Your fave pony can’t talk, so it’s important to closely monitor him so you can quickly spot if something’s wrong. As you’re bringing him in from his field or out of his stable each day is the perfect time to check him over. Follow these steps so you know what to look for…
Step 1 – On the approach
As you approach your pony in the field, think about what his behaviour is telling you. He should be bright, alert and behaving normally, so if one day he doesn’t whinny and trot over to the gate like he usually does, it could be a sign something’s wrong.
Step 2 – Follow the leader
As you lead your pony in, watch the way he walks and ask yourself…
- is he moving easily?
- does he look comfortable and happy?
- is he doing anything unusual?
Top tip Make sure you allow your pony to walk naturally and you’re not pulling him along.
Step 3 – Wardrobe change
It’s important to remove your pony’s rug to…
- make sure he’s not too warm or cold
- see if his rug has been rubbing him
- check him over thoroughly
- give him a quick groom
Step 4 – check him over
There are a few quick checks you should do every day, including…
- looking for cuts, bumps or scrapes on his legs or body
- feeling his feet to check for heat
- checking his eyes and nostrils are clear with no discharge
Top tip If your pony’s behaving unusually, ask an experienced adult to have a look at him or call your vet for advice.
Step 5 – Feet first
Your fave pony’s feet are super-important to his health and wellbeing. You should…
- pick them out at least once a day to make sure there are no stones stuck in them
- check for any bruising or signs of thrush
If he’s shod you should also check the condition of his shoes…
- are they very worn or loose?
- have the clenches risen?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you’ll need to call your farrier for an appointment as soon as possible.