Aggressive Mini Pony

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Meznuraie, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Meznuraie

    Meznuraie New Member

    We just got a 1 year old miniature pony, mostly as a lawnmower for our yard, and he seems to be trying to assert his dominance. He hasn't actually bitten anyone, but he takes a mouthful of our clothes and holds it in his mouth. He also swings his head around and opens his mouth like he's going to bite you when you stop scratching his favourite itchy places, or if you run out of treats.

    So far I've been saying "no, no biting" and pushing his shoulder away so he faces away from me every time he swings around. If he keeps doing it, I push his shoulder and then his rump (not hard, just enough to get him moving away) to drive him away, and when he comes back without opening his mouth, I tell him he's a good boy and give him pats.

    The man we bought him from called him a "cheeky little bugger", and he was used as a lawnmower there, as well. He hadn't been halter broken - I'm working on that (putting pressure forwards, back, side, up and down until he steps in that direction, then letting it relax and giving him praise), but I'm hoping to get rid of this threatening dominance thing, if possible..

    Does anyone have any tips?
  2. jlnew

    jlnew Well-known Member

    is it agressivness? or playfulness? because that will make the dif in how far you take diciplin.

    im probably in the bad owner catagory as i let all of my horses mouth me but biting isnt allowed. a couple like to just hold things, your shirt, the lead rope, your hand, but they ddont actually bite. when younger if they did exert pressure then i would push their noses away gently and distract them with something else.

    young horses are a lot like babies - everything goes in their mouth. lol
  3. venruebin1

    venruebin1 New Member

    Is he a colt or gelding? I am assuming colt if he hasn't even been halter trained. If this is the case you must get on top of the biting quickly as it will get worse and he will be a danger particularly to children. He is only young but he needs to be treated as a horse not a pet. The yard is becomming his territory and you are being treated as the invader.

    If you have no intention (or facilities) to breed him it would be best to get him gelded now. I have found with my colts that if they go to bite I give them a good tap instantly. Don't make a huge fuss but only good tap will help wake him up to the fact that it is unacceptable to you. If it continues get a lunging whip and use it to keep him out of your space. You can then invite him to come to you and give him a pat but don't let him into your space unless you invite him.
  4. Meznuraie

    Meznuraie New Member

    We're considering getting him a girlfriend, since he's a perfect chestnut with 4 perfect little socks. He's also very small, compared to the others we've seen around here, so we were thinking of trying to improve the breed size-wise. There's plenty of space - It's an acre and a half of mostly pasture grass, he has his own little shed (a garage we have no need of, with a slightly sloping cement floor, with some straw in one corner), and a greenhouse-type area with more pasture grass growing in it.

    I think he's trying to say "I'm the boss, you're going to fall in line now" when he acts as though he's going to bite. He seems to be doing it less, since I've been doing the pushing away when he does it, and patting him when he doesn't. He doesn't chase the people, and doesn't make a determined attempt to bite, just acts like he's going to.

    We have a Great Dane x Bull Mastiff (Leo) who's about 3 - 4 inches taller at the shoulder, and Peanut walks up to him and charges a little (2 steps) to make him back up. He sometimes takes some of Leo's neck skin between his teeth and holds it, not biting hard. Leo tolerates it, but holds his head away (the dog way of submission).

    Here's Peanut in the rope halter I made for him. We had a proper one, but he didn't like it at all. He seems to like this one, since it's very light.
  5. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Couple of points. He is a colt, soon to be stallion, not a toy lawnmower. How would you treat a tall stallion? Look at him the same way. For his ultimate welfare I am urging you to think of his future and set him up for a peaceful domestic life, via castration and training and/or by radically rethinking your plan to have a hormone charged territorial breeding stud with no behavioral boundaries loose in your garden.

    Second point, he may be small and cute, but is this enough to bring more untrained, , unwanted little horses into this world? They are minature but their care and handling and breeding and selling is no less involved than for a taller horse.
  6. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    I have Miniatures & they are NOT allowed to nip/bite, mouth etc whilst i'm handling them. It's a damn bad habit IMO & that's why many Mini's are very naughty as people let them get away with murder just about!
    Small Man Syndrome & Spoilt/Not Disciplined is a recipe for disaster. ;)

    My Mini foals chew on my clothes or nibble when i'm in their paddock, i do "play"with them but there are boundaries. They do get in trouble if they step over the line.
    My rising 3yo colt is 30/31"& ALL boy, he's great at home (well apart from being vocal) but as soon as he's in the ring, he'll do his best to nip. I discipline him when needed. He needs to know it's not on, my fault as he's not had as much show-ring exposure but either way - it's a habit we don't need.
    I don't care how small he is, if he was 15 or 16hh & tried that crap on, someone could easily be hurt.
    Not intention of gelding my colt, extremely well bred & true to type. ;)

    Personally, keep him away from your dog, either will get hurt & i'd never let my Mini's grab my dog/s by the skin because they will eventually retaliate & bite back.. couldn't blame them. :eek:
    Stick the colt out in a paddock, the backyard is YOUR space, handle him daily & always (try to) end on a good note. Treat him as if he was 16hh & don't spoil him.

    Otherwise bring him here for a while, i have a 29" mare that will teach him who's boss & will firmly knock him down a peg or 2. :D
  7. NumidianHorse

    NumidianHorse Active Member

    Firstly - good on you for asking for views on this little time-bomb! :p

    I completely agree with what Blackbat (and Remaani) said ...

    Bad behaviour now will become worse behaviour in the future. The joke of ... "it's all fun until someone gets hurt" applies - and isn't a joke in this situation.

    Try getting a reputable vet / farrier / dentist / physio to consult to this animal in time of need ... they will not consult a second time if he's an untrained monster with no manners.

    If you introduce him to kids / fearful adults / other animals and someone gets hurt, the pony will actually come off worst. You may end up having to get rid of him, then how does life go for him?? He could be beaten or mis-treated ... and if he's lucky - end up in a tin of dog food ... or sadly - be used as live bait for hunting or fighting dogs!!! This horrific behaviour exists in Western Australia, don't think this only happens "somewhere else" ...

    I'd suggest that the most responsible thing for this little guy is firstly to have him gelded! (especially as you will be very restricted on where you can take / show or agist a miniature monster escape stallion ;) . He's cute, but WA is full of beautiful, educated riding horses that people can't give away (check out Second Chance's website for the proof - they didn't always look like "that") ... I'm not keen on breeding animals and would suggest leaving that to the true breed experts - and only for animals that have genes that must be preserved.

    ...If it was me, I'd immediately start working on compassionate, consistent training in manners and respect (as if he was a 17 hand warmblood!) It is what he needs and will respect you for (consistent boundaries).

    In return, the reward for you will be a wonderful little pony companion who, if you keep, will be safe and a joy for everyone to be around ... and if circumstances change and you cannot keep him, then he has a good chance you can place him in a home where they will apply the same standard of consistent and compassionate care ... It doesn't guarantee him a happy life ... however, allowing him to remain entire and not working on his manners simply guarantees a life of un-necessary hormones and misery for him ... and if you move him on ... how many homes will he go through??

    I met a very similar pony (stallion) yesterday ... and in 10 minutes could see his potential to be a fabulous little gelding for some child. I'd suggest you think ahead 10 years and identify what you want your pony's life to look like. Have him gelded, get some manners established - and enjoy watching him grow into that happy future! **)

    Hope that's helpful and good luck with him :))
  8. Delrae

    Delrae Gold Member

    Agree with what the others say... treat him no different to a horse of any size, he is a horse or pony for that matter and MUST be treated the same
    I breed miniatures and ALL mine have discipline and respect for their handlers

    Can I strongly recommend that you do not buy a girlfriend for him but get him gelded instead, there is a lot more to breeding miniatures than size, get to know the breed and its standards, the bloodlines and the genetic make up before embarking into the breeding side of owning a miniature, being small, being cute and having 2 testicles is not a good reason to breed. If you are still interested in breeding then join one of the societies available and learn all that you need to know first, learn the requirements and qualities of what a breeding stallion should have so that you do not inadvertently add more ponies/horses to the growing number of "pets"
    By getting him gelded will give you more enjoyment of your little guy and will also give him a far better quality of life without the stress of male hormones **)
  9. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    IMO, he'll be much happier as a gelding. And with some discipline. No horse should be allowed to put it's mouth on you ever. I don't even let mine nuzzle my legs :} and he doesn't bite.
    Gelding him will help in getting rid of his aggressive (and unacceptable) behaviour.
    I also think that unless it's a world beater, there's no need to breed from it. And there's more to breeding than getting a horse a girlfriend :}
  10. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    If he were here, he'd be gelded in a heartbeat and (after healing) popped in with my "herd" to sort out ;) Leave that alone for a month and then see how his manners are doing :)
  11. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    and to add to the above great posts.. IMO ... I wouldnt keep him a Stallion, geldings DO have much nicer lives.**) and he doesnt look like hes got 4 white feet ';'

    All the best
  12. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    Yeah I was trying to work that out too..

    My horse's front feet are like that and he's got two socks on his hinds... They're very different. And on his papers he's only got two socks :eek: so I don't think they're socks :)*
  13. beagle

    beagle Well-known Member

    all of the above. I really really REALLY hope that the OP takes this all on board & gelds the little fella asap.
    That lawnmower needs testicles & a girlfriend (eek!) like a fish needs a bicycle.
    Please do what is right.
  14. PetaBizz

    PetaBizz Well-known Member

    Four white socks doesnt make stallion material either.. sorry:eek:
  15. Lacey

    Lacey Well-known Member

    I agree with a lot of the others it sounds like you don't have the experience for your boy to be left a stallion, IMO it would be a very good idea to geld. Also I hope you don't leave the rope halter on all the time as if it did get caught on anything it wouldn't break and he could get stuck or hurt getting to get away.
  16. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    Good point! **)
  17. LittleTM

    LittleTM New Member

    What do you want to do with him? Is he going to be a lawn mower ( if so geld) Is he going to be a kids pony ( if so geld) Are you going to show him ( you won't get anywhere with a stallion without ribbons, etc... but if you geld then you can do what ever)? If so what is his breeding? is he registered, is he eligible to be registered? apart from the biting what is his temperament like? What price are you going to sell the foals for? if you have kids how are you going to explain to them why you are selling their foals... what training are you going to put into the foals so that they are safe around your kids... what trainign are you going to put into your kids so they are safe around the ponies. Just a few thing that have sprung to mind... I know my answers to these questions and went- nup- not breeding.

    He is a horse no matter his size... ponies are not just little horses- they're big horses in witness protection... and need to be treated as if they are the massive horses they think they are. That mouth *has* to be gentle and *you* are herd leader. If you want a gentle way to discourage biting and mouthing- one trainer I met used to rub her foals noses enthusiastically- not hurting them but really over doing it every single time that they mouthed her, so they learnt that mouthing and nibbling meant not comfortable and tingling noses when they walked away from her, whereas not nibbling meant great scratches and gentle rubs.

    Whatever you do, you will have to address the behaviour issues.
  18. Shiralee

    Shiralee Well-known Member

    He is a horse no matter his size... ponies are not just little horses- they're big horses in witness protection...

    hahaha love this description.....
  19. GeeJay

    GeeJay Guest

    My partner helped a lady the other day with her mini colt, he halter trained and then tied him up for 3 hrs his cocky ways left him after the first hour.

    Then they got a horse bell attached it with a leather strap and he got turned out with the girls, boy is he happy to be at home now mowing the lawn .

    Don't feed tit bits.
  20. Brew

    Brew Well-known Member

    A ride on mower would be lot's easier !!!!!!!

Share This Page