Not a lot to update about the growing baby. But I'll share some things I'm doing with him.
He gets about 2 pounds of Alfalfa/Timothy hay pellets with a little bit of Soybean meal and 1 teaspoon of Vermont Blend sprinkled on top. I wet that down and he snacks on it all morning. Then he gets a few flakes of grass hay, loose on his feed mat. All day he is separate from Zorro and Sky because they were getting fat again having access to all the hay that Oliver needs.
Around 3 or 4 in the afternoon I turn Oliver out loose on the farm so he can browse and graze. He spends most of his time in the front yard eating the only green grass we have left. I leave him out until about 7, when I do my evening chores. He gets a bit of hay pellets in the evening, while I clean the track and put out hay nets for Sky and Zorro. Some evenings I will spread loose hay around the track and give them something to browse on. I think this ensures Oliver gets a bit hay during the night. I also put out three hay nets at night. After I set up the rest of the track I will check to see that he has eaten all his hay pellets and then I open the gate so they can all be together. I don't like leaving Oliver alone at night with all the coyotes we have around here!
He is growing and getting a little bit sassier as he settles in. I love seeing that!
He comes to me when I call him. He will come to me for comfort if something unsettling happens, such as Sky being a bully, or the UPS truck coming in the driveway when he is out grazing.
He rubs against me like a cat. I know that's a comfort thing and something he would do with his mama.
Sometimes when he is stressed he will wrap himself around my body and nuzzle at me, as though wanting to nurse. He will nip and chew on my clothes and my arms and then I softly play with his lips. I NEVER smack, hit or bump him for this as he is exploring and asking for more attention at these times. Also I don't believe in hitting a horse for biting.
The other day it was pouring rain, thundering and lightning and he was alone in his side of the track, so I took my book and went out to sit with him in the shed while the storm raged. He was so happy to see me and snuggled right up. His seeking behavior told me he was seeking comfort. He is such a sweetheart. I got him some nice dry hay and we had a lovely hour or so spending quiet time in the shed while it absolutely POURED outside. It was such a snug comfy time. As the storm slowed Sky and Zorro stood by the gate into Oliver's side whinnying and whinnying so I went and let them in with us. They all crowded into the little shed and were a happy little herd.
I feel that Oliver is just starting to settle in. I brought him home about a month ago. I wouldn't say he is completely settled in but at least I feel he is starting to be. Something to think about the next time you bring a new pony home. It can take several months for them to start to settle and feel like they are home. I feel it's so sad when people get a new pony, give it one or two days and then return it because it's not working out. Sometimes that is very clear and you just know things won't work out, but other times they just need more time. And they need time in which you aren't constantly asking them to do things for you. Just time to be a pony and learn about you, your set up and your other ponies.
As for WHAT I am doing with Oliver... NOTHING! I brush him, I pet him and snuggle him, I feed him and I enjoy just sitting with him while he grazes. Otherwise I ask very little of him right now. (aside from the fact that I trim his feet... so he is learning about that!)
He explores the obstacles that are set up in his area, eats hay from the bottle obstacle and puts his feet on EVERYTHING. All things that will be helpful for later.
We have plenty of time. He needs to grow up a bit more and settle in a lot more and then I will start taking him with us when we go for hikes, walks and drives! My plan is to let him follow us loose... So I'll keep you updated on that! I think it would be so cool if he can do that.