Friday 30 April 2010

Bethan's story

Thankyou so much for all your comments on the last post! The response was overwhelmingly in favour of keeping pony posts on here, so I thought I'd start by giving you an update on Squeak's progress. I'd been putting this off, as things haven't been running too smoothly, but at last I feel like I'm beginning to get to the root of it. She has been as good as gold to handle, and hack out but we have had a couple of incidents in the school where she has suddenly reared up , followed by an almighty buck, for no apparent reason. I've been unable to come up with any past history for her, but my overwhelming feeling is that she has been very restricted, possibly having spent a lot of time on the lunge line, working in draw reins or similar. I suspect that she has also spent large amounts of time stabled, as she is not too comfortable turned out, always keen to go back in the stable. I've also had a nagging feeling that she is not quite well either, as she has seemed quite dull and depressed. My vet came to rasp her teeth and give her the once- over, and couldn't see any problems with her, but I'm not satisfied. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we are working on a slow programme of allowing her to find some natural instincts again, many of which appeared to be missing. She is turned out 24 hours a day, in a herd environment, and is starting to find her feet. I've taken her off all hay, as she appeared to have a dust allergy. My daughter is hacking her quietly, and together they are starting to build some trust in each other by learning to do groundwork games. There will be no school work until they are confident with each other. It's going to be a slow process, but I finally feel we are making progress.

To mark this new start, we decided to change her name back to the one she was given at birth, not the name she came with. So she is now Bethan, as her passport says, and it feels so much more fitting than Squeak! In honour of this my daughter made her a sash with her name sewn on to it, which she gave her as a gift.

Bethan is looking perkier already, although there is still no sign of her loosing her winter coat, and her strange clip. She is still on the nettle and goosegrass tea, and today we picked a huge bag of dandelions to add to her detoxing mix. I had intended to chop some of these up and add to her feed, but while I was preparing the feed she took matters into her own hooves and tipped out the bag of dandelions herself, eating the whole lot, roots and all. I am a firm believer in the theory that most ponies can self- medicate, given the opportunity, and therefore assume that dandelions were definitely something she needed. Out of curiosity I picked a couple more, and offered them to Piper and Marley, but they weren't particularly interested.

And in memory of Wednesday's full moon, here is 'The Beltane Balloon' AKA 'One Hot Mama'



Terra said...

I am pleased that you will post pony & horse notes here, so I needn't visit two blogs. I love the name change back to Bethan and how you are using intuition and facts to learn how to help this pony be happy and fit in. Love the sash too.

Clare Wassermann said...

Lovely - you are now in touch with one another

A mermaid in the attic said...

I love the sash, what a beautiful idea! I know nothing at all about ponies (wish I did), but I enjoy reading your 'horsey' posts as much as you 'arty' ones!

Yarrow said...

Aaaw, bless her. She looks so sweet in her lovely sash. What a lucky pony to have found so much care and understanding. Best of luck to you all :)

I love the picture, made me laugh :)

ps, I'm going to make the nettle and goosegrass tea today as my boys could do with a pick up.

Julia Guthrie said...

Bethan's sash is beautiful, & it sounds like even she knows that you are on her side :)

Bethan is far more fitting than squeak too!!!:)

Windsongs and Wordhoards said...

So nice to hear of someone with such understanding, patience and compassion towards a troubled little pony. I'm sure she'll blossom in such a kind home.
Her name sash is lovely as are the flowers in her tail!

Jacky said...

I think Bethan really suits and I love the sash your daughter made for her.
Lovely to see her in it and with her lovely tail decoration.

Kath said...

Ooh lovely- pony posts! I love Bathan's sash, she must feel very welcomed into her new family.
Please keep us updates on her progress.

Valerianna said...

Looks like you are wearing the "one hot mamma" skirt in the first photo with Bethan! HA, does it work well to fly if you wear it at the Beltane fires?? If so, where can I get one?

Beltane blessings!

Carolee said...

Bethan and her sash are just beautiful! She's blessed to have found you. :)

Rima Staines said...

Up she goes!
Haha you drew it! :) Bravo on your fabulous fire flight!
Bless Bethan and her flowered mane x

Madeleine said...

Love the picture. Have you told the One hot Mamma blog? She'd love it too.

Carol Anne Strange said...

Such a pleasure to catch up on your blog, Danielle, and read all your latest news. So pleased you're keeping your pony posts, too. Bright wishes. xx

Unknown said...

Love the sash now I want one for my little mustang! I think your intuition is perfectly keen with this little beauty.
I too had rearing up problems when I first got her, she was just as we say in the west barn sour, not wanting to leave her buddies. We got it worked out using a trainer from Australia, Clinton Anderson.
Look forward to the lovely photos

ArtSparker said...

I think a couple of my friends would like your blog, I'll send them a link. The ponies look so well-cared for, I have seen Dartmoor ponies when I stayed with my sister near Exeter.

Blackfeatherfarm said...

I hope all things work out for good with Bethan. Love the sash! You realize I will have to make one for Indi now......

allhorsestuff said...

She is an adorable Pony..and her name is so fitting!
I am happy to hear you sorting out her ailments..and the herd turnout is perfect!
Your gifts to her are the sweetest too!


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