Nice Guy and I got a little familiar with each other today. I brought him in the barn and groomed him a little. He has thin skin, I think — I used a soft brush as he was a bit twitchy about brushing. He immediately made the runny poop too, so I know he was a little nervous about being worked with, so I will try to do something with him a bit each night so he doesn’t get so scared of things. He has no topline and no muscle, so he needs to start mild work soon, but Brian is still concerned he is out of condition and needs groceries so he’s going to start feeding him three or four times a day. I have not yet paired him up with another horse; he seems a bit clingy, like he’s missing the ones he was out with and wants new ones to be buddies, and I don’t want to get him hooked up with a partner too soon here. Then when you go to take them out of the pen, and work with them, they are calling and paying attention to the other horse across the farm and won’t pay attention to you…and you have to pull on them and they resent you for being tough. Better to just prevent the behavior if you can so you can get them to listen a little to start. It is really important to have their attention and respect from the beginning, I think, so that we can get our friendship started without distractions. Things take time. I watch him a bit before I catch him up and after I put him back – just to see what he does and where he goes. The old mare next to him is ignoring him, but she looks over to see where he is in the paddock. We are all watching him. He is settling in.
Oh and we found a grain he likes — only went through three different bags of feed to find it! He likes a local sweet feed best and is eating it with relish. Now we have to find him a good barn name.