What Dartmoor only kicking kids??would you feed a Dartmoor x ???

thehorses2013

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Ive recently taken a Dartmoor x out on loan for my 6 yr old, my yard friend thinks hes a Dartmoor x New forest which hes looks a spit of one, the lady i have loaned him off says hes cross with a Cob but i dont think so anyway ive had him for 2 weeks first few days he was good little bit nervous but i new that beforehand & 1 to 1 can easy solve this, problem is when i took him on loan i new the pony anyway as my daughter had ridden him a few times & i had walked him up the road once that it! But it is my friends pony who had been out on loan previous to someone else she said yep hes fine blah blah blah! & i believed her, Well like i said first 4 days he was fine but a little nervous since then everytime my children walk into the field ears back turns his bum & kicks, he had my 8 yr old againest the stable door too, chases off my gelding when i get there, he was fighting with me with his feet but gave in now i saw this last week im very wary myself, im not scared of him just unsure, my yard friends says its unsaual for a Dartmoor to do this is this correct?, My feed scoop is one of those plastic 50p 1 litre smartprice from tesco, asda etc.. Im feeding him 1 jug sugarbeet & 2 large handfuls of honeychop for breakfast & dinner so ie twice daily, a hay net in the evening & lots nice grass, I have to feed him morning & night as mine needs feeding twice a day, the stables are next to each other in the field so i cant see a way of cutting down his feed is it is this?? Also he is terrfied of his saddle, nummnah etc so think he has been forced to break in, appartly learning from someone else he like to buck everyone off not yet my daughter, Any advice,

My children shouldnt be scared to go ir own field because of this, previous owner just tells me to shout no when he does it or hit him on the bump ive done both nothings working & dont want to leave it too late before someone get hurts

Thanks in advance
 

mirage

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I wouldn't give him any hard feed at all.With his breeding and age,he doesn't need it.I wouldn't let kids into a field with a pony that behaved like that,and would only approach him myself armed with a lunge whip.To be honest,he doesn't sound a suitable child's pony from what you've written.What are his good points? I think if I'd taken him on,he'd be going back sharpish.
 
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Peregrine Falcon

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Sorry but personally I wouldn't have a pony like that for my children. A pony that has kicking as a form of defence has learnt that from somewhere. What condition score would you give him? Does he really need the sugarbeet?

I think I'd be giving notice on the loan agreement and find something more suitable imho.
 

honetpot

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Hill ponies are used to fighting over food to survive, he's in a new place and he is making sure who is boss. Do not give him any feed or tit bits of any sort. We have a Welsh A who 95% of the time is OK but will bully a small child although he is a pony club school master with older children. Unless you are prepared to watch him like a hawk and not let your children near him until you have him under control I would send him back.
 

thehorses2013

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Hi well thats what im starting to think i wouldnt mind paying the transport at all after all she did also leave me with the farrier costs, worming costs too!, I am armed he has not yet done it to me yet id give him back shapish, he did ears back to me earlier, I know shes going to make it hard for me to send him back i can see it coming a mile off,

What should i be feeding him? I know prob nothing but mine gets fed & it will be great difficult not to feed him also, i brought some mollichaff earler, was just going to give him this & sugarbeet is that ok?,
Good points erm hes sweet & when mine play they play together nicely
 

poiuytrewq

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I have two horses and a Shetland and feel a bit guilty when I feed the others so he gets a handful (literally a little handful) of un molassed chaff, hifi lite or similar. It's gone in seconds but as far as he's concerned he gets a bucket at the same time as the others and is happy.
 

Jericho

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probably not what you want to hear but he doesnt sound like a childs pony and you will never be able to trust him with children and if anything did happen you would never forgive yourself. Sad for the pony but sounds like he needs a lot of one to one and trust rebuilding (and thats not a job for a child)
 

Highlands

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If you have to feed, one mug of lo cal , a balancer. Molli chop is pure sugar. Watch grass intake. As for kicking a no no with children. Life as a companion for someone might work well.
 

thehorses2013

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Ok thank you, the poster who said if i leave it & something happens to one of the children youre right i will never forgive myself & its not like its a hamster its a pony can cause alot of damage, im seeing the loaner in the morning she did say before if i ever wanted to send him back i need to give her a months notice i could say to her i can advertise for a loan for her as shes not good with computers but i dont want her to be relaying on this as if i never loan him & never end up taking him back, i will be honest with new loaners otherwise same trouble is going to inccur how would i go about saying this?? Its quite a awkard situation, Thanks
 

honetpot

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I used to loan out my ponies and if someone rang me with your problem I would have the pony back straight away. You wanted a pony that was safe for your children what ever he was like before he is not that now so any contract should be void. Do not get involved in advertising for her, it her pony and her responsibility. I would send her a letter by recorded delivery saying the pony is not suitable as a childs pony and saying you will be returning it on X date. The quickest I have taken a pony back is 12 hours because of a very nasty marriage break up. Good luck.
 

Peregrine Falcon

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Hi, I can appreciate you're trying to help the owner but it is not your responsibility to find a new home for him. I get the feeling (I could be wrong though) that he's a bit of a tricky customer if he's been out on loan before too. If I was in your shoes I would just give the month's notice and leave it at that.

We had a loan pony for my son and her behaviour changed due to illness and I told my sons to stay away from her in the field as she ran at them once with her teeth barred. I couldn't put my children at risk.
 

Honey08

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Send him back. You can set up an advert for her if you like, but he needs to be loaned through her, not you. In the meantime cut out the feed - why give him sugarbeet when he already has too much energy for you.. Give him a tiny handful of chaff in a bucket if you want him to feel that he has a feed. Muzzle him if he is on loads of grass, soak his hay. He is probably buzzing from all that food and may be a totally different horse on less!
 

thehorses2013

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I dont actully have a contract with her nothing was signed just verbal agreement, Your right about not getting involed just i know her place is not great & would feel really sorry for him,

In morning i will give him a small handful of Mollichaff i brought earlier? So he feels included,

I will talk to her tomorrow & keep you updated but i can see she is going to give me full of excuses why she cant take him back 1st will be "I have no room" which is true & make me feel really akward
 

WelshD

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The owner said pony would be fine, he was fine at the start, he was ok to ride...

Maybe approach the owner and ask them to come and spend some time with you and the pony and see of the problems can be worked through or whether they have any comments about your routine

You are basically feeding the pony blue smarties by the bucketload topped off with some nice spring grass so before blaming the pony look hard at your management of him
 

Dubsie

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I agree, send him back if you can. Otherwise , yes agree cut the food out, it's making him fizzier than he needs be, these natives are used to living on fresh air.
Secondly, he's learnt that appearance of you/your children, and especially of the saddle = work, hence him being grumpy. I would spend a day catching pony, giving a small treat (of a handful of hay or freshly pulled long grass from outside the field will probably be fine, or just one small treat cube) and letting him go. Then, when you feel he seems very happy to see you appear in the field, catch him bring in, treat again, and pop his numnah on for another treat and lots of praise and scratches. Take off and pop him back in the field. Next time pop numnah and saddle on, loads of praise, take off and put him back out. Then do the same just for a bit of petting and cut the treats a bit. This will teach him people in the field to catch him doesn't necessarily mean work, or a treat, but there may be one. Ditto the saddle appearing. I'd repeat this a few times over a week interspersed with your daughter riding, so he doesn't know when he'll have to work or when he just gets praised and put back in the field.
I'd imagine now he feels a little more established in your home that he's just trying to assert himself and letting you and your children know he doesn't want to be caught because a) he's in a new place and very wary and unsettled and b) he's not keen on having to work. if you nip it in the bud now and are consistent that you are the boss, you may find (also with the loss of the feed which no doubt is fizzing him up) that he reverts to the previous behaviour.
However, realistically are you going to feel happy for your daughter to go and catch him, or to go in his stable on her own after this? Maybe reassess in a week or two? Really I think you need to send him back, if she were older then perhaps it wouldn't be such an issue, but at her age you may well totally put her off.
 

touchstone

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The owner said pony would be fine, he was fine at the start, he was ok to ride...

Maybe approach the owner and ask them to come and spend some time with you and the pony and see of the problems can be worked through or whether they have any comments about your routine

You are basically feeding the pony blue smarties by the bucketload topped off with some nice spring grass so before blaming the pony look hard at your management of him


^^^ This basically, I've seen a coloured mare transform from a gentle friendly soul into an aggressive horse that would deliberately rear and box at you, the only thing that had changed was her well meaning owner was feeding sugar beet combined with spring grass and it quite literally blew the mare's brain.

I'd stop the sugar beet (mine reacts to it too) and limit access to grass feeding hay instead for a week or so and then see what the pony is like. I'd keep the children away until you see if the changes make a difference or not, but having seen the effects of diet on this particular mare I'd definitely try that before anything else.
 

thewonderhorse

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I wouldn't be feeing him anything and be worried that he is on 'good' grazing really. If you need to feed your other horse I would bring him or her in to feed.

He is, as others have said, high on sugar and this wont be helping his behaviour one bit :)
 

LinzyD

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Really, and I mean this very kindly, if you need to ask for advice about feeding a small native pony whose behaviour is like this, then I think this particular pony is not suitable for your family and for your current level of expertise. Native ponies can be wily little monkeys whose predominant instinct is for self-preservation, and all ponies are different in different circumstances. No matter what the pony's history or background he does not suit the current circumstances. His behaviour can undoubtedly be addressed with strict handling, different feeding, and so on, but ask yourself honestly whether you have the expertise or the inclination to do that and to work through the issues. If what you really need is a saintly pony that won't take advantage in any circumstances, then return this one immediately, and look for one more suited to your family. And when you do get the right pony don't feed it anything at all if the grass is good and also think about limiting access to grass. It is no-one's fault - simply a mis-match between your requirements and expertise and this particular pony in the circumstances in which he has been placed.

A responsible loaner should want to collect the pony immediately if there is a problem. A responsible owner of a normally well-behaved pony would want to intervene in or remove it from a situation that had suddenly turned it in to an aggressive little terror - if the owner doesn't react like that then I would suspect she has experieced this behaviour before from him. The fact that she has advised you on how to tell him off would indicate that. This doesn't mean that she is at fault in any way, but perhaps that she overestimates the way you are able to manage the pony. The safety of your children is more important than your relationship with this person and than what anyone else may think/say.

Not all little ponies need such strict management; the saintly ones that will forgive your mistakes, cope with whatever life thorws at them, and look after your children do exist. Good luck.
 

LinzyD

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I've just re-read more slowly. He's come from a yard that you say is not great and you're going to feel sorry for him if he has to go back there. I would feel sorry for him too. I already feel sorry for him that he cannot understand that he is wasting an opportunity for a potentially better life, but he is reacting instinctively out of self-preservation in an unfamiliar situation. Dubsie and touchstone give some good advice above, but be honest with yourself about your ability to work through things. Take solace from the fact that if he is as wily as he seems to be his native character and reilience will see him through and that what you may view as a less than perfect yard may be perfectly ok for a hardy little native who is used to surviving on his wits and his instincts and on bare ground and fresh air.
 

3OldPonies

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If he has to come in with your other horse, then I can only echo what has already been said - just a handful of damp chaff in a bucket with maybe a little bit of sliced carrot to keep him interested. Once he feels more secure with you guys he may well stop behaving as he is doing, if he's been out on loan before and you don't know what happened to him there he could be defending his space and his bucket.

Also, like someone else said, try catching him and bringing him in but not riding - just groom, pick his feet out, plait his mane, read a book sitting next to him - anything so that he is with you familiarising you and him with how you do things without him associating you guys with either work or food all the time.
 

Tnavas

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OP It doesn't matter if you have to feed your others this pony does not need any feed. He will get over you feeding the other.

He is on good grass so make sure he is getting Magnesium to help balance this mineral. Many horses and ponies get quite naught in spring because the grass is deficient in Magnesium. Buy a Magnesium block from a farming store and allow him 24/7 access to it.

Stand your ground with the turning his bum at you. It's often a defensive thing and as he is a new environment he will be feeling insecure. In the meantime don't let your little person in the paddock with him until he is behaving better.
 

dixie

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I wouldn't be feeing him anything and be worried that he is on 'good' grazing really. If you need to feed your other horse I would bring him or her in to feed.

He is, as others have said, high on sugar and this wont be helping his behaviour one bit :)

This. We've had several dartmoors and none of them display this sort of behaviour. You are feeding him way too much, he is in danger of getting laminitis as they are not designed for this type of diet. There is a good chance that once he has settled and you've cut out all the sugar and starch he settles down but its a risk you need to consider carefully with children involved. Poor pony.
 

TelH

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I have to say if I was you, OP, I would be sending the pony back. It sounds like an accident waiting to happen, either with the children or with the pony getting laminitis :( I'm sure, in the right hands, the pony could be sorted out but your posts suggest that you have unfortunately taken on the wrong pony for you.
 

thehorses2013

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I have changed his feed completely just a small handful of chaff this morning & this evening, as soon as you walk into the field he will charge @ you ears back, he likes to corners you went for my yard owner too, with feed ive never worked with small horses always large horses so i have no idea with ponies the feed is what i was advised & was told he was on it before of course now i know its wrong have sorted this, after speaking with the owner to day regarding his loan she said give it 3 weeks but i said i will give it the weekend i can see something happening very soon but ive got to find transport etc.. which is fair enoigh but to be honest i feel could never trust this pony with the children if hes does change now ie if im going upto the muck heap etc.. My horse looks very sad too & he is getting nasty towards him,
 

touchstone

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I'd try restricting the grazing as well as not giving hard feed, the grass is full of sugar at this time of year and it will take a while for it all to get out of his system. It really sounds as if you are frightened of him and dislike him, but remember he has has a lot of changes and is probably having his head blown with all the feed, it may well not be totally his fault.

If you decide to get another pony, I'd really do some research on management and handling for your children, perhaps lessons with a riding school pony might be more beneficial intitially?
 

thehorses2013

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I dont dislike him at all & im certainly not scared of him, i do like him very much & its a huge shame about this, he is going back to his owner this week & we are seeing another pony this week that is being ridden, suitable for my daughter, dont kick, nip etc.. I think this case was just a bad mis match
 

thewonderhorse

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I have changed his feed completely just a small handful of chaff this morning & this evening, as soon as you walk into the field he will charge @ you ears back, he likes to corners you went for my yard owner too, with feed ive never worked with small horses always large horses so i have no idea with ponies the feed is what i was advised & was told he was on it before of course now i know its wrong have sorted this, after speaking with the owner to day regarding his loan she said give it 3 weeks but i said i will give it the weekend i can see something happening very soon but ive got to find transport etc.. which is fair enoigh but to be honest i feel could never trust this pony with the children if hes does change now ie if im going upto the muck heap etc.. My horse looks very sad too & he is getting nasty towards him,

With all due respect OP you are still feeding him. Personally I would send him back as I feel he isn't in the right place to be sorted with you.
 
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