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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. :cowboy:

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!
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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!!!!!!
 

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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.
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 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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. :pinkunicorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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 :cry:

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.:racing:
 

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If he's used to 24/7 turnout, being stalled can cause some issued due to lack of movement. If he's grazing when he's out and otherwise seems fine, try hand-walking him a couple of times per day, or working him on the longe or in a round pen for 15 minutes or so a few times a day, even at just a walk, to keep him moving. A horse moving around is a lot less likely to colic as movement helps keep the digestive tract working efficiently.

Horses are meant to be moving almost constantly. You may also need to add some salt to his feed to make sure he's drinking enough; some horses won't lick enough off a block of salt. A change of home, routine, companions, and diet is stressful. Adequate water intake and movement will go a long way toward ensuring his health while he adjusts.


He's a cutie!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If he's used to 24/7 turnout, being stalled can cause some issued due to lack of movement. If he's grazing when he's out and otherwise seems fine, try hand-walking him a couple of times per day, or working him on the longe or in a round pen for 15 minutes or so a few times a day, even at just a walk, to keep him moving. A horse moving around is a lot less likely to colic as movement helps keep the digestive tract working efficiently.

Horses are meant to be moving almost constantly. You may also need to add some salt to his feed to make sure he's drinking enough; some horses won't lick enough off a block of salt. A change of home, routine, companions, and diet is stressful. Adequate water intake and movement will go a long way toward ensuring his health while he adjusts.


He's a cutie!
Walking by hand is what we've been doing, but it would make sense that maybe he hasn't gotten enough movement. I try the salt, thanks for the tip!!
 

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We just moved our horses yesterday and Moonshine has been having extremely loose stools since the move. She is the stoic type and doesn't show her emotions, but this has happened before -- when she gets stressed her digestive system just doesn't function very well. It could be the same thing for your guy. I agree that he's probably pawing because he wants to go out. Of coures I'd definitely keep an eye on him.

I also agree he's a total cutie!
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for your replies and support. This has been a dream come true and I am happy for the bond we seem to be making. Also, for cuteness factor - turns out my daughter has a knack with horses. She's already proven herself to be a real dog, cat and chicken whisperer, but I am so proud of what a natural she seems to be with equines. Adding photos for cuteness factors :)

Another thing I am worried about are his hooves. Even though the appear healthy, I have learned from this forum that isn't necessarily the case when untrained eyes are inspecting them. Will post photos of his hooves hopefully tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update: Sebastian was a real jerk last night :( He calmed down after he got some food in his belly but by that point it was too late to turn him out. He wouldn't let me halter him and kept turning his handquarters to me threatening (never actually attempted to kick or anything, but still.) I know he is frustrated being cooped up. I ordered a grazing muzzle that should get in tomorrow to help that.

All this had me wondering - how quickly do ponies founder??
 

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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.
While I agree with you that normal is relative, in this case, normal has not been established. The OP is a new horse owner of 1 or 2 days.

To the OP, you have a very cute pony and the pictures with your child are adorable. I hope your pony feels better today.

I am not a vet nor do I play one on the Internet. It’s not a bad idea to purchase a horse thermometer and also learn how to take a horse’s pulse. Look at the color of your pony’s gums and they should be pink color. They can change from almost white to red to practically purple if a horse is ill.

Do this when your horse is healthy, before you think your horse is ill. There are photos and videos online that show you how to take a horse’s vital signs. However, never wait to call a vet if your horse is sick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
While I agree with you that normal is relative, in this case, normal has not been established. The OP is a new horse owner of 1 or 2 days.

To the OP, you have a very cute pony and the pictures with your child are adorable. I hope your pony feels better today.

I am not a vet nor do I play one on the Internet. It’s not a bad idea to purchase a horse thermometer and also learn how to take a horse’s pulse. Look at the color of your pony’s gums and they should be pink color. They can change from almost white to red to practically purple if a horse is ill.

Do this when your horse is healthy, before you think your horse is ill. There are photos and videos online that show you how to take a horse’s vital signs. However, never wait to call a vet if your horse is sick.
Thank you for the info, that is very valuable to know. Happy to say his stool has firmed up again
 

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Aww Sebastian is a cutie. It sounds like you are doing good with him but that he is having a hard time with being stalled all the time. I am just curious if he is used to being pastured 24/7, WHy not make a smaller pasture connected to his stall with temporary fencing so that he can move around more but still be easy enough to get around and work with gaining that connection you want? Might be helpful in taking out some of the extra stress he may be experiencing and lessen the possibility of colic from stress.

Anyway, love the photos of your new pony enjoy the journey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Aww Sebastian is a cutie. It sounds like you are doing good with him but that he is having a hard time with being stalled all the time. I am just curious if he is used to being pastured 24/7, WHy not make a smaller pasture connected to his stall with temporary fencing so that he can move around more but still be easy enough to get around and work with gaining that connection you want? Might be helpful in taking out some of the extra stress he may be experiencing and lessen the possibility of colic from stress.

Anyway, love the photos of your new pony enjoy the journey.
That's on the agenda for this weekend! Do you have any tips or favorite options for temporary fencing?
 

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You really do need to get a vet on board now and have him out to check the pony over and (if you're in the US) at least get the rabies shot and Coggins test done so you're legal.
The vet can do a fecal count at the same time. Do you have the pony's past worming schedule?
Its always wise to establish yourself with a vet as a client - nothing worse than having to ring around trying to find one when that emergency thing happens.
Loose droppings can be normal when horses get moved but combined with the mood swings and rather fractious behavior I'd be worried that there wasn't some pain related cause.
Young horses are at more risk of roundworm problems and spring is the worst time of year for emerging encysted strongyles.


A sudden introduction to lush grass can cause laminitis attacks in horses and ponies.


You can use step in plastic posts and electric tape to restrict the amount of grazing he gets, a dry lot with a shelter might be preferable to stabling him.
 
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