Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Victoria, Australia
• Horses: 0
Hello Loopsie - thanks very much for such an in-depth response.
Yes, in those ridden pics, he does look unhappy - they are about 8 months old, and I can confirm he was uncomfortable in those photos, unbeknownst to me at the time, the linked snaffle we had on his bridle was causing him pain - have since swapped it out for a straight bar, and he's been much happier with that.
A tether pony is a gelding tethered between two paddocks of breeding thoroughbreds, and are used to keep the grass between the paddocks in check.
Essentially, a living lawnmower. He would have had very limited human contact, and was likely not ridden. He kept untying himself, getting into the mares' paddock and causing mayhem. He also used to attack stallions that got too close to him. He still mounts mares on a very regular basis, and has broken through fences to get to them before. He also does not get on with a lot of the geldings and asserts himself very much as the leader. He was very pushy towards me, constantly testing me when we first met and trying to assert his dominance over me. Including literally pushing me around when I did groundwork with him. He is now far better behaved and is very willing to listen to me. But I still wouldn't trust him to play nice with someone who lacked confidence. He makes a terrible fuss when he sees me paying attention to the other geldings he lives with. He also has an incredibly thick, muscular neck for his size.
I did take him back to the very basics and establish ground rules again - many, many hours of groundwork and basic exercises in the round yard have made him far nicer to ride. But it's not been easy to get here. We are the closest of friends now, and his mood has improved drastically since I first met him. Though he is still not keen on people other than me riding him. He is still suspicious of others. He has a fear of people carrying buckets close to his head (I think he's probably been hit with one at feeding time), and behaves strangely around weaving/slalom poles - gets very nervous, tense, up on his toes when we go near them, and the slightest noise or movement will make him bolt towards them. His sheer level of energy is what makes me think he is younger than teenage.
I did try to join the Victorian Pony Club facebook page, but they denied my request to join the group. Not sure where else I can go.
I do try and make sure he has the healthiest life possible, but due to me not actually owning him (I'm a volunteer trainer, he's owned by a small animal therapy charity), I'm not around every day. Though I do try and visit a few times a week to see him and work with him. He's essentially been my project horse - he was going to be sold on because he needed so much work, but I saw something in him, and of course, I took him under my wing. As far as I've seen, a freezebrand turns the hair white.