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Gus the feral Shetland Pony

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  • #41
    Originally posted by microbovine View Post
    Gotmypony, donkeys can actually learn by watching, so that was a very good technique that you used.

    I'm not sure ponies can, but we do have a hitching post within sight of the pony but still far enough away to not violate the quarantine. Good idea.
    Having been around ponies all my life, I can honestly say they can learn by watching - either humans or each other. Adorable pony BTW - have fun with him.

    Christa

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    • #42
      He's a cutie!

      I think time and patience is going to be the best cure here. Get yourself a lawn chair, a book, and a couple flakes of hay. Toss flakes in next to the fence. Park yourself in the lawn chair next to the fence and pay him no mind as he eats and you read. Do this for a few days.

      Repeat the above, but make a little noise/movement and if he looks up at you stop it all immediately and go back to reading. The idea is for you to be non-threatening, yet interesting.

      As long as he isn't outwardly vicious to you, go into the round pen with him and do stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with him (scoop poop, pick stones, scrub his water bucket, etc)...he should be curious about you and you should be completely non threatening to him. Certainly not tip toeing around him, but not outright trying to chase/catch him. Stop periodically make a bit of noise (cluck, pat your leg or scratch your nails on your pants) to pull his concentration to you.

      The quicker you can pull his concentration and the longer it stays, the more likely it is he's going to come up to you. If he does start to come your way, let him initiate. Reach out the back of your hand to let him sniff. If he doesn't take off, move towards his shoulder and make there the first place you rub him (it's the horsey equivalent of a polite handshake).

      It might be that his head is the last place he'll let you touch. He might have had humans that just go for his head his whole life and he's not overly thrilled with it. If he lets you touch non-head bits of him, work your way forward slowly, rewarding him for his tolerance with calling it quits while he's still patient.

      Comment


      • #43
        This is a touching story that I am fairly certain will have a good ending! I will be another one watching anxiously for updates.

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by microbovine View Post
          What fascinates me is that I get the feeling that he wants to be near me. But he doesn't know how to.
          I had a feral cat like that. She's lying on the floor of my living room now.

          It took a lot of treats- and I had to let HER come to ME. She wanted to touch me, but didn't want to be touched.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #45
            Okay, we had a breakthrough.Gus and I had time for another round pen session tonight. He turned in towards me when I turned sideways and backed a few steps, consistantly. He was more relaxed, like he knew the rules of the game. He asked questions, like when he suddenly reversed direction on his own. I calmly turned him back around to tell him that I am calling the shots. He tipped his nose in a lot and moved his mouth with a relaxed eye. After several turn-arounds, I tunred sideways, backed a few steps and squtted down, not looking at him. He stood and watched. snorted, and then walked right up to me and touched my hand. He wouldn't let me pet him, but I did get up, called his name and he followed me to the gate where I had his feed ready for him. He hardly broke a sweat this time.
            “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

            St. Padre Pio

            Comment


            • #46
              So cool! I bet you are elated!

              Comment


              • #47
                Yay!

                I sounds like Gus really wants a friend, and is starting to think you just might be it!

                Comment


                • #48
                  Originally posted by microbovine View Post

                  I forgot the saddest part...he had no name. When I was speaking with the previous owner, we decided on Gus (short for Feargus, since he is a Scottish breed).

                  I love the name Gus, but might I suggest a bolder name for him?

                  Braveheart, maybe?

                  Good for you for rehabilitating the little scamp.
                  A helmet saved my life.

                  2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post
                    I love the name Gus, but might I suggest a bolder name for him?

                    Braveheart, maybe?

                    Good for you for rehabilitating the little scamp.
                    are you crazy?!

                    We are still talking about a PONY here!
                    Originally posted by BigMama1
                    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                    GNU Terry Prachett

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      That's awesome! I'm sure he'll be a pocket-pet in NO time! As he gets tamer, I'd set up some "toys" in that round pen that you can keep him busy with--ground pole exercises, walking across a piece of plywood, trail-class questions like that. It'll help you build his trust and give him a way to occupy his mind--which is no doubt very, very smart! Good luck with him and have fun!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        I cannot wait to get my hands on his cute little knotted mane. I swear my fingers get twitchy just looking at it. I think the timing is good because he'll want to lose that winter coat as soon as deworming and weather starts to make it itchy.
                        “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                        St. Padre Pio

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Sounds like you are making great progress - thanks for keeping us posted!
                          Now in Kentucky

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            First, I love the name Gus but if you feel the need to tart it up for some reason, how about Augustus McHay - a take-off on one of the all-time-best fictional characters, Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove. You never know, the little devil might end up as a driving show pony and need something suitable, hehe.

                            Glad you are making such progress! He sounds like he'll be a lot of fun...
                            It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by GotMyPony View Post
                              First, I love the name Gus but if you feel the need to tart it up for some reason, how about Augustus McHay - a take-off on one of the all-time-best fictional characters, Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove. You never know, the little devil might end up as a driving show pony and need something suitable, hehe.

                              Glad you are making such progress! He sounds like he'll be a lot of fun...
                              but I keep thinking she needs a second pony now
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QTD7yF-L_E

                              and name it Black
                              Originally posted by BigMama1
                              Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                              GNU Terry Prachett

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                                are you crazy?!

                                We are still talking about a PONY here!
                                Are you saying a Lil' pony is undeserving of a big name?

                                I am kind of superstitious about names. One trainer at the barn rescued a pug mix from a dumpster and named him Trashy, then changed it to Flower a few months later to try and improve his personality. I swear, it worked!

                                Another gal bought a school horse with a perfectly fine generic school horse name, and her BF insisted it be changed to the name of a badass character from Pulp Fiction. Suddenly, he became a badass himself and started dumping his riders.

                                Just sayin. "Feargus" maybe be asking for it
                                A helmet saved my life.

                                2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post
                                  Are you saying a Lil' pony is undeserving of a big name?

                                  I am kind of superstitious about names. One trainer at the barn rescued a pug mix from a dumpster and named him Trashy, then changed it to Flower a few months later to try and improve his personality. I swear, it worked!

                                  Another gal bought a school horse with a perfectly fine generic school horse name, and her BF insisted it be changed to the name of a badass character from Pulp Fiction. Suddenly, he became a badass himself and started dumping his riders.

                                  Just sayin. "Feargus" maybe be asking for it
                                  and Braveheart is is inssurance?!
                                  Originally posted by BigMama1
                                  Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                  GNU Terry Prachett

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #57
                                    He is our second Shetland, actually. Six years ago, before our son was even close to being born, we took in our niece's black Shetland pony mare, Maggie, after BIL lost their farm. The pony had been used as a lesson pony and was sour and difficult to catch. Our niece never came to visit and lost interest. I worked with Maggie using clicker training and taught her tricks. She became bright and friendly. When our son turned two and a half, he tried to help brush her now and again. By the time he was three and a half, he was cleaning her paddock and stall with me. He earned her so she was formally given to him for Christmas last year. He is four now and he rides her in the round pen on his own and on the trail with a leadline. They make a great team.
                                    “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                    St. Padre Pio

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #58
                                      Maggie has gone to our local Scottish Games for three years in a row now. She marches in the parade and calmly puts up with bagpipes and drums all around her. She visits people that come to see her. She seems to not just tolerate the event; she thrives. We joke about it being her annual day of worship. This year, our son rode her in the parade for the first time (on a leadline). They did great! I don't know if Feargus will ever make it there, but he will be appreciated for what he is. We do like our little Shetlands.
                                      “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                      St. Padre Pio

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #59
                                        I only had times for treats tonight because I have a rather nasty cold. He took his treats gently and politely with me squatted down. Then, when I was all out of treats, he snuffled me all over my head and face. He even steamed up my glasses, LOL!
                                        “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                        St. Padre Pio

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by microbovine View Post
                                          He is our second Shetland, actually. Six years ago, before our son was even close to being born, we took in our niece's black Shetland pony mare, Maggie, after BIL lost their farm. The pony had been used as a lesson pony and was sour and difficult to catch. Our niece never came to visit and lost interest. I worked with Maggie using clicker training and taught her tricks. She became bright and friendly. When our son turned two and a half, he tried to help brush her now and again. By the time he was three and a half, he was cleaning her paddock and stall with me. He earned her so she was formally given to him for Christmas last year. He is four now and he rides her in the round pen on his own and on the trail with a leadline. They make a great team.
                                          Oh my goodness, you do have Black and Gus then!
                                          Originally posted by BigMama1
                                          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                          GNU Terry Prachett

                                          Comment

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