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How many people pony horses?


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#1 Century Oak

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 09:47 PM

Suggestions? Tips? Concerns?

I have finally got a horse I think I may be able to pony some of my greenies off of, but have never really done this before.
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#2 Phoenix

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 10:11 PM

I have done it, however you need a very well trained "lead" horse.

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#3 VanAlma

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:54 AM

I agree with Lisa. When I ponied, it was off a reining horse who I could ride with a rope around his neck and nothing else. Plus, I could steer him with my legs. If your lead horse is well trained and well mannered then go for it. They can not be a kicker, a runner or have any bad manners because that could cause a non-productive and dangerous scenario.
Depending on the lead horse, I would want the "pony" close to the haunches at first in a pasture area but would allow some play because many horses prefer to pony behind the lead horse. I guess it depends on lots of variables including your own feel for what's going on.
I rode with a guy last year who ponied his yearling down the road, through a herd of cows and into a creek. She fought at first and personally I woudln't have dragged her the way he did (she was on her feet just really nervous and rearing at times) but it ended really well. His horse is a fantastic mare who does what he says when he says it. One of the things he didn't take into consideration was the lead mare was also the ALPHA so the baby was afraid to get close to her even though she wouldn't have kicked her while being ridden. That's something else to take into consideration: the horses' relationship.
It is a great way to teach the youngin's. When I was training green horses on the trail and they didn't want to cross water, the guy I used to ride with would say "get on my butt" and we would walk as one through the water to get it over with. Neither of us wanted to wait so let the lead horse teach the pony horse that it was OK.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes!

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#4 whimzybeads

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:08 PM

I pony off of Tyler all the time, even when he was a greenie...but I may not be right in the head that way, lol. I started him when he was 4 and I have been ponying off of him for the last year. If someone had told me that I would be ponying off of him, I would have told them they were nucking futs! He was THE most skiddish horse and ropes around his butt and his feet scared the dickens out of him. I did a lot of desensitizing him by throwing the rope over him and letting it get between the legs and such but he just never seemed comfortable with it...of course he got better but just didn't like it. I HAD to pony off of him...he was the only one I had that was started. This has been as good a training for him as it was for Tully....especially when the rope gets caught underneath his tail head. He clamps down and comes to a complete halt. He clamps so hard, that I have get off and lift his tail up to let it go. The way I look at this is...he'll be ready for a crupper when I need it, lol.

I think you just have to give it a try...maybe in a round pen or riding arena. I use a 12-15 ft. lead rope and seems to be a good length. The problem I was having was that Tully wanted to bite Tyler in the rear and play the whole time. Then, he decided he wanted to be a lead horse. Well, when you are on a single track trail and there are cliffs on the side of you...you have to nip that in the bud. I started using about a 4 ft. slender branch with leaves on the end of it, stuck out to the side. If Tully got ahead of it, he got a "shake of the stick" and he usually backs off. If he doesn't, he gets a whack on the nose. He got the idea really quick that he HAD to stay at haunches of the lead horse. Sometimes, he lags behind and that's okay but if I as so much as see Tully going to act like he's going to nip Tyler, he gets another whack. Most of the time, I feel like I am training two horses. This has been really good for both of them. I say go for it...in my opinion, it's THE best thing for a youngster!
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#5 Century Oak

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 08:43 PM

I just became the very.. well I wonít say reluctant but unexpected owner of a gorgeous, dark sorrel QH mare, about 15.1 and probably 1200 pounds or so even a bit light on weight. She is very easy going, very sweet, gets along with everyone well and has settled in nicely. Iím thinking her + a big old roping saddle + a bit of moxie and I have a good pony horse for the crazy ayrabs  I have yet to test this theory but will be getting some riding time on her first prior to trying this out.

I sometimes wonder if Iím not closet suicidal. All the things that CAN go wrong keep running thru my head! For instance, do you tie them off to the saddle on the pony horse? Or just wrap it and hold it in case they do go bonkers so you can let it go? I would assume wrapping legs would be fundamental for both horses. Is there a side that is better to pony them than others?
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#6 Shanaz

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 09:56 PM

Hi there!

I took my mare and her filly out one time and it was fantastic.
The little one was at our right side and I let her set the tempo and we even galloped for a bit...one of my nicest rides ever! To bad I had nobody to make a picture of it!
Tried the same with my stud when he was about 3/4 of year old and my mare didn't except him at her side at all!
So even the relationship not always helps!
I had the rope loose in my hand. So I could give a bit...would never tie either to the saddle or wrap it around my hand.
If the youngster starts to pull against it and you can't give, the panic is sure to come and make it a scary experience for them. If it doesn't slide of your hand you might go flying...

Good luck! Just try it in a enclosed area first in case the youngster gets away on you!
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#7 whimzybeads

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 10:21 PM

I agree...never tie the lead rope to your saddle and never wrap it around your hands. I've had to let go a time or two. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the extra rope and that it doesn't get tangled around you leg or your horses leg. I pony on my left side, so I can hold the reins with my right. It really isn't all that hard. Once you do it once...you get the hang of it. Enjoy!
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#8 ponygirl

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 03:33 AM

I use to do it all the time and it is a great way to teach a young horse. I have also did it in the arena with a rider on broad the green horse
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#9 VanAlma

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 12:50 PM

Just wanted to add a note that I needed a horse brought in from pasture and the guy I ride with ponied Nicole down the street. It was about a 2 mile walk - some dirt road, some pasture but mostly a paved road. She did great and really enjoyed herself.

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#10 M Huprich

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 03:19 PM

Go watch someone else, ask questions and learn from them, then practice with their horses before going off and doing this by yourself. Also be sure someone is watching you the first couple times you try it on your own.



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