A WWYD thread

Fools Motto

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I work with riding school type ponies and children upto the age of 13. Last year a lovely cob type mare came, she is 13.2, and a good sort, minimal feather 10 year old. Perfect! She proved herself to be saintly out on rides, taking some new to canter type children a bit further afield. Most came back loving her. She has also proved the same saintly demeanor with novice children jumping. Saying that, she isn't schooled, so some novice riders don't get along with her doing the flatwork, and she is more suited to a more able child. As adults the team I work with paired her up with the right children, so all was not lost.
Sadly in the spring it became aparrent that she is a head shaker. We are by a river, in a bit of a valley, and the pollen/tree pollen/crops/midges just don't suit the poor mare - who was suffering. She was therefore unable to be used over the summer. I then started her again in more recent weeks, and to be honest think she is fab. No shaking now. I've taken her out on lovely rides, popped her over some fences (I used to be brave, but glad she looks after me!). She just hasn't been used for the children, partly due to the fact that other ponies have come in, semi replacing her, and partly because we don't want to disapoint the children in the spring when she can't be used again.
On another note, even though she is saintly under saddle out hacking and jumping, she has got so much grumpier in the stable. This is something we do not want! (Live out most of the time, stabled during the day in preparations for the riders).
Got three options.... 1 - pts. 2 - adults ride her for the sheer fun of it during the winter, summers off. 3 - loan her out as a field companion.
I'm leaning to option 1 sadly. Such a shame really, she has so much that could be positive, just I think the negative issues are too great?
 

Turitea

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If she does not suffer too much in summer (I know from experience how miserable horses can be when suffering from "untreatable/non-treatable/incurable" headshaking) and the riding school can afford it, I would go for option 2.
 

ester

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I think it depends how bad it is in the summer, some are awful just grazing and it's no quality of life then.

However if you could find someone to loan her elsewhere (near the sea perhaps ;) ) to see if she is any better in a different environment she may well be fine to ride then with the understanding that she comes back to you if not to be PTS.
 

Fools Motto

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It's sadly not just the head shaking... (which is bad in the summer). She isn't nice in tha stable, and we can't let children in with her. This has got worse over the last few months. Being nice in the stable is quite high up on our list of 'must haves'.
 
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Surely it's worth loaning her to someone in a better location for headshaking, to see if it resolves first? Assuming she's not really miserable in summer - which I presume she isn't, given that you list keeping her for adults to play with as an option. A small adult may well like a nice, safe hacking cob, and not be worried about her behaviour in the stable.
 

southerncomfort

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I ride a little 13.2 cob! I'm certain you could find a home with an adult rider. The grumpiness in the stable wouldn't put me off.

Also, I had one that suffered awful head shaking when kept next to a canal that didn't head shake at all when kept elsewhere.

Please try and find this little pony a nice home. She sounds like she deserves a chance.
 

Leo Walker

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why wouldn't you? I've seen a couple of terribly distressed unresolvable head shakers, I wouldn't keep one like that.
See, I am very much of the PTS is never a welfare issue camp, but this sounds like a quite a nice useful sort of pony, whose only real issue is she started headshaking when moved. Headshaking can be awful, but theres plenty of mild cases that can be resolved or managed and it doesnt sound like anything was done for this one.
 
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The first thing to do imo is find out the cause of the h/s - and the deterioration of her behaviour in the stable. It might be that the RS location is her main problem, in which case she could be loaned to a home on the top of a hill/on the coast etc and be absolutely fine, in which case problem solved, or there could be a different cause in which case pts could be the right solution. You won't know without vet investigations.


I will add that I don't understand the not using her in winter because the children might be disappointed to not be able to ride her in Spring - treating ponies as individuals, not machines is surely part of learning to ride. It certainly was when I was at a RS - in the dim and distant past!
 

be positive

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See, I am very much of the PTS is never a welfare issue camp, but this sounds like a quite a nice useful sort of pony, whose only real issue is she started headshaking when moved. Headshaking can be awful, but theres plenty of mild cases that can be resolved or managed and it doesnt sound like anything was done for this one.
Being grumpy in the stable may be a sign she is not happy in the RS situation and that could be resolved by having a home where she is treated as an individual, the headshaking may not be an issue elsewhere so I would give her a chance as she is obviously a genuine pony that is good to ride.

I am not that far from you, have space at the moment and would be more than happy to take her for a short period to see if at least the grumpy behaviour can be overcome.
 

ester

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See, I am very much of the PTS is never a welfare issue camp, but this sounds like a quite a nice useful sort of pony, whose only real issue is she started headshaking when moved. Headshaking can be awful, but theres plenty of mild cases that can be resolved or managed and it doesnt sound like anything was done for this one.
we don't know she didn't do it before she was there though, and the OP said she was suffering and it is bad. I might be wrong presuming a nose net has been tried though.
 
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we don't know she didn't do it before she was there though, and the OP said she was suffering and it is bad. I might be wrong presuming a nose net has been tried though.
She also lists a companion life, and keeping her to use for adults in winter as options though - if it's so severe as to be a welfare issue, those options aren't options at all, and it would be pointless to ask WWYD in that situation as there's only one viable option...
 
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I ride a little 13.2 cob! I'm certain you could find a home with an adult rider. The grumpiness in the stable wouldn't put me off.

Also, I had one that suffered awful head shaking when kept next to a canal that didn't head shake at all when kept elsewhere.

Please try and find this little pony a nice home. She sounds like she deserves a chance.
Yes, she sounds like the sort I would go and see!
 
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It’s all very well saying get it investigated... id highly doubt a riding school has an enormous pot of cash to try and fix something like head shaking.

A loan home/turn out at grass somewhere to see if she still has it would be a helpful first step
 

Ambers Echo

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Being grumpy in the stable may be a sign she is not happy in the RS situation and that could be resolved by having a home where she is treated as an individual, the headshaking may not be an issue elsewhere so I would give her a chance as she is obviously a genuine pony that is good to ride.

I am not that far from you, have space at the moment and would be more than happy to take her for a short period to see if at least the grumpy behaviour can be overcome.
I would jump at this option with both hands!! A new environment and a fresh perspective. She sounds like a kind, genuine pony and could have a lovely life in a different situation?
 

splashgirl45

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i would try her somewhere else before PTS. i had owned my mare for almost 5 years, no headshaking at all. moved her to a yard in the middle of farmland which was mainly used for rape and she started headshaking , it was a bit more manageable with a nose net and she only did it when the rape was in flower. moved to a different yard with other crops in the surrounding fields and she didnt headshake again.....so your little mare may have a similar problem...
 
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I'm sorry but pts sounds a bit extreme imo. She sounds like a lovely little mare. I would definitely try option 2 or 3 first.

One of mine is a 13.2 welshie. I have so much fun riding him. I'm sure she could make a lovely pony for a small adult or teen
 

Fools Motto

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Sorry for delay in writing back.
It is a prep school, and with schools there is no money to investigate head shaking - the pony isn't worth it. I assume obviously it is pollen related as its only spring/summer when she does it. She is unridable at her worst. PolleneX, piriton, an infared poll pad and a nose net help a little, but far from cure.
I'm going to speak to Be Positive. She is a wealth of knowlege whom I respect.
I think the pony is fab, and really would have her myself if I could. Equally I have to understand her 'issues' and be practical if she is to be re-homed. if anyone wants to know more, pm me and I will point you in the direction of the youtube video of her (her sales video last year).
Thanks all.
 

ester

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Knowing you I did think you would have tried the obvious options :).

I've known them get both worse and better on moving.

Def speak to BP, ours would probably suit as near the sea and surrounded by houses and I might have convinced mum if Frank weren't lodging ;). I do have another thought too, I will pm you.
 

Fools Motto

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Bringing this thread back...
Had a discussion with the work team, who have descided that she will be pts. I'm not sure how long she has got though. In the meantime I have been riding her when I can, and have to say, I haven't faulted her. Her stable manners aren't that bad - if she has some hay, in fact if you didn't know she could be grumpy, then you wouldn't know. She is moving over when asked - she just won't like being pushed, which I don't do. I can also do her feet without tying her up. I can groom her all over, under her belly and down her legs, she has sensitive elbows which I use my hand for. She is quirky, and clearly can be mareish, but I'm fond of her. She made me smile so much yesterday on our ride that I cried. I cried for her and then cried for me as I realised she was giving me the sort of wonderful feeling I got when I rode my late mare - they're not alike at all oddly, just mares with characters. I only walked and trotted!!
I know no-one wants to pass on her problems, and I get that. I know she can have attitude that could be clarified as nasty, but to me she is just an independant mare, and I like that.
I'm going to hope I have a bit more time.
 
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