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Re: kid flinging pony

Hey Angie,

As the mom of twins who just turned nine and both did a couple of 25's last
season, I understand your concerns over your bucking pony.  It certainly
sounds like a behavioral thing.  My first thought is that I would believe
that the curb bit would encourage the pony to lower his head, rather than
raise it.  I'm thinking a thin, smooth snaffle, or perhaps even a twisted
snaffle with a running martingale set long and some work on your daughters
part on keeping that pony's head up, up, up might help.  Perhaps she can
learn to detect when he's about to pull his stunt (he's got to lower that
head somewhat) and learn to bump that pony's head up.  I've had a few
buckers in my day, and it is a behavior which can be cured with persistence.
Additionally, I've got a rather ornery 1/2 Arab mare whom my kids both did
their first 25's on.  She doesn't buck, but she can pull some screwy stuff
when she decides she's had enough of small children.  As an added safety
feature, I strapped my kids into a safety vest, in addition to their
helmets, for their first long training and LD rides.  Being so young, it
never occurred to them for a moment to complain about them being hot or
uncomfortable.  With your "bucker" it might give you both a bit more peace
of mind until you get the problem under control.  As to helmets, I hear you
on the Lidlocker.  My daughter is very flat-headed in the back and that
helmet just does not work for her.  Falls right down in her eyes, as you
describe.  For her, the Troxel works better.  My son, her twin, on the other
hand does well in the Lidlocker.

I love your idea of having a Big Horn endurance saddle designed for your
daughter.  My son wanted his own "endurance" saddle for his birthday last
week and I had to tell him there really weren't any (at least not
financially feasible) made for kids.  If this works out for you, do let me
know.  And, if they'll work out a better deal for you in making more than
one of those little saddles, let me know... I'd be game for two of them

Susan Swope
-----Original Message-----
From: Angela C. McGhee <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 9:53 PM
Subject: kid flinging pony

>O.K., things seem slow, see if ya'll can help me out.
>I've got a 12.2 hand, 6 year old Welsh gelding, and an 8 year old
>daughter who thinks she wants to do a 25 this spring.  Josie, (said
>daughter) is pretty tough and really loves to ride.  No, mom doesn't push
>her because mom really needs to ride without her so she can go faster, so
>it's doesn't behoove me for her to ride.
>The pony has had a pretty easy life since he was actually the property of
>the "other daughter" who is more of a "phone sprouting from the ear"
>type.  I've had him since he was 18 months old and am responsible for
>whatever training he's had, which means I rode him when I had a lame
>horse or had a few spare minutes.
>His problem is, he likes to throw a buck now and then.  When he's in the
>field, if a horsefly lands on his back, he bucks.  When he canters, he
>likes to throw a buck now and then.  Not a great big one, but he likes to
>get his head down and bounce a couple of times now and then, more of a
>"yee ha" than trying to get rid of anybody.
>When he bucks with me I let him have it, but kids are too busy hanging
>on.  By the way, he's not touchy on the flanks or loins.  He's also as
>far as you can get from shy.  You can't beat him away from you and he
>would simply chuckle if you thought you could scare him away.
>Yesterday, Josie went for a ride through the woods with me.  She was
>doing great, posting 90 miles an hour on the flats, trotting down hills
>(slowly) and going over a few low jumps, grinning from ear to ear.
>But...she loves to canter so as we rounded a little uphill curve I would
>let them canter.  After about an hour of riding, we did this and I looked
>back just in time to see her come off.  He had bucked at the canter and I
>heard her helmet smack a root hard.  This stuff is no big deal when it
>happens to me, but was terrifying as a mom.  She lay very still, cried a
>little, said her head hurt bad.  Finally, I asked if she thought she
>should walk home (meaning on foot) and she said, "No, I can trot". :-))
>She took it well and kept passing me as I walked them home, but her head
>did hurt, and today her neck is sore.  By the way, she knows enough about
>concussions to mess with us by giving us all sorts of phone numbers when
>we asked her what hers was. :-)
>This really bothers me.  The pony, for the most part is safer than most.
>But he just thinks he's got to do that little pitch now and then.  Josie
>was riding a little jumping saddle when it happened.  She likes to ride
>my Ortho-Flex Express, but right now that leaves me with no saddle to
>ride.  I'm looking at having a fellow who works over here at Big Horn
>make me a 13" endurance saddle and set the stirrups back, possibly
>modified to take up farther.  If I get one made, think anyone will be in
>the market for it when it's outgrown? (probably cost me about $300)
>Does anybody have advice on the bucking thing?  I have no round pen,
>Josie only weighs 70 lbs, and I don't think saddle fit was a major
>reason.  He does it bareback too.
>Does anybody know how one would make a pattern to build a little more of
>an English "look" saddle on a western tree, comparable to my Express?
>I have her ride with a curb bit so that she can keep his head up.  She's
>easy on his mouth, has great hands.  I'm thinking of getting some rubber
>grip reins.
>I really would like to keep this daughter, since I've been very pleased
>with her and have lots of money invested in her. >eg<  I can't see
>putting any sort of overcheck on the pony with all the uneven terrain and
>jumps we have to get past.
>P.S.  I'm looking at buying her a new helmet.  Won't be a Lexington type,
>they fall down over her eyes.  What's the concencus on the different
>Troxel styles?  Which one was more oblong?
>Angie & Josie (the one with the dent in her helmet)
>You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
>Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
>or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

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