Nappy pony..ideas please..

rcm_73

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2 August 2006
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My daughter's new pony appears to have a problem with napping. She is reluctant to go forward off the yard unless she has a lead horse. Tonight she just planted and when someone on the ground took her reins she threatened to rear (and went up a little bit). We got her forward with a smack of a hand on the bum as I think maybe she would have reared otherwise with someone pulling on her bridle and poll and having had a nappy rearing mare in the past I didn't fancy discovering that just yet as she has only been with us since Thursday. I was told she won't hack out alone but tonight she had one other for company although she had already gone out of sight and this mare planted. I have dealt with nappy horses before and know I could smack her behind my leg whilst giving with the reins (I just gave her head and kicked tonight) but don't feel I know her well enough yet that if she does use rearing as an evasion she might actually get away with it. I suppose I could just sit and wait but the problem is if you're in company I don't think I would be too popular! She also tosses her head as an evasion so I'm thinking different bit and martingale / harborough might help...she's a 13.2 British Riding Pony so is quite 'bloody' and sharp. I'm trying to gauge her temperament a bit before my daughter comes back and rides her. Any suggestions welcome!
 

sugarnspice

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My horse was exactly like this although he's not a BRP (though a friend of mine has one and if he has a classic temperment, I know how stubborn they can be!).
Mine would only ever go out with a lead horse, try to get him to go out anywhere on his own and he would plant his feet/spin round/threaten to rear or buck/buck/generally nappy stuff
. It just took a lot of perserverance. In the end we just cracked it one day, I tried so many different things, I led him out in hand, whenever he tried to nap I would just make him stand there for as long as it took, giving him a thwack behind the leg (made him more determined not to go forward
).
What I would say is though, how long have you had her? Maybe just sticking with company until she knows where she is and knows you a bit better?
 

rcm_73

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Only had her since Thursday last week so early days I know it's just that the people we bought her off said she won't hack out alone which seems a bit of a defeated comment and tbh I think this pony has been getting away with stuff with a child rider. Thanks it's always good to hear a story like yours where things have got better! Perhaps I should try some long reining with her around the yard (if I can get her to move!!)
 

sugarnspice

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Good Luck
.
If she's had a child rider it could well be then that she is just doing what she's always been able to get away with. I know I created a lot of problems for myself, I let mine get away with it for ages because I was a bit of a plonker lol. I think a lot of it is in attitude though you're right. If you sit on top and think "Nope, there's no way s/he will leave the yard alone", they never will!!
 

ladyt25

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30 November 2007
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If its had a child rider and has been getting away with doing what it wanted then tehre's your problem. A bit of firm riding and backing up with a whip may just crack it to be honest. I think it'll be a case of the pony having to realise it's going to do as it's told and that's that. Try and ignore the bad behaviour and not punish it too severely but give a lot of praise when the pony's done as it should do. It may be a case of a few small steps at a time (and remember it's early days, it's still probably a tad unsure) but they're clever little souls generally so it shouldn't take too long when you establish who's boss!

Oh and don't keep in your mind that the previous owners said it doesn't hack alone or you just expect it to misbehave. My theory is treat the horse/pony how you expect it to behave (ie you want it to be a nice sensible hack) and this should help.
 

Herbie31

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21 April 2008
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Does the pony nap if you lead her away from the yard with no rider on?? - if she still naps its obviously a 'try it on - it worked before thing'

If she walks nicely with you leading on foot then she is lacking confidence in her self and is looking to you as her 'leader' - since you have only had her since Thursday it should get better in time, but would most probably turn into a learned evaisve behaviour.

I had a mare years ago that napped terribly when I first started riding her affter the settling in period. She was being naughty though and would nap if being led in hand. From memory I dealt with it by taking a schooling whip with me and working with her leading her in hand away from the yard initially. Every time she napped she got a tap with the schooling whip behind the girth and turned away from me in a circle. Lots of praise when she walked on and repeat of napped. When walking out in hand nicely we progressed to riding. Eventually she learned that napping was not acceptable and that life was much nicer if she did not do it.

Not sure if this is the authodox way of doing it but worked for us - she turned into a super little mare who could be taken anywhere.

Anyway hope our experience of napping helped
 
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