Brood Camp

As I mentioned in my last post, my horse named Blaze has been having a difficult time walking for the past couple of weeks. Today starts the 3rd week of his pain. Hopefully, it will start to be alleviated in the next few days. I guess if it doesn’t go away, I will need to try a new tact with him. However, I am sending away the culprit for a couple of weeks, and that should help with the recovery.

Smokey. My adorable, fluffy, spunky, terrible Icelandic ponyimg_20161202_083328362. He weighs approximately 475 lbs, is about 11.2 hands tall, and is a tiny ball of energy. My latest theory as to why he beats up my big horses is that because he never spent time with horses his own size, he never learned proper horse etiquette. The woman I bought him from wanted him out of her pasture by the time he was 16 weeks old. I wouldn’t normally purchase a horse and separate them that young, but the woman said she was out of feed and he had to go and she was not willing to keep him for even two more weeks. So at 16 weeks of age, he was taken from his mother and the rest of the herd and brought to live with my two big boys.

I kept them separated at first until the big boys had accepted him as part of their little herd. He did a very good job of communicating to them that he was a baby and they should be nice to him. The strange part to me was that they did believe him and then he and Blaze became best buddies in the whole world. Unfortunately, Blaze and Taxy knew they were much bigger and so would not fight back when Smokey started playing too rough. This is the cause of Blaze’s pain.

I had a chiropractor come and adjust Blaze. He adjusted Blaze’s pelvis, hips, hock, withers, clavicle, neck (in 3 places), and reset a rib. That was on Thursday evening. Blaze is still sore, but I think I would be too with everything that had to be put back into place. The most disturbing was the rib. I thought Smokey had done muscle damage to Blaze because there was an indentation that looked like a hoof on Blaze’s side. It turns out, it wasn’t an indentation, but his rib poking out where it wasn’t supposed to be.

So how do you teach a small horse to keep his hooves and his teeth to himself when your big horses won’t fight back? You send the pony to “Brood Camp.” At least, that’s what I’m going to call it.

I have a friend who has a herd of Shetland brood mares. For those of you who don’t know, Shetland ponies have a reputation for being “mean.” Brood mares have a reputation for being bossy, moody, and mean. I’m sending Smokey to live with a herd of Shetland brood mares for two weeks. The ponies are his size so when they do kick or bite him, they 1) won’t hold back and 2) probably won’t do serious damage. The theory is that if he lives with horses his own size for a couple of weeks, they will teach him how to be a horse instead of being a brat. If I were to put him out with just one mare, he would probably dominate her. Being with a herd, he will learn he is a very small horse in a very large world full of piranha’s. At least, that’s my hope.

We are taking him to my friend’s house this afternoon. I’m looking forward to seeing how things go for him. I’ll post an update when I bring him home in two weeks. It’ll be interesting to see how he behaves.

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