New Pony Owner - This is Stressful! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Question New Pony Owner - This is Stressful!

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!
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_5571.jpg (45.3 KB, 138 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_5473.jpg (40.7 KB, 137 views)
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Last edited by Foxhunter; 04-22-2019 at 12:33 PM.
WildestDandelion is offline  
post #2 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 11:54 AM
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He's a cutie!

"Normal" is relative.

Some horses (ponies) just lay down a lot. Nothing wrong with them. How old is he? Young horses lay usually down a lot more than older horses. Does he roll a lot when he is down?

Loose stools occur from time to time. I actually don't know why. Some one more experienced will probably be able to tell you. My horse will occasionally get loose stools for about a day or two then return to normal. Nothing changed - at all - not food, living arrangements, no stress (that I'm aware of), or exercise - nada.

I'd still keep an eye on him, but I don't think it's an emergency. Him pawing could likely be due to frustration/boredom about being in a new place and/or in a stall. Him laying down is probably him just resting.
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
He's a cutie!

"Normal" is relative.

Some horses (ponies) just lay down a lot. Nothing wrong with them. How old is he? Young horses lay usually down a lot more than older horses.

Loose stools occur from time to time. I actually don't know why. Some one more experienced will probably be able to tell you. My horse will occasionally get loose stools for about a day or two then return to normal. Nothing changed - at all - not food, living arrangements, no stress (that I'm aware of), or exercise.

I'd still keep an eye on him, but I don't think it's an emergency. Him pawing could likely be due to frustration/boredom about being in a new place and/or in a stall.
Thanks so much for the reply. He is 4. I did originally think the pawing was boredom, so that makes sense. I am a worrier! He has only rolled once that I have seen (he had just gotten up in that photo with shavings on him)
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 11:59 AM
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Well, if he is only four, that's still young, in my opinion. When my horse was four, she'd lay down like she was dead - all the time; it freaked me out. She doesn't anymore as she's gotten older, though.
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 01:10 PM
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He's a cute little guy!
What is his life's work going to be? Child's mount, companion, driving pony, pasture pet...? Do you have other horses for friends?
I would have a vet check him out and make sure he is up to date on vaccinations and worm control. Go over his diet, etc.
He is still a kid so help from a pro or experienced person is a good thing to consider if needed.
Good luck with him and keep us posted!!!!!!

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Well, if he is only four, that's still young, in my opinion. When my horse was four, she'd lay down like she was dead - all the time; it freaked me out. She doesn't anymore as she's gotten older, though.
Ah so it's not just my filly huh? That's good to know, she's going on four too and she lies down so much it had me worried for a while.

OP - he's a very cute lil pony, sounds to me like you're doing right by him so far! Good luck and have the best time with him

Hold on to what makes you happy! If it tries to buck you off, just hold on even tighter!
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dustbunny View Post
He's a cute little guy!
What is his life's work going to be? Child's mount, companion, driving pony, pasture pet...? Do you have other horses for friends?
I would have a vet check him out and make sure he is up to date on vaccinations and worm control. Go over his diet, etc.
He is still a kid so help from a pro or experienced person is a good thing to consider if needed.
Good luck with him and keep us posted!!!!!!
We got him for our kids and as a pasture pet. I am interested in driving him, with time. No companions for him as for now, but soon. He has been sitting alone for ages, so we definitely want a friend for him as soon as we can manage.
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post #8 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JoBlueQuarter View Post
Ah so it's not just my filly huh? That's good to know, she's going on four too and she lies down so much it had me worried for a while.

OP - he's a very cute lil pony, sounds to me like you're doing right by him so far! Good luck and have the best time with him
We sure are trying! Thanks so much
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 01:59 PM
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I'd keep a close eye on him too if it were me (but I'm a worrier as well). When I brought home a new horse last fall, I came into the barn to find him laying down in the stall. He did get up for me, but then laid down again a few minutes later. When he wouldn't eat any hay, I immediately called the vet knowing that it might be a false alarm. It wasn't. He colicked HARD and had to be tubed. By the time the vet arrived, he was on the ground flailing and we could no longer get him up (we walked him for a good half hour before the vet arrived).

So hopefully your new pony is just the type who likes to lay down, but the move can certainly trigger stress which can trigger colic. You may also want to do a fecal asap to make sure he doesn't have a lot of parasites. Meantime, I would continue to check on him as you've been doing, and if he gets to a point where he won't eat, or insists on laying down all the time even after you got him up, I'd call a vet. If I hadn't called one when I did, I'm not sure our new horse would have survived because things went downhill so fast.

Best of luck with him! Sounds like you're doing everything right. He's lucky to have ended up with you from the sounds of it.
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-22-2019, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I'd keep a close eye on him too if it were me (but I'm a worrier as well). When I brought home a new horse last fall, I came into the barn to find him laying down in the stall. He did get up for me, but then laid down again a few minutes later. When he wouldn't eat any hay, I immediately called the vet knowing that it might be a false alarm. It wasn't. He colicked HARD and had to be tubed. By the time the vet arrived, he was on the ground flailing and we could no longer get him up (we walked him for a good half hour before the vet arrived).

So hopefully your new pony is just the type who likes to lay down, but the move can certainly trigger stress which can trigger colic. You may also want to do a fecal asap to make sure he doesn't have a lot of parasites. Meantime, I would continue to check on him as you've been doing, and if he gets to a point where he won't eat, or insists on laying down all the time even after you got him up, I'd call a vet. If I hadn't called one when I did, I'm not sure our new horse would have survived because things went downhill so fast.

Best of luck with him! Sounds like you're doing everything right. He's lucky to have ended up with you from the sounds of it.
Oh that is so scary

After being home with him the last three days, I hate that I can't be there today to keep an eye on him. 5pm can't come soon enough.
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