Smokey

I was so proud of my ponies last night. It was Independence Day in the US which means everybody is shooting off fireworks.
I actually went to the barn before dark and the horses were already in a panic. We used to have a large ranch behind us but it got turned into a subdivision so now we're surrounded by houses with people that want to shoot off fireworks.
Smokey was so scared and Minnie was joining right in running with him through the trees.
Luckily when Minnie saw me she came to the barn and calmed down. Smokey followed and since Minnie stayed calm eating hay with me he also calmed down.
There were a few loud explosions nearby that startled him and he spun around ready to run again but he got himself together and stayed with us.
I was impressed with how much he was able to regain his composure fairly quickly. I stayed with them until the fireworks died down.
I'm glad we got him before Independence Day. He would have been so scared all by himself without Minnie.
 

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I'm posting today's pic as another "before".
He's been here nearly three weeks and it feels like he's gained a little bit but still quite aways to go
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He honestly looks to me as if he's opened up across the chest a bit.

But if he's a worried horse he'll take time to put it on. You have him on hard feed now, don't you? I'm sure that will make a difference.
 
Yes! The fearless rider I hired to test ride him is actually also manager for the local horse rescue so I have been following her feeding instructions. He's had increasing amounts of senior feed since the second week. And I feed him three times a day (which he is very much enjoying)
 

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He's definitely gained some! I was a little creeped out by his poll at first. Minnie likes hers massaged but his stuck out weird on top of his head. Almost like a deformity.
Disturbing ...so I haven't touched it again. But today I was petting him and touching him between the ears and he felt really normal! No more nightmare unicorn
 
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It doesn't look particularly high in the pictures. Could he have bruised it when you got him?

So nice that he is ok with being petted. Sid has no patience with that.
 
It wasn't high. It just didn't have any cushion around it and now it does so it doesn't feel so prominent.
You could feel the bone in a way that you don't feel it when there's more coverage.
It's hard to explain.
Kind of like how you can feel your own hip bones when you're skinny but not so much when you're a little chubbier

Did looks too cute to not like petting! I've not had that many horses. I never even considered the possibility that a horse may not have any spots that they enjoy having petted. Not the neck? Or the area between the front legs or butt scratches? I would count brushing with a soft brush as petting. Everybody seems to like that right?
 
Picture will help!
Apparently horses have this pointy end to their skull which I assumed was the poll.
When he first came he had so little coverage up there that you could feel it. It was very pronounced but not swollen. It's just a bone. We usually just don't notice it in horses because of the fat and muscle that's usually there.
That part is filling in so that "backwards horn" is now blending in rather than be noticable.
 

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Poor Smokey, wonder if he has been in some of the meat auctions and been lucky not to be heading for Mexico. If so he has every right to be terrified and anxious. I get so upset seeing all the really nice horses who are dumped there and end up on the lorry. Keep the faith, he will unload his anxieties and come out the other side, Suze did and she was very scared and difficult.
 
Poor Smokey, wonder if he has been in some of the meat auctions and been lucky not to be heading for Mexico. If so he has every right to be terrified and anxious. I get so upset seeing all the really nice horses who are dumped there and end up on the lorry. Keep the faith, he will unload his anxieties and come out the other side, Suze did and she was very scared and difficult.
I'm feeling more confident that his papers match after talking to his owner from two years ago and seeing pics of him from that time.
So I do think he grew up in the county, was used for roping and ranch stuff, sold 2 years ago to the guy I bought him from.
And the last couple of years were just really rough on him due to the starvation and some unusual training choices
Right now we're trying to get him more excited about being haltered by taking him hand grazing (my turnout has very little grass). Kind of establish the idea that halter on means good times.
He's still doing the annoying jerking thing that he did the day we bought him.
The seller explained then that the jerking is from having tied a tire to Smokey's head to build his neck muscles.
Which seems weird because Smokey was so underweight building neck muscle with a tire was probably the least of his concerns.
He just always seems to expect we're going to do something unpleasant to him.
 
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:eek: That definitely is an 'unusual' training method!
Yeah. The farrier noticed Smokey seemed very worried too and we shared that story with him and he said: "if that is the kind of stuff they told you about, just think if what they might not tell you."
So the reason Smokey might expect we're going to do weird stuff to him might be that he has experienced people doing weird stuff to him?

He's very quiet. One of things I'm looking forward to is hearing his voice. It will be so exciting the first time he nickers when I go out to feed him.
 
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My next big milestone I'm hoping for is that the vertebrae are no longer visible individually
 

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Our lunging cavesson came in. Dang it's heavy with lots of jingly bits. If course it's super terrifying.
I'm scared to even try putting it in since tack around his face is scary to him.
So for now it just hangs in the stall near his food.
 
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