Sonny is a bay gelding of questionable parentage. From his color/build – it appears that he is a cross between an Appaloosa and some sort of gaited horse – probably a Standardbred. Sonny belonged to a neighbor at the end of my road. He ‘rescued’ Sonny from what he called a bad situation. The horse was severely underweight and had been beaten at some point in time. The neighbor doesn’t have any business owning a hamster – much less an 800 lb animal! Sonny would regularly escape from the ‘pen’ that he was in and always end up in my yard trying to get into the pasture with my horses. I would catch him and keep him for how ever long it took for the neighbor to come looking for him. Anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks. I tried for a couple of years to talk the neighbor into giving the horse to me or to someone else who could better care for him. He would always say “I’m gonna ride that horse someday” – uh yeah right. Sometime back this spring, the neighbor lost his job and just turned Sonny loose ( he admitted to it later ). He said knew that the horse would end up at my house. *sigh* What about the school bus or garbage truck or the other neighbors that drive up our road – what if someone had HIT the horse with a vehicle and killed him or worse – killed a person…… Anyway, he finally gave the horse to me. I SO don’t need this horse. Sonny has some very bad issues that could possibly result in him hurting himself or someone handling him. He was terrified of ropes, head shy, scared of ANYthing on his back and the list goes on.
I felt/feel so sorry for him. He wants so bad to be a buddy to someone but just can’t figure out if it’s ok to trust a human or not. Once I finally got a halter on him, I have to leave it on because it is a HUGE ordeal to get one on his head, and I regularly have to move the horses around for farm chores. I am working on it though, and little by little am making some progress. I have started putting a saddle blanket on his back – he is beginning to tolerate it a bit better. On Thursday he had to stand tied in the barn with it draped across his back while the farrier was here doing Dusty and John’s feet. Doing Sonny’s feet right now is out of the question. I have seen him kick out too and I can’t possibly put the farrier in danger until I work thru some of these issues. I don’t want to have the farrier twitch him – I think that would be a step backwards in earning his trust. I want him to learn that he will not be hurt again, and that co-operating with me is a Good Thing. His feet are fine right now, and he is beginning to let me pick them up for longer periods of time.
Today I decided to take him out to the round pen and see what he knows. He understands the voice commands Whoa and Walk, and will trot when asked by a click. It was obvious that he understood the concept of the round pen. Took him back up to the house and decided to push my luck a bit farther. Put my El Cheapo junk Ebay saddle on him. OOOOOOOOOOO That was a BOOGER! lol He was frightened, but didn’t go bronc on me like I thought he would when I turned him loose. He didn’t like it, but he did tolerate being saddled. So that is a good thing. He got lots of pats and good boy’s and I even rewarded him with a bit of feed. I think I’ll try tying some stuff on the saddle one day this week and work some more on desensitizing him. Anything that lands on his back is thought to be deadly and unusual noises are very scary.
I have been trying since I’ve had him to find a permanant situation, but it seems that no one is interested right now. So I’m trying to gain his trust and hopefully make it easier for him to find his long term person in the future.
From a while back