or bad manners.
 

Debbieann

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Dec 13, 2020
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I totally agree with the others but this also stood out to me, in the horse world the lesser animal is the one who gets out of the way, reaffirming the others higher rank in the herd. So while staying safe, I’d try to be sure you send the pony away when he pulls any antics, so that he doesn’t start to think he’s in charge. I’m not staying don’t get out the way if you’re going to get hit, but if you can take control of the situation safely do so, if you don’t know how then a baby is probably the wrong choice for you because there’s an awful lot you’re going to have to teach him over the next few years, at the very least get an instructor/trainer to help you learn to deal with him on the ground.
Thank you for the advice jessey I have a couple of horsey friends that would point me in the right direction for a trainer ... I will definitely pursue that , but I’m in for the long haul I’m not the sort of person to give up so I will be like a sponge soaking up any advice and information I can get ... his previous owner said her 2 young boys used to ride him , but as mentioned before by someone he was very young then to be ridde so I think I will start from scratch , and First on the agenda is to get his trust and let him know who’s boss also . Thank you kindly ?
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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Thank you for the advice jessey I have a couple of horsey friends that would point me in the right direction for a trainer ... I will definitely pursue that , but I’m in for the long haul I’m not the sort of person to give up so I will be like a sponge soaking up any advice and information I can get ... his previous owner said her 2 young boys used to ride him , but as mentioned before by someone he was very young then to be ridde so I think I will start from scratch , and First on the agenda is to get his trust and let him know who’s boss also . Thank you kindly ?
We taught Leo by sending him away to teach him to be caught and if any of mine play up they get this huge scary monster sending them out of my space. The only one who tends to sometimes ignore that is Buddy as he gets away with more than the others, but i just need to sink Suze a look and say Suze and she freezes. It does not necessarily work with donkeys......
 

Philosopycat

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Sep 9, 2020
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Hi I’m completely new to this site and am also having some issues with our first pony purchase.
we brought him at auction and he was delivered last Thursday morning. He’s a gorgeous looking 3 year old gelded welsh section A pony 11.2 hands all white ...
not having owned ponies before ever , have had a few snippets of advice from friends but I think im a bit out of my depth with his behaviour ? I know it’s early days and he’s only still adjusting to life with his new owners and surroundings ...but I’m worried it’s not a good sign that he’s extremely jumpy at loud noises and I go in the paddock daily with treats ( apples and carrots etc) trying to gain his trust ( he came as broken in ridden by 2 small boys , but they got bored with him apparently and he’s been pastured for the last 12 months, he’s only 3 years old) he comes up to me after being coaxed with treats but is very wary ( as am I) he’s turned on me quite a few times now and gone to rear end at me , this morning he did it and I got out of his way in time .
I brought him for my 5 year old granddaughter to ride when she visits , but am concerned that he’s not going to get any better ? has anyone any ideas on how to break this habit and or any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated... thank you ? any responses to the previous post might help me also . Sorry for hijacking your previous post but I’m needing similar help . Thank you in advance ?
Hi there good luck with it! Someone here said calm quiet and persistent. I did this - advancing and retreating - and eventually caught mine without conflict. Spent 40 mins cuddling and grooming with treats then back to his mates in field. Next day he walked up to me and let me put headcollar on right away. I could not believe it! I’m going to catch him for a pamper session at least one day a week from now on xx
 
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