You Know He’s Never Going to Outgrow That, Right?

One horse owner’s experience with her adult horse that was born prematurely.

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You Know He
At the age of 20 Santino is still small—just 14.1 hands and about 900 pounds soaking wet—with a full range of useful skills and lots of habits any self-respecting, mature horse would have outgrown long ago. | Photo: Pat Raia
One sunny Saturday morning Santino and I set out to practice a simple obstacle course set up in the center of our boarding barn’s arena. We just had to walk over four ground poles, loop around, traverse the poles again, and walk off in the opposite direction. Simple. We had done it a million times before.

Sonny successfully picked his way over the first two poles, but before he could navigate the final pair, his ability to focus failed him and he tripped nearly to his knees.

It happens all the time. My barn mates sarcastically refer to Sonny’s condition as Equine ADHD—attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I call it “premature pony syndrome.”

And he comes by it honestly

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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