I reached out to the same rescue that Uno came from looking to see if they had someone that could use some pasture time and TLC on my $$ to keep Uno company. Within 24 hours I was picking up Lou.
He is a 3 yr old (birthday in Feb) OTTB. He came off the track in early December. She described him as big, sweet, and body sore. He has spent the last 6 weeks living out and trying to grow some foot. His feet were bare, but they were basically nubbs. The deal is that I will take him. give him some TLC, help soften up his very sore body, do some ground work, and if I like him I get to buy him first.
The first this I notice about Lou is that he is big and very uncoordinated, but very sweet. He just wants to be pet and snuggled and loved on.
|I know I call Uno a pony, but he sticks at 15'3"
Oh, did I mention BIG?
He has been here 2 weeks and already he is really growing on me. I have been treating his feet and have our farrier coming on Friday to see him and look at either easyshoes or boots for a bit. His feet are itty bitty so I am not sure what will fit him.
|His stint in the pony stall, while I need Dutch's stall to be empty for a bit.
The second thing is that while he does have a big spook, if you settle he settles. While not brave he is very curious and definitely looks to people for comfort.
We have been doing carrot stretches and in hand work to try and loosen up his body. His back was basically rigid. He has gotten so much better in he last few days and is really starting to soften. He still does not super understand turning or bending, so carrot stretches are key.
I have sat on him twice for a combined time of less than 25 minutes. The first time w just walked two laps of the field and called it a day.
On Sunday we did more walking because my husband was home. If Lou doesn't understand something or feels uncomfortable he stops. I want everything to be super pleasant at the moment and I know having someone on the ground would help him. So we treated my husband like a marker and walked to him whenever Lou started slowing down. This field has a fairly significant hill that is still tricky for Lou to walk up and down, so we keep it easy.
Again since I had a ground man (something that never happens) I figured I would be brave and set what Lou's trot is like. So we lined up and trotted 60 - 70 feet to my husband. Lou was perfect. We did that 3 times and called it a day. On the way back up to the barn we walked over a raised pole and Lou focused very hard but walked over it great.
I will probably only sit on him once a week and spend the rest of the time in hand or working on his ponying. Although he is not far from being a 4 year old, he is very immature in his body. The goal is just to play for 10 - 20 minutes a few times a week and let him decompress and get used to the sport horse life.
Guys, did I mention he is BIG???