We've got another pony, a 8hh shetland mainly for field company, but also we'd like to give mini rides to toddlers.
The trip back from where we collected Barney was with a friends horse trailer, sad to say we didn't know how noisey it was inside. I followed behind in my car to see Barney rearing inside the tralier, so we pulled over to find he'd completely turned around and broken free of his head collar. He was really stressed so I decided to ride with him and my friend took over in my car.
He had no balance bless him and was all over the place especially on roundabouts. Whilst in the trailer we bonded in that he realised I was trying to help him. The noise though was hurrendous the axel was making the most awful noise that alone would have paniced any horse. Trying to keep Barney balanced more, he burried his head and ears into my chest as I held his head collar to keep his balance. Never again borrowing a trailer! We made it safely to our field, he was nervous as expected, but I took steps to introduce him to BamBam, which worked quite well and I was able to leave them safely with no kicking etc..
Next morning the mare from the next field had managed to get into our field and had Barney with her and kept pushing BamBam away so he couldn't get near him. I waited for the owner and asked that I could join up with the mare, she agreed but wasn't sure what I was going to do. Not idea space as there was 3 acres of it and I can't walk very well let alone run lol.. Eye contact and away we went.... initially Barney stayed with her as I pushed her away, then when she started to lock on with her ear, I was able to seperate Barney from her and foucs on the mare fully, amazing form in the gallop as she had me going up and down the field. then I saw the next sign the head dropping and the licking of the lips. Her running space became smaller and I let her rest and graze, slowly going closer to her and keeping eye contact, if she turned her butt, then i pushed her on again until I had the lowered head and licking. Finally she stopped and I was able to move in towards her in what I call the grazing position, she let me graze right up to her nose, but then as soon as I went to put my hand to her face she'd shiver and go to move away, but I'd take up the grazing position and she'd stay with me. From this point it took about 5 mins to be able to touch her all over, but she was still worried about the head collar in my hand, each time that went near her she'd shiver and go to move, but if I took it away she'd stop. Incirmentally I gradually got the head collar to touch her face and her neck. She then let me put the rope around her neck, then stood still and accepted the head collar.
The owner was amazed, as the mare won't let anyone near her. The owner sold her when she was 3 to be 'broken' then brought her back again being told she was ridable, but she wasn't and ended up unconscious and hospitalised. Since then she's had this pony, doensn't know how to train her, can't ride her as she's scared she'll get thrown again.
I felt confident that the mare would accept someone getting on her back again, so my daughter came and did a couple of pretent getting on the back and the mare stood perfectly.
I suggest the owner try, but not to jump up. We got a log and the mare lined up nicely, the owner leaned across the back, quite stifley :D and I told her to drop her head down and relax. The mare stood still. She got off again, then this time we added reigns and I got her to lay across the back and gently swing her leg over, sit up but in the crouched position, then slowing raising up. The smile on the owners face said it all. She'd not riden the mare for 2 years since the accident.
We left it at that for now, it had taken 2 hours in all to do, too much field and running space slowed down any form of join up. But we got there.
Next day, today, lol, our Barney has broken through to the mare's field!!
Barney's history is that the last owners brough him as 'broken' to find out he wasn't. The'd wanted him for their young children. Barney is now 5 and still never riden and difficult to catch and handle.
Lessons started today :D I knew that catching him was out of the question, so I wanted to make him feel this mad woman stops chasing me if I'm in that field. So we walked and galloped not only through the mares fields, but the next ones aswell lol.. A couple came over and asked me if I wanted help catching him, the look of surprise when I said I'm not trying to chatch him was amusing :D. One hour passes of the chase and he finally goes back into our field. We have wire and he just slips under it, so I took the pressure off and went about doing something else. Off he went again and so did I, this time 15 minutes and he decided to go back into our field. I took off the pressure. He tried this about another 5 times, each time he returned and I took off the pressure. Each time the pursuit got less and less. The last time, I just stepped into the next field and he shot back into ours! :D
Interestingly, the mares 3 of them, one from the day before plus 2 fillies, joined me. With my keeping eye contact with Barney, the mare saw what I was doing and pushed Barney away from her, it was as if she's accepted that I was lead mare for Barney and she was respecting that of me. Shortly after the mare rejecting Barney so did the fillies, then there was a combination of me and 3 mares all putting pressure on Barney. If the fillies got a bit too close to me when chasing Barney, just a flash look at their eyes and they changed direction, then eye back on eyes with Barney.
The last couple of times that Barney went into the mares field the owner had turned up and she watch. When Barney went back to our field she came over to me and said 'I can't belive it, look the girls they're herding together they've never done that!' :D
So an all round good weekend. BamBam through all of this did his bit in herding Barney back into the mares field, but also when I got Barney back into our field, BamBam took over and herded Barney further up our field to grase.
Good bit of team work,I'm sure not perfect but seemed to achieve quite a bit.