Rescue Pony - the adventure begins.

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Rescue Pony - the adventure begins.

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        06-21-2014, 11:50 PM
    Rescue Pony - the adventure begins.

    Yesterday we brought home Snickers, a registered 19 year old Welsh Pony mare.

    Once upon a time she was a kids pony (and has the saddle sore scars to prove it) - but the owners didn't take care of her teeth, fed her poorly, and attributed her wasting away to age.

    My friend rescued her a month ago, got her teeth floated, shots done, wormed, and her feet trimmed and slowly but steadily Snickers gained weight. She offered her to me on trial, so now she is in my care.

    If she recovers fully and is a good fit, she will become the family pony for my eight and five year old daughters, Wren and Riley.

    This is her story. And here are the starting pictures.
    Attached Images
    File Type: jpg snickers1.jpg (66.2 KB, 126 views)
    File Type: jpg Snickers2.jpg (19.6 KB, 118 views)
    File Type: jpg Snickers3.jpg (19.1 KB, 118 views)
    File Type: jpg snickers4.jpg (71.4 KB, 118 views)
    File Type: jpg snickers5.jpg (99.3 KB, 122 views)
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        06-21-2014, 11:57 PM
    As you can see, she has no topline. She is on a diet of a good mix hay, Purina Ultium, DAC oil, and twice a day for about an hour she is turned out into my overgrown back yard to eat some good grass. Until she recovers some weight on her topline, Wren and I will do ground work with her.

    Today was Wren and Riley's first lesson with Snickers.

    I haltered her, they brushed her and then took turns leading her for about 5 minutes each. They worked on proper position at her head, extra rope coiled in the other hand, and asked Snickers to walk beside them, then Whoa. At first she would walk a few more steps, so I asked them to ask for the Whoa, then if she didn't stop correctly to back her a few steps. When she settled, they would give her a "Good Girl!" and a pet. She quickly adjusted to each of them, walking quietly besides the girls and stopping when they asked.

    I asked her for all four feet, which she gives quietly. No problems haltering for me, she evades the little ones a bit, something to work on for later. A good first lesson.
    DraftyAiresMum likes this.
        06-22-2014, 09:15 AM
    I should have posted these first, but here are her pictures from May 23 - the day my friend rescued her, after her feet were done. Amazing how far she's come in a month. Her hair makes her look better than she was, and even then her eyes were bright and kind.
    Attached Images
    File Type: jpg SnickersMay23.jpg (87.2 KB, 110 views)
    File Type: jpg SnickersMay232.jpg (45.3 KB, 107 views)
    File Type: jpg SnickersMay233.jpg (49.3 KB, 107 views)
        06-22-2014, 09:18 AM
    Poor pony. So happy she found her way to a good home! She looks like the perfect size for your girls.
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    Ace80908 and DraftyAiresMum like this.
        06-22-2014, 09:21 AM
    Thanks, CLaPorte - I agree, she is the perfect size for them, I am going to start hauling her to the local stuff with my others to see how she does around the activity - so far she is very accepting of everything, seems like a veteran around the kids.
        06-22-2014, 10:44 AM
    What a sweet looking pony! Hope she works out for yall
    Ace80908 likes this.
        06-22-2014, 11:48 PM
    When I went out today to take her into the backyard, Snickers seemed a little big for her britches, walking away from me when I walked over to catch her so I sent her away from me and made her trot around me (her pen is pretty small) so when I asked again for the whoa she decided that was easier.

    Let her into the backyard to eat and she trotted across the yard with her head up and tail flagged - obviously feeling pretty good about herself.

    After an hour I went back out to get her and she came to me easily. I am really impressed with how she walks past the bikes, the dogs, the cars without a care.

    So I took her to the barn, tied her up and brought over a brush to start grooming her. She got very wide eyed, threw up her head and did a baby rear - I was like, really? Told her to knock it off, showed her the brush, then softly brushed her. She relaxed and we pressed on, I cleaned out her feet then took her into the sand area in the barn (30 by 50 feet so kind of a teeny baby indoor) as it was threatening to rain outside.

    I had her walk and trot, letting her stop as soon as she responded correctly to the WHOA. I'd come to her, pet her, then send her off the other direction and repeat.

    After a few minutes, Wren came into the barn and wanted to help, so I had her get her helmet, then had her send Snickers off and let her ask for the Whoa. Snickers listened and then Wren went to her, attached her lead, and worked on leading again - Walk and Whoa, both directions. Snickers was very relaxed, actually more relaxed with Wren than with me.

    Wren asked if she could sit on her, and I thought - well, why not? I know from the sores on her withers she had been ridden quite a bit, so decided we might as well see what she does ... so I took an english fleece pad and set it on her back. No reaction. Put a bareback pad on over that, carefully and lightly buckled it and walked her off - no reaction .

    I set Wren on her, and let Wren pet her all over. I was matter of fact about it but I'll admit I had a hold of her hips in case I needed to pull her back off, but it wasn't necessary. Snickers had soft eyes, very relaxed, no big deal. Looped some reins for Wren attached the rope halter, then had my own lead, and we walked once around the area - again, no tension at all. Let Wren ask for a turn and a whoa with her reins and seat - Snickers listened really well. Wren was beyond pleased and very excited that she was riding her pony.

    And that was it. Had Wren slide off (no worries from Snickers) and had her tie her, then together we brushed her - showing her the soft brush first - and picked out her feet. Wren took her back to her pen and then gave her dinner. Snickers seemed completely at ease with the whole lesson.

    Now we will just continue on this course for the next month or so while she gets healthy - really low intensity, short respect building sessions.
        06-24-2014, 09:17 PM
    Put a snaffle on Snickers today - NOT her favorite thing! She tried to buffalo me - obviously someone owned her who was a little intimidated by her - tried to put it on, she reared, tried to bulldoze past me, backed away with eyes wide.

    I pushed away from me and made her do a strong trot for a few minutes, then asked again, and though she had her mouth clamped shut I slid my thumb in there, pried it open, and gently put it on. She mouthed it furiously - wonder if she only ever rode with a hackamore?

    Free longed her at the walk and trot both ways, again stopping when she started listening to the Whoa command.

    Wren rode her with her saddle today at a walk and whoa on her own with me standing in the middle of the pen. She had no buck, no stupidity under saddle, I had the reins attached to the halter - so she also could have just been a leadline pony - maybe one of the ones on a wheel? It would explain her saddle sores. Wren had to thump on her a few times to keep her going, but I saw nothing dangerous -

    I am debating getting a pony size hackamore for her, or going the other way and insisting she use the snaffle (it may be that a bit would hurt her mouth before her teeth were done, and she just needs gentle restarting to let her understand the snaffle isn't a big deal) - ground drive her, bit her up, get her to give...

    After Wren was done, I put Riley on and ponied her around for a minute then we were done. Let Snickers stand there and rest, then took the bridle off, she kept that snaffle locked in tight, so had to slip my thumb back in her mouth to open it and let her release the snaffle, and very gently removed it. Then let her rest a bit more, and put the snaffle back on and lots of praise when she accepted the bit.

    Whole lesson took about 20 minutes, and I think she learned alot.
        06-27-2014, 06:37 PM
    The last two days she was getting progressively better with accepting the snaffle - and today she did fantastic.

    I saddled her up, brought her into the indoor, the slid the snaffle up , my forearm resting between her ears and holding the headstall in place- she tensed her neck and I encouraged her "easy, baby - it's alright - you can do it" and she sighed, relaxed her jaw and let me slide the snaffle in, smooth as silk.

    Kept her lesson very short today - just did showmanship with her - walk, whoa, set up feet, praise. Walk off in position, repeat. Then free longed her around the pen and mostly a walk and a little trotting both ways, then she was done. Not one correction was needed, she was perfect today.

    Went to take the headstall off - again encouraged her and she opened her mouth to drop the bit out, and again, lots of praise and petting. She seemed quite content today.

    It is making me happy that she is starting to get a shine to her coat. Still such a long way to go to get filled back out - but the trust is coming and she is doing very well.
    Attached Images
    File Type: jpg Snickers1.jpg (49.0 KB, 82 views)
    File Type: jpg Snickers2.jpg (34.0 KB, 79 views)
        06-27-2014, 10:41 PM
    She's perfect!
    Ace80908 likes this.

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