Identification of an Australian horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-03-2019, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Victoria, Australia
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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.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-03-2019, 06:18 PM
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I wonder... to be a gelding with all those hormones of breeding mares floating around... perhaps that's why he's so 'riggy'. And maybe he's never been allowed to live with other horses, so he hasn't learned the 'social graces'. Anyway... I'd speak to the rescue about looking into extra magnesium in his diet.

There are other Vic horse FB pages, there's also a horsey social page. Not able to put FB links here, so you'll have to look them up. If you're not a PC or AR member, that's probably why you can't get on their page. If that's not the reason then I'd ask them why.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-03-2019, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Victoria, Australia
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Thanks so much Loopsie
I'll have a poke about for those other horse groups on FB - and I'll see to getting some magnesium powder put into his chaff. The idea of ulcers is brand new to me, but given he is a chronic windsucker, I should get the dentist out to check his mouth. It's interesting that you've suggested he may just not be socialised - I assumed he picked up the windsucking habit out of boredom during his stint as a tether pony. Though, on the flip side, it may well have been down to him being segregated or stabled. I've never seen him stabled myself, as all our horses are kept outside. I'll definitely be clipping his shoulders to get a better shot of the brand this week. Someone, somewhere knows who he is, I'm sure of it.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-03-2019, 11:16 PM
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Loopsie... I like that actually. I am a bit loopy sometimes...

Yeah, studies have shown that boredom is unlikely a cause of windsucking, but it is related to not being fed properly - eg. stabled with infrequent 'meals' & not enough hay & too much hard feed & the likes. It was estimated, from studies on Oz racehorses many years ago, that over 90% of wind suckers have stomach ulcers - and back then they could only scope for stomach ulcers, not hind gut. These days I think people *generally* know better about proper feeding practices, esp when horses are locked up, but it's still common.

It's been thought of as an 'incurable stereotypic behaviour' once it's become a habit - that is, self reinforcing & an 'obsessive compulsive' thing. Recent anecdotal studies (can't remember the Qld womans name... she's had a lot to do with giving horses Mg Chlor...) have been promising however, that successful treatment of ulcers & enough Mg in their diet may make 'confirmed cribbers' get over it though.

On a behavioural level, I wouldn't worry about it, but keep him in an environment that's healthy for him, and reduce the posts & other options he can windsuck on.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-03-2019, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Victoria, Australia
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Ooooh - Loosie, not Loopsie!
I'm so sorry, I've been reading your name wrong all this time! Apologies. 'Scuse my brain fart. :P
Speaking of stomach ulcers, Henry does have an *extremely* noisy gut, and it is especially loud when he is in exercise. I've always wondered whether that was anything to be concerned about. I was told by his owner that "all geldings do that", but I've got my suspicions. He still eats like, well, like a horse!
I do try to keep him away from things he can windsuck on, and he never does it when he thinks I'm watching (it's hilarious when I catch him - he just freezes on the spot and eyeballs me). But when he is in his field, he attacks the trees, and he always comes up to me with sap stuck to his nose and whiskers. I've coated his tie-up post in tabasco sauce, which he will not touch, but coating the trees is another matter entirely and simply isn't practical.
I just need to find a method of prevention that works when I'm not around, or when I can't supervise him.
This magnesium idea sounds promising. Thank you very much for suggesting that to me. If my boy does indeed have stomach ulcers, I want to get them under control and healing as soon as possible. My mother had some and they are simply awful things.
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