Pony Shock Collar Training

May 2, 2013

You already read about the overall experience at MGAA – Mounted Games Across America’s Mid-Atlantic Mounted Games Series #1 competition.  You already read about how I locked my keys in my truck, and now you get to read about Pony Shock Training. 

Now before you scream abuse, keep in mind the shock was less than an electric fence shock. 

As is typical at venues that allow portable paddocks, I popped up a paddock in the camping area for Simon.  He loves being in the middle of the action, and being free to move about, and I love the savings I get on the cost of a stall and shavings.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find my portable paddock kit before I left.  Ironically I packed the portable fence charger, portable spool of fence tape and the gate openers away for the winter in a place that I “would remember where the kit was come spring”.  Apparently my memory is not in tune with that thinking. 

I managed to scrounge up some loose pieces of tape and figured I would give it a go.  I normally forget to turn the charger on anyway, and had not even bothered to hook it up all last year since he never challenged the perimeter. 

I should also preference this with how annoying Simon can be.  I cannot leave a bucket in his paddock or he throws and kicks it around endlessly.  This includes buckets of water.  He knocks them over, and then kicks them around.  So I remove his buckets, offering him water at frequent and regular intervals, and keep them waiting a few yards from his pen. 
Saturday morning, I woke up at 5am, prompted by my bladder.  I could see Simon was still laid out snoozing away on the ground, and I slipped back into bed after doing my business, but not before he caught sight (or probably sound) of me, and nickered good morning.  I ignored him and crawled back into bed.  About 20 minutes later I heard him beating a bucket around.  The stinkin pony had pushed his chest into the fence and stretched his neck out so he could get hold of one of his buckets and had it under him, rhythmically kicking it with all 4 feet.  I climbed out of bed and took it away from him and decided that I might as well get my day under way. 

That evening Simon had already eaten his feed and had a nice pile of hay to keep him company, but I noticed he was watching us with mischievous eyes while we ate our dinner.  And I suppose he had had enough of not being the center of attention, and he grabbed the fence tape in his teeth and yanked it up and off the poles.  We jumped up, yelled at him and put the fence back in place.   But it wasn’t but  few minutes later that he grabbed the top of one of the step in posts and pulled it out of the ground and marched on out and into the center of camp.  I tied him up to a trailer for a while, but eventually needed to sort out what I was going to do with him for the night and decided to return him to his paddock, where he promptly started the pull-the-fence-down game back up. 

Fellow camper, Genevieve had an idea.  Let’s try putting the dog training shock collar on him that another fellow camper, Carol Ann had for her dog.  Gen got busy, and rigged it up with bailing twine and stepped back for action.  Sure enough, as soon as I let go of his halter, he went right to the fence, and Gen gave him a zap.  He looked a bit confused, probably because fences usually shock the end of his nose, not his throat, and he immediately tried again.  Zap.  It took one more go and the pony had it figured out.  He stood in the middle of the paddock and glared at us.

After a while of him not testing the fence, we took the collar off, but sure enough he went right back at it, and the collar was back on.  He did not test it again, knowing the collar was the culprit. 

So it was a bit of a 50/50.  He clearly got the message almost instantly, but he also knew it was only enforced by the collar.

2013-04-27 18.02.07

Gen applying the collar

2013-04-27 18.03.15

eeek, push the button!

2013-04-27 19.08.24

Annoyed with the collar on

2013-04-27 19.08.11

2013-04-28 11.29.27

In time out.

2013-04-29 10.12.59

banging a bucket

 

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