Frightened/Unhandled CL Pony - feet pickin' issues - WWYD?
So this story begins before Christmas, if it's too long for you, scroll down for the main question:winkgrin:
In December, my non-horsey DH totally out of the blue sees a pony on CL that for some reason we must go "save". He said it was obvious from its living conditions that the people had no idea how to take care of the pony, and besides, "look how cute it is". While I agreed it was a cutie, I was having no part of it. Besides, I pointed out, the pony is on CL, so someone will get it and that means it will not be in that situation much longer. This did not work. He simply went to my 17 year old daughter and persuaded her to "save" the cute pony. Well, from the title of the thread I'm sure you see how this turned out.
This pony is not a rescue by any means. She's been fed, had access to water, been wormed, had shelter. She has seen people probably every day of her life, but I seriously doubt that people have actually TOUCHED her very often. We were warned that she breaks out of her pen frequently - although if you saw what qualified as a "fence" for these folks, well anything could break out. Also we were told she was very hard to catch. Our electric fence is apparently not something she wants to challenge (no break-outs yet) and within four days she was coming up to us at the gate when we would head out to the barn. Deep down, this girl is a real sweetie pie. I don't think she was abused, just not handled.
When we first got her home, she would literally tremble when you'd handle her around her rear end (hips, belly, rear legs) or make sudden noises or motions). DD is working on that daily. She is getting better and I can see the progress. However, here is the BIG problem. Neither one of us can get her back feet picked up long enough to clean them. Seriously! And we've had her since before Christmas. You can now touch her legs but not pick the hind ones up. She can pop straight up in the air, or lunge forward, and yes she will kick AT us. Or do all three. I have three bruises now and I am the one that did not want this pony to start with. Here is my WWYD? I know slow & steady is the best thing to do with her because she is frightened. But I'm worried because of the obvious - her feet haven't been cleaned in who knows how long. Also, the farrier is coming soon and there's no way he's going to be able to trim her. She is long overdue.
I'm linking some pictures, first of all I know you can't come on COTH and say you got a fuzzy 10 hand pony without linking pictures :D but also you can kind of see her feet in some of them, they're not elf slippers so someone has probably trimmed them before, although I must say it looks like they did it with a chisel.
I'm wondering if I should ask my vet for some pharmaceuticals? I'm not big on drugging, but when necessary I will. I'm thinking this might be one of those situations, but I can't imagine doing it every day to pick out feet. Has anyone ever had a horse/pony this age that has been terrified of people touching its hind legs? How have you gotten it calmed down AND gotten through some immediate hoof care without freaking it out worse?