New pony and totally on edge!

OMG sometimes things just conspire against you! It was very good of you to try to help your friend, but I have to say that thank goodness it was the vet that led the wicked pony, not you. I can't believe she didn't just let go, though - mud skiing behind an overexcited horse is not something I would wish on anyone...

No wonder you didn't get anything done with Wilfred. Under the circumstances if all he did was join his mates in having a gallop around I think you got off lightly! I am sure he will be better tomorrow, though.

Are horses kept in separate enclosures at your yard, or does Wilfred have companions in his paddock?
All the horses are kept separately but I’m hoping to buddy him up with a chilled gelding that he is adjoining right now. They seemed a bit angst at first ( lots of pawing the ground and head shaking) but I think they are chilling so another week and will try and see if the go in and don’t kick each other? I would like him to be with others
I would understand if you agree with @Mary Poppins . But if you can't or don't want to return him, here's my two penn'orth!

Last year at the beginning of April I got my new horse, Sid. He's a 14.3/15hh chunky cob gelding and came labelled as a schoolmaster, unflappable, etc etc. He lives out 24/7 with another horse in a field opposite my house. I am very happy with him and think he is great, but I really took my time getting to know him. It was 6 weeks before I could get a saddler out to approve my saddle fit, so I could only ride him during that period bareback (on my bareback pad), and I didn't try that until I had had him for more than 3 weeks.

In those 3 weeks I got him in every day for a groom and a feed (and he was a monkey to catch at the start, as he had never as far as I know lived out and he absolutely loved it) picked his feet out, tried to figure out how to treat the scabs under his feathers, and took him for lots and lots and lots of walks. Everywhere I wanted to hack later, at least to start with, I walked him. This meant that by the time I had a saddle and could hack him out, we had got to know each other, he knew the area, and he had started to feel confidence in me. If you're interested in how I approached it, read the early sections of my diary

Even after all of this, he is still a horse, and horses react to things. He hates high winds, and I would think three or even four times before riding him out in a high wind, though I would walk him in hand. Change blows his tiny horse brain - when he got a new companion, he was vile to everyone except me for an entire week and would only let me catch him. He reacts to unusual or new things when we're out, usually by planting. He is grumpy and opinionated, and since I got a sharer he has started to nap and try to say whether he will or won't go in a particular direction. I'm not having any of that, but I had my RI give me a lesson today on how to deal with it firmly and ethically - I'm about to post about it.

To summarise, I don't think horses are ever "finished" or "bombproof". They are always going to be flight animals, liable to react if their environment changes or they have new handlers or a new routine. Your Wilfred (great name BTW) is in a new home, living out for the first time in ages, with new handlers taking him out to places he has never been. No wonder he is unsettled! Add high winds to that and you have a recipe for trouble. My suggestions:
  • Take it slowly. If you spend the first few weeks getting to know him, not riding him, it's time well spent in my book.
  • Be with him lots. Groom him if he likes it, bring him a carrot when you come, bring him on to the yard for a feed, paint his toenails, plait and unplait his mane and tail, tack him up and take it off again, just do things with him.
  • Take him out to get to know your area. Lead him if you like, or long rein him if he knows how.
  • If he is spooked, as @carthorse said, don't hang on tight to the rein. It's the instinctive thing to do but can lead to running backwards and, as you found, rearing. Do you have a neck strap? Mine saved my bacon several times on my first pony, who could be difficult when the mood took him.
  • Finally, be kind to yourself and your daughter. You have been scared and bruised (emotionally and physically!) by your horse owning experience so far, so no wonder you're feeling anxious. I always get butterflies before I go out for a ride, although when I'm actually out I don't have a care in the world - look after yourself, remind yourself that you don't have to do anything you don't want to do, and if you just want to walk him in the yard or ride him in the field for a bit, do that.
I have always been a great believer in getting help. If I were in your place I would get my RI to tide him out for me a couple of times to assess him in his new environment. Maybe there is someone at your yard who will help you?

In any case, I wish you the very best with your new cob and cross my fingers that you get past the teething troubles and have many happy years together.
Just re-read this, I’m taking him back out for his first hack in hand since the last disasterous experience 🤞
Glad you’ve had a good week with him, long may it last! Try to be in the moment with him today, don’t think about last week, just about what’s happening right then 🙂
Glad you’ve had a good week with him, long may it last! Try to be in the moment with him today, don’t think about last week, just about what’s happening right then 🙂
Thanks, Im trying to blot it from my memory and hoping he doesn’t remember too much either!
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Find a cup and weigh the balancer you give him, they're designed to be fed at a low volume and you don't want to overdo it.

I'm glad you've had a better week and I hope you can get him some company, like you I don't believe in keeping them on their own.
Meet the fire breathing dragon Wilfred! ( what I turned him into in my head!)
actually just back after doing some groundwork with him, he was caught without problem and we won’t into the big field on a lungeline had a mooch about, practiced walking and stopping and a bit of gently lungeing interspersed with some grazing.
ive watched so many webinars and i think I’ve muddled so many training messages in my head that I’m just trying to chill and want him to be chilled and happy.
I finally left him with a football as a bit of a distress toy.
will keep up with all your posts and try to remind myself he’s not a dragon just a freaked out pony 💙
Aww he is pretty i hope he works out for you!
On the off chance that he isn't being investigated I'd give him a couple of days to settle then, at that point, since you're anxious, tack him up and lead him out on a portion of the hacks. No good reason for breaking on assuming you're however agitated as he may be, you'll simply concern one another. The extremely high breezes at the end of the week are to the point of frightening many ponies, however I'd need a less intense response - not apportioning fault here yet assuming he was anxious did you or your girl begin clutching him all the more firmly? Hard as it is that is just about the most awful thing you can do if you would rather not trigger a reaction like that.