I've been providing support to a local National Nature Reserve. The yearlings in the photo have now had their collars removed, it was decided they are too young whilst they are still quite boisterous and at an age when GPS collars can inhibit natural play. They have also developed some unpleasant nipping due to petting from volunteers and visitors. I took the ponies back to the basics and sorted out the kicking and nipping.
Its been agreed I will hold all of the ponies in herd from now on for the farrier, therefore no need for sedation. A big step forward, the ponies can now learn farrier days don't need to be frightening and the farrier and I can work as a team without anyone getting hurt. If ponies are sedated they never have the opportunity to learn. However, I do understand farriers insisting on sedation if they are having to put up with difficult cases, its not their job to train equines, we just need to make it safer for all.
How do we stop the petting and don't worry we are on to that issue, increased signage and a meeting with volunteers and staff is in hand. Education is key to all of this, and ponies being friendly, our immediate response is to put a hand out and rub a muzzle. Unfortunately, it has led to yearlings getting a bit pushing. All sortable, and no harm done yet!! Just better to nip it in the bud, scuse the the pun.
Dru and the Equi Phoenix Team