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Please tell me having two ponies gets better!

8 replies

ponymaloney · 14/12/2012 18:00

We've had our new pony for 5 days. He's a feisty little section a. 22. Belongs to a friend and we are loaning him. my middle daughter rides him and loves riding him because he is so small and she lacks confidence. Took him to a rally the day after he arrived and he was a star.
Problem is trying to manage both ponies. We've sectioned off a bit of the paddock for New Pony, he's mashed the ground to a quagmire. Walking through the field with a bucket for New Pony means that 13.2 (call him Jack) goes bananas and follows you with his ears back. Today he got so cross that New Pony got food and he didnt that he did an enormous buck/back kick and galloped around the paddock. Really scary. Ok so I suppose what I do is tie up Jack before I go to feed New Pony (jack lives on fresh air, New pony needs managing as has had laminitis. So stressful.

New pony now wont stand nicely to be groomed if he can't see Jack. He went crazy today and thrashed around on his halter, he scared middle daughter.

I came home feeling like giving up. AND IT IS SO BLOODY MUDDY.


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Eve · 14/12/2012 18:07

Mashed up paddocks are inevitable this time of year and its so wet and it's only 5 days, he's got to settle in, it hard for them to move to new homes and new horse neighbours.

Why can't they be in together?

And if you need to feed one, but not the other, I give my fatty a handful of fast fibre , v low calories etc but gives her vits she needs while I give the other a bigger feed. Both are tied up to feed as they will argue and squeal at each other.

Give them a little while to settle & for the better weather to arrive, will be better.

ponymaloney · 14/12/2012 18:16

Thank you Eve. I am going to turn them out together tomorrow and see how it goes. You are right we should tie them up to feed really. dd is adamant that Jack doesn't get any more feed than one tiny feed a day as he is a very good doer. She's very anal about it Hmm. Still he does look v healthy so she's obvs on to something!

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Eve · 14/12/2012 19:28

No doubt they will kick, buck, squeal run round them settle down.

Put a bit of hay out in a few piles round the field to distract them...

I have an oldie and a fatty in a field together, so do put a lot of hay out & fattie... Or miss lardy arse as she gets called, wears a grazing muzzle and Mr oldie is allowed to stuff his face.

Fast fibre is very good to feed to a good doer, it molasses & sugar free, and a small handful ensures they get vits and minerals and don't feel hard done by getting no food.

Booboostoo · 15/12/2012 07:07

It's early days yet and they are both bound to be stressed by the change in their herd.

Feeding different foods to different horses is always a problem that needs to be managed carefully. With the hay put down as many piles as there are horses and one extra as a dominant horse may guard more than one piles and not allow the others to eat. With hard feed ideally bring them in and feed in the stable but if not possible then make two small, separate enclosures, bring both ponies into them and then feed. If you need to feed one more, then give the other one something either by spliting his feed up into smaller portions or giving something fairly low value like chaff. Don't walk through the paddock with buckets of food, you may well get kicked! Always catch the ponies first, place them in a safe area or tied up then introduce the food (if tied up make absolutely sure they cannot turn around and kick each other).

Two ponies can become quite attached to each other, you may find that you need a third one just to split the group up. Are there other ponies/horses on the yard? If yes maybe see if you can create a little herd of three. If not you need to teach them to be confident away from each other. Start by small amounts of time apart and re-introduce them as soon as one gets stressed, then gradually increase the time they spend apart. This is probably a job for an adult though.

If you can give them a bit more time to get used to each other over the fence before introducing them together to avoid injuries, however if you do let them in together don't go anywhere near them if they go bonkers. There is nothing you can do once they are in together, you have to let them sort it out and you are very likely to get kicked if you try to get into the middle of flying hooves. Remember that just because a pony goes nuts in the field it doesn't mean that it will do the same ridden!

proofreader · 15/12/2012 07:10

pony I am not criticising your ponying choices, but are you sure that such small ponies need hard feed? Surely they could go in together by now and have a heap of hay on the ground each?

Pixel · 15/12/2012 15:39

We've got a little bit of paddock fenced off with electric. At feeding time we can pop one in there so they are separated without having to be tied up and we can get on with poo picking and not worry about them. They know the routine and both go to their places as they know they are both getting a bucket so don't get nasty with each other or us. I think it's important to be seen to be fair, a bit like children. The ponies don't know if one of them only has some damp chaff and a chopped apple Xmas Wink.

Also you are a lot braver than me if you've gone through a field with a feed bucket. I used to walk along a road and climb through a barbed wire fence to avoid doing that!

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 15/12/2012 20:13

I wouldn't feed a section A anything! I have three, oldest 19. They all live out and eat grass. They are fat as hogs right now, but they aren't getting any exercise, being a yearling and 2 pregnant mares. I'd let him have the whole field, no hard feed and keep his weight down with exercise. Stabled at night and straw to eat if they are still too fat. Grazing muzzles are ok but can quickly rub raw patches. A laminitic needs to be entering spring with room for extra weight.
I'd turn them out together personally, but I agree, 2 is not a good number. They will pair bond and your life will be a squeal filled nightmare if you seperate them!

ponymaloney · 18/12/2012 09:43

Things are much better. They are now turned out together. Section a needs hard feed as quite underweight and 22 years old.

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