Lazy pony

mybaileysglide

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Hello, I was wondering if anyone has any advise or experience with lazy horses and how to get them going/bit more energetic (what to feed, what exercises we could do etc).
A bit about the pony: 13.3hh cob type, 6 yr old, schooled/jumped (very small) once or twice a week, hacked three or four times a week (roads and fields). He is only getting fed a bit of chaff at the moment and no hay/haylage (he is perfect weight at the moment) and he lives out 24/7. Don't think I've missed anything out?
He just isn't enthusiastic about anything, very lazy schooling, hard to get going and keep him going. When on hacks on the road and through fields he is still really lazy and doesn't get excited about anything. The only time he chooses to speed up is when he gets left behind on a hack out with others, then he trots to catch up, then goes back to plod mode again.
Would really appreciate some advise 😊
 

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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Hunting seems to spice horses up but as it's not the season maybe a sponsored ride or a show with an atmosphere.. New hacking route perhaps? Try make schooling moe complex so he has to think (you have to know your pony as to whether this approach will work)
Or on the flip side, maybe give him a month off? then bring back and do exciting hacks?
 

mybaileysglide

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Just had his shoes and back done 3 days ago (lady said back was fine and didn't need doing) teeth not due for another 4 months. We haven't got a lot of hacking routs around our yard unfortunately :( the choice of 3 different road routs or through fields, i took him to a local show about a month ago but he was still really lazy and not too interested. Fun ride sounds good, will see if there is any around me. Don't think he could do complex school movements yet, he only really knows the basics, but I make sure I do lots of circles, fugures of 8, serpentines, transitions etc to try to wake him up and not bore him. He really enjoys loose schooling/jumping, he really gets a shift on then and bombs round the school, I do that with him a few times a month.
 

mybaileysglide

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What does corn oil do? I forgot to mention that if you are really tough with him when he really won't move he can sometimes do these little bucks (like really tiny, more like just arches his back and puts his head down) and sometimes when he's being really stubborn he will refuse to move (especially does this by the gate in the school) and sometimes out on hacks. So he just really doesn't want to move (that's why I got his back looked at because I thought he could be in pain, but he is fine apparently)
 

Sukistokes2

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Corn oil gives energy and zaps them up a bit, some people will feed cereal to spark up their horse but I've found that cobs can not cope with that, with my cob, corn oil gives him the energy without him becoming over buzzed so to speak. ( not too much oil because it will upset him tummy, just a couple of tablespoons) Try adding trotting poles down, for example in your serpentines loops. That can liven them up a bit. Make sure your saddle fits, cobs can change shape at the drop of a hat, it's why mine ended up in a treeless saddle.
 

mybaileysglide

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Ooh will try corn oil, does it put weight on? He is perfect weight now, but cobs put weight on so easily. Strangely enough he seems to slow down over trotting poles and tries to stop after them and jumps. Will get his saddle looked at too, back lady had a quick look at it and said it looks like it fits him fine, but she's not a saddle fitter so better to get it cracked properly.
 

Pearlsacarolsinger

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Ooh will try corn oil, does it put weight on? He is perfect weight now, but cobs put weight on so easily. Strangely enough he seems to slow down over trotting poles and tries to stop after them and jumps. Will get his saddle looked at too, back lady had a quick look at it and said it looks like it fits him fine, but she's not a saddle fitter so better to get it cracked properly.
It does sound to me as if his saddle is the problem. Like the poster above we have gone treeless. (after 40yrs!) and the horses are very obviously more comfortable, one no longer rushes everywhere and the slowcoach is much more free moving. We can actually hack out together and ride side by side! :D
 

Pearlsacarolsinger

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I'll see if anyone has a treeless saddle I can borrow to try out, maybe ride him bareback for a while (he's very comfy haha) and see if that makes a difference.
Bareback sounds like a good idea. That should tell you if the saddle is causing the problem. I thought it could as you said he moves well loose schooling/jumping
 

DD265

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I had good results with Bailey's No9 competition mix but my Welsh cob was being worked twice a day and I didn't have issues with forwardness, it just gave him stamina. Oats were useless for us and had no impact whatsoever. I'm not sure feed would be the answer though because he's not actually doing that much. You run the risk of getting fizz rather than impulsion.

I did wonder what his balance was like. Do you have lessons? Could it be that he struggles to go faster because he feels unbalanced? When you do get more out of him, does it feel rushed or good?
 

EQUIDAE

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Don't discount mechanical pain - back people can only tell you if it is muscular. There was a post not long ago where everything had checked out OK but when the horses back.was xrayed things weren't good.
 
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I have not tried this so would not know if it is to work buti would highly recomend the book so hopefully this one is good too.
In the book 101 jumping exercises the problem being 'the lazy jumper' the advice is to jump a small vertical from a lively walk, if he stops give a sharp smack behind you leg and if he jumps lazily use stick after landing to move him away, pat when you come back to walk to try again.
I think the idea is that you will learn how to get a more forward walk and this will help other paces and of course jumping - like i said i havent tried it but to me the logic is there
 

mybaileysglide

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Yeah I have lessons and he doesn't rush anything (ever) he's just really really slow, like he is tracking up but just looks like he is going in slow motion and he has a lovely canter but it's just so slow and hard to get going. I would love to have some "fizz" in him so was thinking of feeding oats haha
 

Toffee44

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Many would disagree but I would be tempted to try one if two things feed wise.
1) a balancer, its a bit love it or hate it but my mare just goes so well with Pink Powder (shes a welsh x hackney but can go really flat as restricted grazing and soaked hay, something is missed out and pink powder replenishes it)

2) grass nuts I know you are restricting grazing but I have found this has boosted her up to where I want her energy wise. She gets a 1/4 scoop soaked simple systems blue bag in a large handful chopped straw chaff, PP and depending on workload over next few days a small handful of alfa a.
 

VioletStripe

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As long as there's not an underlying physical issue, personally I wouldn't be increasing feed and the likes if he's at a good weight - simply putting more sugar and cereal into a horse might just make them fizzy on and off, or risk making them fat.

Instead, I would maybe ditch the schooling for a couple of weeks, go out on new hacks, particularly in company, and go for a good gallop. Try finding a slightly more enthusiastic hacking partner and let him go for a bit of a pick me up. Really wakes them up, as does lots of sharp transitions and a mix up of where you're going.
 

Equine_Dream

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*goes to check if pony is still in his field* sorry thought you'd stollen my little man for a second :D
I have a 13.2 Cob who can be a lazy sod at times. I've found giving him some time off was the key. He was thrashed around by whip happy kids in his previous home and I think it's taken the fun out of being ridden for him.
He was quite lazy out hacking and the only way to make him shift was shoving a stick across his backside. Call me soft however but I hate this type of riding.
He recently had some time off for a few months and has come back into work a different pony. He is now a wizzy jiggy boy out hacking and has little legs of fury when he fancies a good gallop.
Not sure if it would work with your pony but just thought I'd share my experience just in case :)
 

PollyP99

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My lazy mare has been turned around by getting great instruction to get her off of my leg. She is now quite forward in the school and a different "person" altogether due to getting fitter. Last year I asked the question on here about getting a lazy one fit and less fat and was told (Aimee may I think) that once you got the on the road to fitness the ploddy nature would disappear, the advice was spot on, sadly due to injury I'm only just getting my chance to try it but I now have a trot for 3 miles (point to point course) hours schooling without breaking a sweat (even this week in the heat) bouncy mare. It's a revelation! I ride her 6 days a week, we have dropped kilos despite no restricted turnout (haven't needed to yet but ever watchful).

The instructor basically reinforced, squeeze if no reaction forward more forceful, if no reaction, stick behind the leg and mean it, it worked after just two lessons and now I don't let her plod along even out and about, I ask for a fwd walk and don't settle for Mrs plod!
,
 

KautoStar1

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My lazy mare has been turned around by getting great instruction to get her off of my leg. She is now quite forward in the school and a different "person" altogether due to getting fitter. Last year I asked the question on here about getting a lazy one fit and less fat and was told (Aimee may I think) that once you got the on the road to fitness the ploddy nature would disappear, the advice was spot on, sadly due to injury I'm only just getting my chance to try it but I now have a trot for 3 miles (point to point course) hours schooling without breaking a sweat (even this week in the heat) bouncy mare. It's a revelation! I ride her 6 days a week, we have dropped kilos despite no restricted turnout (haven't needed to yet but ever watchful).

The instructor basically reinforced, squeeze if no reaction forward more forceful, if no reaction, stick behind the leg and mean it, it worked after just two lessons and now I don't let her plod along even out and about, I ask for a fwd walk and don't settle for Mrs plod!
,
Well done. This is the only way. Work work and more work and settle for nothing less. Fitness is key not feed.
 

mybaileysglide

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cornwall, saltash
Thanks for the advice everyone, just to answer some of the questions: I have had him since he was 1 yrs old and he has never done a lot of work until recently (the past month) where he is now being ridden 5-6 times a week, so hopefully he will be more forward going the fitter he gets. A dengie horse feed person came to our yard with scales and stig was perfect weight (this was only a month ago) so maybe now he is doing more work I could feed him a little bit, maybe some grass nuts, chaff, balancer to give him the extra boost he needs. I've been riding him a few times without saddle on to see if it was the saddle slowing him down, but he is still just as slow without it. I will try hacking him with a more lively horse and see what happens, that sounds like a good idea, I've tried to gallop him before but he won't go faster then a slow canter :(
My instructor is teaching me the same, use your leg and if he doesn't listen (which he never does) then reinforce it with the stick. But he hates the stick, even if you use it really lightly he puts his ears back and slows down, so I use my reins on his neck and my voice and that keeps him going better then kicking or using the stick.
Thank you for all your advice 😊
 
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