So, on Friday we brought our first pony, Sebastian, home. It has been interesting to say the least. His previous owner said he has been sitting unhandled since last September. Previously, he had been broke to ride.
We knew he would need a tune up and have been talking to different trainers in the area but our first priority was trust building because we knew he was rather skittish.
I was very concerned when we got there on Friday and the owner had serious difficulty catching him. He said that Sebastian doesn't normally behave this way, but he was worked up and wouldn't let the owner near him.
When I got into his corral, he came right up to me and had no problem letting me touch him, so I figure he doesn't like the owner, has associated him with nothing but work, etc (seems he has a little bit of an issue with men - he doesn't care for my husband either). So we got him loaded, home, and stalled. We planned on keeping him stalled for a few days and easing him into the new field.
We fed hay and the pellet/sweet feed mix his previous owner had him on (yes, I know we need to get him off of this). He ate just fine, let us touch him etc. He rolled around in the shavings, layed down that evening, seemed comfortable and confident. We let him sit that day.
By the next afternoon, he had gotten pretty antsy (was used to be doing turned out 24/7) and was pawing at the ground, knocking his feed bucket down, splashing in his water etc. Eating well, drinking fine. he was a little gassy. He let me halter him easily and that afternoon I led him out to our pasture and let him graze for about thirty minutes.
Same the next morning (Sunday). Sunday afternoon he was getting even more antsy and a little pushy with me. So we decided to turn him loose for a few hours and cross our fingers that he'd let us catch him. We left him to graze with the halter on and every 30-45 minutes I'd go out, let him approach me, touch me, and I'd back off. Just trying to show him that interacting with me didn't mean work, being captured, anything negative. He was out for about 3-4 hours. When I went to catch him, he came right up to me, let me hook him to the lead, and easily came to be stalled.
He drank but was not interested in his hay. Checked on him again before we went to bed and he'd had a loose stool. This morning, he had had two more loose stools, hadn't really eaten much hay, but ate his pellets. I haltered him up, and took him out to graze for twenty minutes while my husband cleaned his stall, refilled hay and water. Stalled him again. He seemed happy. No signs of distress, stomach gurgling nicely, no more pawing at the ground.
I was able to watch him from out patio, and after a while he lay down, then completely on his side. When I went out again right before leaving (just a few minutes after he lay flat) he sat up but didn't get up until I went in with him. He was again not showing any signs of discomforting. But of course I am worried. I expect some loose stools with the stress of moving and new grass. Beyond that, how paranoid should I be? I don't know how much laying down is normal for him. He isn't laying down/getting up frequently or anything like that to cause concern, but I was a little weirded out that he didn't immediately hop up when I got out there.
Attaching some pics below. If you've made it this far, I greatly appreciate it!
Edited to add: I know he needs grooming and his tail trimmed, farrier out etc. We are just giving him time to settle for now!