WWYD with this pony?

millikins

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41" Standard Shetland gelding, good quality, well bred, nearly 6 and built like the proverbial outhouse. Bought unbroken a year ago as driving prospect. Got him home and discovered he's been seriously spoilt and a bargy, rude git given any hint of a chance to be so. He kicked me hard enough to cause a crush fracture of the top of my tibia, is aggressive to dogs and mares, except my dominant old mare but he's not riggy, just totally lacks respect.
Got him working, broke to ride first as no harness, tried every evasion going, bucking, planting, rolling but is now riding out though nappy if ridden at home. Ground manners much improved but still room for more.
He's been out in hand to shows 3 or 4 times and always well placed.
Broke to harness, took to it like a duck to water, had lessons, drove in company, no problems, really sweet and smooth. Took him to first driven show, very quiet afternoon with only one other in his class; disaster, he bolted in the warm up when a horse pair came past him (they'd already been past twice). Until that point he'd given no indication this might happen or I would have withdrawn. He's caused about £1200 damage to cart and a car but fortunately no injuries. This includes insurance excess.
Now I'm stuck. Won't drive him again, not suitable for a young child or a novice to ride or handle and could only be a companion to geldings.
Both available riders are about 9 stone, so ok for short periods but not fair I don't think for serious hacks or schooling'
Have sent his details to Blue Cross, maybe a vetted, monitored loan could work but haven't heard back yet.
The riff raff are already circling via well meant attempts to help from a family member, I'm very reluctant to put a pony with "issues" on the open market.

Any ideas good folk of HHO? And thanks for reading our sorry tale.
 

sunshine100*

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hi bless you for making for caring about where this shetland goes to blue cross should come thru or redwings horse sanctuary might help--another one to try is Sarah Weston top horse behaviorist--google her-good luck!
 

hihosilver

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Difficult one. I wouldn't want to be selling either or loaning. I would be looking at a companion home for him. Other than that I would consider PTS sorry.
 

Merlod

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Personally i'd sent him away for some intensive driving schooling, somewhere like Barry Hook. Get him going foot perfect, with no option for naughtyness as a driving pony and market for an experienced adult to drive because he doesn't sound like he'd be suitable for children due to his nature when handled.
 

millikins

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Thank you. Redwings wouldn't take him I don't think, he's not a rescue. And hihosilver, sadly that thought has crossed my mind, it just seems so unfair when it's not his fault. Whoever let him think he was "cute" has done him a grave disservice :(
 

millikins

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Personally i'd sent him away for some intensive driving schooling, somewhere like Barry Hook. Get him going foot perfect, with no option for naughtyness as a driving pony and market for an experienced adult to drive because he doesn't sound like he'd be suitable for children due to his nature when handled.
Do you think he might be salvedgeable as a driving pony? My lessons have been with PB and she thought he'd do it again.
 

rara007

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Rebreak to drive and do more work driving with large multiples before going out again? Maybe long reining at shows around the warmup until you're confident.
 
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Personally i'd sent him away for some intensive driving schooling, somewhere like Barry Hook. Get him going foot perfect, with no option for naughtyness as a driving pony and market for an experienced adult to drive because he doesn't sound like he'd be suitable for children due to his nature when handled.
He may not take him, as a horse which has bolted requires a very brave driver, and one can never be sure ...............................
A driving pony needs to be brave, but there are not many good competition drivers using these smaller ponies. Shetland driving ponies are popular in Germany, for competition not showing.
 
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rara007

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but there are not many good competition drivers using these smaller ponies.
ouch! Obviously at 41inch they can't do international FEI as they won't measure in, but there's lots of brilliant drivers of shetlands at regional and national level both indoors and out, as well as the showing!

Barry hook would 99% take him, he takes on remedial cases including bolters and shetlands. I'm not sure one (rational) fright would classify him as a bolter yet either :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsMo11RK8AA

ps. many of the german shetlands are that bit bigger (and sportier) so they do measure in.
 
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stormox

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Things happen so quickly when driving- a slight spook, unnoticeable when ridden can so quickly turn into a total disaster in harness. You might get him driving, but he'd never be trustworthy.
 

Merlod

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Do you think he might be salvedgeable as a driving pony? My lessons have been with PB and she thought he'd do it again.
I think so, if he were my pony I think I would give him another shot at driving but only send him to Barry Hook - he has videos and has works with problem/ last chance horses - bolters etc, though he does have a waiting list you could do a lot of long reining in the mean-time.

I drive a shetland and have had a pair too... it's not always straightforward and things do go wrong.. and it has done with mine when I had a tank off but I just went back a few steps to the long reins and took it slowly. Like you he went to his first driven show the other month (behaved wonderfully) It's just scarier when you drive and there's a carriage attached which does result in a lot of people deeming to pony unable to drive again, but most things can be overcome! Was it a true bolt, or a tank off (just as scary but different impulses) ie. fear over excitement/ naughtyness as the later will be the easier of the two to work with..
 

Barnacle

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No personal experience but Barry Hook looks amazing and there is no question he's worked with bolters...

Honestly, taking off in a show environment isn't exactly mindless "bolting" anyway. I would not think of this pony as a lost cause. It actually doesn't sound like it has all that many issues... Just needs to go back to basics and be worked with.

I would look into sending it away to be re-backed or sending it to someone like Barry Hook who will drive a 'problem' horse.
 

millikins

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No, more than tanking. Mixed opinion on whether a rational response, farrier who's experienced driver thinks I overfaced him in which case might be worth another go but instructor who's international was aware of plan, thought it was a good idea and thinks it was behaviour. I can try longreining in blinkers again, have to say I think it's all tied in with his respect issues, however much you desensitise them, at some point they'll meet something new and have to listen to the rider/driver don't they?
 

pennyturner

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I thought that it was a no no to ever drive again a horse or pony which has previously bolted in harness?
OP says bolt, but the incident sounds like a run-away. The difference is significant, as I'd happily put more work into a horse which has run off with the carriage, but not one which had lost its mind.

One of my best driving horses reared, span and took off the opposite way in gallop for half a mile when he saw a black dog when first in harness. Happily we had a clear road, and I was able to bring him back in hand with no harm done, eventually. He needed some work, but was far from a lost cause.

I'm sure Barry would be able to work with him.

Personally, I wouldn't consider 9 stone too much for such a pony. Certainly not if the riders are up to the job of schooling him and his alternative is PTS. He's old enough to be up to weight, but still young in his mind, and shetlands mature slowly. He might turn into a complete saint after a couple of years of consistent riding. My shetland is a very different beast at 15 than the little dragon he was at that age. He also ran with a vehicle early in his driving career, turning it over and sending kids flying into nettles. He's been driven plenty since without incident.
 

stormox

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But what sort of money would it cost to send a pony with problems to someone like Barry Hook to me re-broken/schooled? Would it not be more worthwhile to invest time and money into a nicer natured, sweeter pony which would be 100% safe and enjoyable? There are some lovely shetlands around at not much money...
 

rara007

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After we got my main two ponies we found out they had a history of running away- they've given me a simply awesome 10 years and never had an accident (or close- I got them aged 13 too) , as we have never put them in that position again. Absolutely don't take any risks, but no training is without blips, you wouldn't condemn a pony who bucked you off at its first show when someone cantered past. Plenty of easy Shetlands about, but then what happens to this one? Would Pip let you school when she's schooling hers? Or does she know more about its temperament than that- was it edgy before the accident?
 

millikins

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It's very encouraging that there are other ponies out there who have come back from something like this. He is very sharp, he's not fat because he rarely walks, always on the go. He gets bored and stroppy if he's done nothing for more than 2 days, even if it's just a walk. But he did nothing when being broken that gave me any cause for concern, if he appeared anxious we took a step back and just longreined. He is still kicking the mares, also tried to kick the farrier last week, I never go near enough to his back legs unless right up close for picking out as no, I don't trust him. He gave no warning when he kicked me, I walked behind him in the field with a barrow of hay which maybe was stupid but I'm not used to ponies that kick, I also am surprised I was in range. I suspect he might have "history", I bought him from someone I know, though not well enough to be a friend, at least 2 shetland people have said "I'm so glad X has got a job to do, I thought of taking him but didn't have time". He's our 6th pony and the others are all happy, successful animals with good manners and well schooled, bar 1 pts through injury. Daughter is BHSAI but we're both a bit defeated by this one.
 

Barnacle

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But what sort of money would it cost to send a pony with problems to someone like Barry Hook to me re-broken/schooled? Would it not be more worthwhile to invest time and money into a nicer natured, sweeter pony which would be 100% safe and enjoyable? There are some lovely shetlands around at not much money...
I'm sorry but this is an appalling attitude... You don't just put down a young healthy horse with a few little issues so that you can spend the money on a new one that's "easier". Once you own a horse, you are responsible for its life. I can't believe people think like this.

If all you were suggesting was to rehome, sure. That is a legitimate option. I still think it's premature though. The pony just has a few respect problems. That's not at all unusual - and particularly with the small ones.
 

Merlod

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I'm sorry but this is an appalling attitude... You don't just put down a young healthy horse with a few little issues so that you can spend the money on a new one that's "easier". Once you own a horse, you are responsible for its life. I can't believe people think like this.

If all you were suggesting was to rehome, sure. That is a legitimate option. I still think it's premature though. The pony just has a few respect problems. That's not at all unusual - and particularly with the small ones.
Agree :) also, is he turned out with others? I think one of the things that's done my Shetland wonders is living out in a herd of 8 who are 13.2 - 15.2 as they do a great job keeping him grounded and in his place, sometimes I feel sorry he has no small friends but really managing him like a normal size horse I think is they key!
 

muckypony

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I'm sorry but this is an appalling attitude... You don't just put down a young healthy horse with a few little issues so that you can spend the money on a new one that's "easier". Once you own a horse, you are responsible for its life. I can't believe people think like this.

If all you were suggesting was to rehome, sure. That is a legitimate option. I still think it's premature though. The pony just has a few respect problems. That's not at all unusual - and particularly with the small ones.
I completely agree. I'm quite shocked that people are considering having this pony PTS because he is the stereotypical definition of a Shetland!

I can understand how dangerous it was, but it sounds like he was a run away rather than a bolter. Please send him to a pro before PTS. I don't really have room but I would rather take him on than see him PTS for 'naughty' behaviour.
 

Ddraig_wen

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Myself I wouldn't drive a bolter. A good friend bought a driving pony with no history of bolting. He did it once and it escalated, culminating in flipping a cart and carrying on running with it upside down. He was later sent to myself to ride but you could never trust him. He went on to be an interesting ride...
 

stormox

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No where did I ever suggesting the pony had to be humanely killed!!! Ijust think sending to be re-schooled as a driving pony may not be in peoples best interests. Driving is very different to riding, accidents happen much quicker and are far more serious, a runaway horse is one thing, a runaway horse with a carriage behind it and blinkers on is another............
It might be reschooled by Barry Hook (at great expense) and somewhere down the line (no one knows what will happen in the future, he may have to be sold due to someones health, finances or situation) an inexperienced person could have a major accident.
 
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