Although he improved slightly before the vet arrived, this was a classical stance for a horse with an abscess in his foot. Just to complicate matters, Vino has only just started his training on foot handling at the grand old age of 23 and hasn't actually had his back feet picked up, never mind by a stranger.
Fortunately the vet, Rebecca Hamilton-Fletcher, is also a Commoner and so understands what it is to have a semi-feral pony. It was great to work with her and Lisa so that not only was she able to give him an intra-muscular sedative but an intra-venous too.
First a quiet word...he'd had ACP in his breakfast about an hour before and was just a little bit dozy.
Preparing for the intra-venous injection...he's a bit sleepier by now but with semi-ferals the sedative turns the dimmer switch one way and the pony's adrenalin forces it the other...
Checking his leg for damage - for once a running foot is really useful.
This may well have been the culprit, seedy toe not helped by a little stick which was wedged inside it but the abscess itself had resolved itself.
This session with superb teamwork - Lisa at the head end, me holding his foot up, and Rebecca examining his foot - gave us all hope that if ever Vino is in trouble it will be possible to treat him. It has also convinced me that it is time for Henrietta to be sedated so that she can have her feet trimmed.
Just before I went away Crazy had a little breakthrough in his training when he allowed me to place the bit in his mouth rather than drawing it up with a piece of string. This seems to have been a turning point and paved the way for an extraordinary change in emotions and behaviour. I was stunned today when I went to visit to find that he is now allowing Stephanie to put his bridle on like a normal horse, taking the bit into his mouth with only a little persuasion, not running backwards and certainly not falling over. Steph has also switched to a Neue Schule bit and he seems to like the shape and taste of it.
Here's the video! I just mentioned being a bit gentle with his ears and not patting (hard to say this to someone who wins just about everywhere!) but he doesn't really seem to mind either. Steph and I are both wishing we'd videoed him at the start of his training.