Doesn't want to go home???

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by belle486, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. belle486

    belle486 New Member

    Have been riding a 6 year old Welsh pony for over a month now and he's recently decided to be a right, royal little s***. I've been riding him around the farm to him used to a lot of new things (was a city horse who never left the arena now, country horse who goes everywhere) and he's been going great.
    Until now.
    This morning, we'd been out for a couple of hours, just walking because it's ridiculously hot and so I thought I'd turn around to go home and he stopped. First of all I thought, it's a snake because we've had a a couple of close calls. So I egged him on to walk off again. Nope, just backwards. Spun around and kept going down the road. I spent an hour trying everything from kicking, slapping his rump, even to a riding crop across the rump but he just bucked and spun around and tried to continue on his way, away from home. My 2 hour ride ended up being 3 and half.
    I was very quickly losing my patience so got off and walked for 2kms (mainly for me to calm down). As soon as he recognised the road up the hill to our driveway, happy as anything.
    What did I do wrong?
    I've given myself a headache over it. Any ideas would be a help.
  2. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Was the way you had ridden him towards where his old home is.... I am serious...... I have driven mine nearly 2000km from let them go and they start heading the direction 'home' is until they hit the fence.

    Getting off and walking is a good thing too as his feet are still going in the direction you want him to go regardless if your on him or off him. I think he needs more time to settle into his new environment. Give him a bit more time. Also riding him for a couple of hours in the heat is a fair bit of work if he is not used to doing a lot of work. Maybe work him for less time in the cooler part of the day and that way he may not jack up as much.

    If he is green too he will need more time to get used to his routine. The biggest thing is too don't get so annoyed with him that you 'have to walk to calm down'. Get off before that happens so your still in control and turn him towards home and walk with him. He may also have been overwelmed at having to be the 'lead' horse. Sometimes if you get off and walk in front you become the 'lead' horse so he can just follow along behind without having to think. Being a 'lead' horse is hard work on a young horse and his concentration span may have not been long enough to hold that position for two hours.

    Good luck with him. Lessons may also help as well.
  3. JustJam

    JustJam Well-known Member

    I agree with GTD, 2 hours walking is a lot in this heat... I haven't ridden at all since this heat set in and I know many others who have just decided to take it as a mini-spell lol

    Maybe your pony's GPS just had a melt down? ;)
  4. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    Hi Belle, don't stress and give yourself a headache that is just a smart little welshy trying to have an opinion. A good way of dealing with this kind of behaviour whether it is heading away from home or towards home is to remember the great horse training quote "make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard". If the pony tries this antic again let him make the mistake and head away from home or towards home or wherever they want to go and make it a really bad decision and make them work! Do little circles at trot changing directions many many times and make them soon as they are faced in the direction you want to go take the pressure off and let them walk,if they do it again repeat the hard work process! They soon work it out!

    Do not get angry with the pony just keep it really unemotive and say to yourself no problem pony but if you want to go that way we are just going to do some work!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  5. belle486

    belle486 New Member

    Thanks everyone!
    Went out on him this morning and only one disagreement (over some particularly stinky mud) and he was fine.
    Plus it was only 22 degrees so that was a lovely change and he was bouncier than ever.
    Have found he loves to walk along the road whereas farm tracks and firebreaks are too confusing, plus there's boulders that, according to the horse, can eat you if you go near them. So new experiences of "what freaks him out" everyday. Have now added foxes to the list.
    As they say "new horse, new experience" OH LORDY YES.

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