I got a pony, now what?!
Hello guys! I am new here and i have a couple of questions for you about my new pony. I got him from a friend who found it wandering in the forest, he was very friendly and my mate decided to take him home. He is less than a year old, has only 2 small top and 2 bottom teeth so my guess is that he is 3-6 months old. I've had him for 3 days and i think he is too attached to me, he wont stay grazing(i don't know if that is the right way to say it) without me. I have a garden that has not been taken care of for ages right near my yard and he has plenty of grass to eat there but i have to stay with him (3 times a day /1-2 hours). The question is:how do i get him to stay there and eat/relax without me?
Thank you in advance and please excuse my bad english, I'm not a native.
I suspect your best bet, is to first discover to whom the pony belongs. Have you advertised in your local paper? You should state a found pony with your telephone number but not describe the horse in case of scammers seeking a free pony. Also he should be placed on Netposse. They find lots of lost horses and ponies. I presume he must belong to someone locally. Ask vets if they know his owner. Ask the postman if they have seen him anywhere before. Postman know an awful lot about those on the beat.
Only after you have informed all the correct people, to help find his true owners, can you then legally keep him. What kind of pony does he resemble? He might just be a small horse, given his age and not be a pony at all. Make sure he has the correct feed. Lawn grass isn't usually good for many horses. Does he seem to eat well on his own. Give him good hay for a start and chopped if it seems too large for him to comfortably eat. He doesn't necessarily need sweet feed or grain. Give him a mineral block to lick. And make sure you have very safe fencing for him and a shelter, out of the sun. This plus a barrel of fresh water each day. This should keep him happy while you seek his true owner. If an owner doesn't appear, then you can invest in all the other things a horse/pony needs. Later, when he is legally yours, you can show his picture here.
If your friend found it wandering in the forest, he has probably escaped from a paddock, and somebody is probably missing him.
He is attached to you because he needs his mother. Foals are usually not weaned from their mother until 6 months, he needs his mothers milk. At three months, he cannot survive without his mother. The older he is, the higher his chances of survival.
My suggestion? Put up "lost foal" notices throughout your town, get a vet out immediately to determine his age and put him on a feeding plan. You may need to find some mares milk for him. The sooner you get a vet out, the higher the chance he has for survival.
Please be careful with what grass he is eating. Horses cannot eat various weeds, they make them sick. Usually their mother teaches them what to eat and what to avoid, he may not know these lessons yet.
His back is about knee-height, he has water and shelter from sun but i didn't know about the weeds. He is not eating lawn grass, just regular plants that grow say on a field or something similar. The forest my friend found him in is actually a park-like forest in my town, i tried asking around but no one seems to know anything about him but that he was therefor a week or two.
I don't really know where to get mare's milk, won't any type of milk work? My friend said that he talked to a vet and she said to give him regular 1.5% fat milk. What do you think about that?
Either he's not that young, or he wasn't out there on his own for that long. I can't see a foal that age managing to survive on his own for any length of time. Surely he would have either starved, dehydrated, or been attacked by a wild/feral animal.
I would suggest trying to find a rescue or something of the sort to take him in. He needs proper care like his mother could give. Regular milk doesn't have the nutrients that any young animal needs. Perhaps you could find someone with a mare that could nanny him?
That sounds like he is still very young, if he is that small. Are there any breeding farms nearby? Perhaps they have a mare who can feed your foal. I've always thought you couldn't feed foals regular milk, I was told it will make them very ill. But if that's a vets opinion, then I'm not sure.
The plants: Grass is the best food for a horse. Some plants are okay, but I strongly suggest fencing him in somewhere with decent grass.
My best advice would be to get the vet out as soon as possible. He/she will give a thorough examination. Chances are they will know if the foal is missing from another farm. If not, they will give you all the instructions you need on feeding and care. Foals (well, horses in general) are expensive, be prepared!
How much experience do you have with horses? Foals learn bad habits fast and as they grow, become dangerous. In a herd of horses, they will rear, kick and bite in play. Generally they do this to humans as well, until they are taught otherwise. If you aren't experienced, I suggest getting some help from a trainer or an experienced friend.
There are not wild animals in that said forest, its just like a regular park where you always see joggers and things like that, the most dangerous thing out there is a dog. I don't know anyone with a mare or any horses for that matter and also have no knowledge of any farm nearby. I don't have any experience with horses and just now i started reading about them( even if i love them i didn't think i will ever get one). I took him because i felt sorry for him. When my friend called me he was eating sunflower seeds dropped on the ground and didn't look too good. After I got him home i brushed him, gave him clean water in a clean tank and brought him some grass to eat but he wouldn't eat it so i took him to that "garden" i told you about and he ate. He looks normal(to me at least) is pretty happy and he likes to stay near me. I think that if one of those weeds would be bad for him maybe he would have shown it (first meal was the day before yesterday around 6:00 PM)
About bad habits: he only runs if i do and i call him, he whines if i let him alone and doesn't kick his back legs, at all.
Given your situation, I would pass him on to a knowledgeable home, or at the very least, board him somewhere else. A garden is not a suitable home for a horse. On average, a horse needs between 2 and 5 acres of land to live happily.
I would still be worried about him learning bad habits in the future, even if he is good natured at the moment.
If he is that small, he's probably a Mini Horse and not a pony. He needs help and fast. Make sure no dogs can get to him. What country are you in? Don't feed him cow's milk.
Have to agree with others. Get a vet out to make a determination as to age and exactly what the baby is. With few teeth I am suspecting it is a foal but even the general height has me agreeing it may be the foal of a mini. You can't guess here..time is pretty critical. Until the determination is made as to just what type of equine you are dealing with, you are placing the equine in danger just due to not fully understanding their needs. Agreed also that you need to advertise or start looking, if you haven't already, for lost animal notices.
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