The decision wasn't taken because of the incident. We loaned one of the farm ponies for hacking and for DD to be responsible for a specific pony. Then she decided she wanted to do gymkhana etc. The loan pony is a Section D, on occasion stroppy and ill mannered (but lovely too!) and far too strong for DD. Plus, she just doesn't want to do PC again (did it all years ago with owners daughters), would be a nightmare on camp as she hates being in and we knew it would be a matter of time only.
Our lovely and extremely knowledgable friends have taken a lot of their own time up seeing loads of ponies and this one seems to be a little dream. His owners are super too, very genuine and helpful, they clearly care deeply about him. I've had insurance company and vet confirmation that he's never had treatment, goes unshod, loads well etc. He's done all PC stuff apart from gymkhana, but we took the games equipment with us on the last visit and he was picking it up in minutes. He's so good, it's a battle with DD's current pony, this one does as he's told!!
Anyway, I know nothing about ponies but am learning quickly, particularly about how expensive they are (tow bar, tack, pony, insurance!!),
And I may ask some very daft questions, lots of them
Just noticed your insurance, if horseinsurance.co.uk is underwritten by E&L then I would seriously consider cancelling and going with another company. E&L are well known for lower insurance quotes but also well known for it bring very difficult to have pay out. When they do (with a big 'if they do' 1st) it takes months and alot of stress. I do know people who have had a payment but only after a fight. If you do an Internet search you will find its the one with 'barge pole' highlighted by most people. I use Stoneways and have had a £5k payout for one pony (including an MRI scan) and a £3k payout on another, with no issues. Other horses I look after are with NFU and had £7k payout (for 2 issues at once). And a payout for laser removal of a sarcoid. If its not E&L then completely ignore this! But I'm pretty sure they use a few different names. Good luck with everything x
Just to update you all, it's all going really well, it's like he's always been here
He's taking to gymkhana really well, trying his hardest. Born to jump though, which is giving DD ideas! He's easy to catch and very obedient, if that's the right word. Slightly twitchy, ears prick up for everything.
The farrier came out last night and filed his feet. He advised not to have him shod as his feet were super and not to give/do anything extra ref his feet so that's good.
A small miracle even occurred on Monday in that the dentist came out, removed the plaque on his teeth but didn't charge as so little needed doing.
I suspect this will be the first and last time he costs me less than I had anticipated.....................
There is nothing horsey people love more than handing out advice! It can often be very specific to them, but it's always useful. A newbie at our yard is asking loads of questions and is always telling me to let her know if she's doing it "wrong". I think it's great to be open to suggestions, however I always sy "this is how I do it" rather than "this is how it should be done"!
Everyone has their own way, and by asking questions you can work out what suits you best - never hesitate to ask.
He sounds absolutely brilliant! He is a little gem to have jumped a fence another horse refused and it sounds like you are doing all the right things with him! Your DD is very right to pat and relax him if he is pawing and getting a tad anxious to get going. If ever there comes a time when that is enough she can always allow him to walk , do a circle and then ask him to stand again. It doesn't sound like he needs this at the moment but if he ever needs it there is nothing wrong with letting a horse move off a bit to use up a bit of forward energy.
Farrier's Formula shouldn't cause any issues. See how it goes, if his hoofs are really good then clearly he doesn't need anything, if they get a bit weak you can always give FF.
You are welcome! I am so glad it's all going so well!!
And thanks for the info, he's on bog standard food, hi fi original. Gets an extra vitamin in winter. Has no health issues that I know of from vet and insurance history so I would assume I am ok to give?
No, it was me explaining in laymans terms what I meant, must keep up, must keep up!
They have had a good long session of jumping in the field then a gentle, slow paced hack. Been riding most of the day! He's been a little star at the jumping, guiding her safely over everything and even stopping if he sensed she wasn't sure. He also jumped a fence when the pony who was leading swerved round to avoid, which is a very good thing I think?
He's slightly impatient standing too long and 'paws' the ground a little bit but DD just says no and pats him on his neck and he stops. She's been talking to him a lot, calmly and often.
Again I didn't explain very well, DD catches him from the field with a treat or his garlic lick, which he adores, then leads him out and tethers him in the yard to feed. First two days he didn't like being caught and on Friday when one of the mares was in season. Last two days he's walked over to DD, which again I think is a good thing?!
She hasn't fed him the last two days either, just tethered and brushed him. Or tacked up etc.
Ah sorry I misundertood! I thought they were going to jump cross country fences, which, unlike show jumps, are solid fences which do not collapse if you hit them. They should be fine riding across the country, i.e. through fields etc!!! Sorry!
I give all of mine FF all the time as the quantity is small and shouldn't make a difference to anything unless you have a horse that is really, really prone to lami or has other very specific feeding needs. Your DD is right not to feed him everytime she catches him otherwise he will come to expect it and may get funny about being caught without food. Ideally your DD should also feed him in a stable away from the other horses, if she goes into a field with a food bucket she might get mobbed by the other horses (apologies if you are already aware of this!!!).
I doubt they will be doing anything at all today as the weather here is horrible.
I probably used incorrect terminology tbh re cross county (I used to run seriously, cross country means off road in my book!). Given they have acres to play with at the farm in terms of where they can go, I think that they have planned a route to hack over the fields etc and maybe cross one or two shallow steams I think, rather than jumping. They have a specific field set up for jumping 'normal' jumps.
Sorry to have caused confusion.
Can you give the Farrier's Formula even when not feeding? DD had only carried on feeding him to help with the bonding and catching, she didn't yesterday as he's happy being caught and doesn't need the extra, he's in lovely shape.
I am probably asking questions that make me sound like a numpty
Sorry I just saw the x-country post and wanted to add. Your DD and the pony should be very confident over showjumps before they go anywhere near solid fences. Even small, home made x-country fences are much more solid than showjumps and any little mistake can have much more serious consequences. Also the course should be set up by someone who really knows what they are doing and always check that portables are securely fixed to the ground (a x-country fence that is not secured to the ground will tip forwards if hit by a horse causing the horse to have a rotational fall, by far the most dangerous fall for a rider as the horse falls on them, this can happen at any size fence not just 'big' ones).
I don't want to scare the life out of you but I do want to point out that cross country fences always deserve respect.
Some people use boots for the field and they can prevent some injuries but they cannot be left on 24/7 because they cause rub injuries. I take my chances with mine with no boots. You may want to use boots for jumping as it is a higher risk activity, and they would only be on for specific times.
Washing any cuts and applying antiseptic is usually enough to help them heal.
If his hoofs are good I would not touch them. In general in dry weather you may need something to moisturise them, in wet weather something to dry them out (and the frog) and if the feet become brittle something to harden them up. Kevin Bacon and Keratex do good products. For an all round feeding supplement for hoofs nothing can beat Farrier's Formula for my money.
Thanks for this information. He has no history of hoof issues and the farm apply hoof oil for competitions too so that makes sense.
They have the antiseptic spray there too (blue) and did use some on his first scratch as a precaution as I was flapping. Not sure if they would have done on their own ponies but think they were humouring me!
So much to figure out
Hack went well, they were out for an hour and a half and managed a couple of gallops too! They have set up a cross country route over the fields for the morning, he's going to be a happy, fit and well worked boy.....
You shouldn't need boots in the paddock. Boots, as a generalisation, can cause rubs and should only be worn when really necessary ie when jumping, riding in heavy ground, or if you have a history of brushing or overreaching. Buy some sort of antiseptic spray - usually a purple colour -and just apply if he actually breaks the skin.
We use hoof oil in competitions but don't bother at home. If he has a history of hoof problems probably best to toughen them up from inside through good diet and supplements.
He's settled so well. We've been at a competition all weekend but the farm have texted with updates, he's been lying chilling in the shade all together in a line with his field friends a lot and everything is calm
We got back yesterday evening at 6pm and DD caught him from the field with ease, gave him a good brush down etc and a very small feed to help with the bonding etc. He was calm and responded to her instructions. They have gone on a hack today and brought him to our door!! All 5 ponies very relaxed in each others company. So pleased for DD . He hasn't flinched at traffic or the strange surroundings. Nuzzling the other ponies a lot.
My question is about his legs! My friends at the farm have all commented on his lovely 'beautiful' legs! However, he's so slight (we need a new head collar, pony size is too big), he is all leg, very slim too they are. He's had a couple of little scratches on his legs this week I have noticed. His previous owners used boots for competition work (jumping mainly) and travel only but I wondered if you can get boots for when they are turned out? Or, do ponies just get small scratches etc and I am worrying about nothing?
I would emphasise that they are tiny nicks/scratches only, just two early on in the week when field politics was at it's height but I wouldn't want him hurt at all. Plus, I know gymkhana is tough on their legs so want to ensure he's ok.
Also, he's unshod and always has been, his previous owners used hoof oil but the farm are not big fans and prefer to only use something if their ponies feet are dry. What is the best thing to do here?
He has a busier week coming up after a week of mainly just settling in. We are going to a training centre all day Thursday and a rally on Friday, hacking and PC training
Good. My dds pony who is a saint really was quite unsettled for a week or so. Lots of puffing and blowing at me, was a bit of a sod to our other pony, lots of running up and down. Also he refused lots of jumps at a SJ rally in the first week (probably shouldn't have taken him)
6 weeks on and he's as easy as pie. Whickers to me (whereas before I clearly made him feel a bit stressed out), stands like a rock for grooming and while I make a right mess of his bridle (have been doing it for 35 years can never work it out as am really unspatially aware!). And at the SJ rally last night he only refused once and that was when a peacock wandered in front of the jump so we'll let him off
DD went on a light hack tonight with 4 other ponies. They then went in the field and did some easy jumps, which apparently he was 'popping' with ease and loving. My friend was watching them surreptitiously and he was loving it she said.
Field politics seems to have settled too. He's nuzzling the ponies in the other field over the fence and all is calm in his own field too. He's even a little protective of the foal in the field. Have been poo picking tonight for an hour, chatting to the ponies and watching.
Sure there will be good and bad days but a solid start given he's been here only a couple if days.
Thanks. I have been at the farm this morning and he's happily eating grass with his field friends. I gave him a couple of carrotts . His body language was calm, he pricked up his ears and looked over when I called his name. I spoke gently to him loads etc, stroked him etc. He then wandered off to find his friends.
DD will be down this afternoona and I will go down tomorrow and do some poo picking in the field