Friday, November 20, 2009

Ride? Don't? Also, thoughts on equine social dynamics.

ETA: I updated the hoof shots as I found some shots from the day she came home. You can find the post HERE

*Sigh*  So many important decisions. Right now I 'm thinking I might ride Fred and pony Mandy so she continues to get a little workout but not have to carry weight. I find it ironic that the poorly bred mutt is kicking the Ay-rab when it comes to hoof quality. His hooves however have improved in the year he's lived with me however so perhaps I will see an improvement in Mandy's soon.

I do notice that her hoof has increased its rate of growth in the month she's been here. There's 3/4" of really nice looking hoof growing down from the coronet. When it reaches the bottom is when we'll see the truth. It's so hard to wait though. I'm just not configured for patience.

I am already seeing changes in her physical condition, her flanks are beginning to fill in and she's getting that nice Arab roundness back. We just need to keep up the activity to turn it into muscle and not flab.

Equine Social Dynamics

All this past year I've been feeling bad about Brisa being lonely and Fred turning out to be so decidedly anti-social. Bree is one of those horses that wants to interact with her herd mates. She's playful and kind of a clown. Very socially oriented and looking for that contact.

Fred is one of those horses that you could keep in a paddock all alone for the rest of his life and he'd be perfectly fine with that. Or so I thought.

The day I brought Mandy home was a big day for Bree. You could just see the cogs turning in that little head of hers.
A horse? For...ME? Really?!? AWESOME!

We introduced everyone over fences and it all went like a textbook introduction. A little squealing, a strike or two not aimed at anyone, some posturing and it was all sorted out and done. Within two days I witnessed Mandy and Bree grooming each other*jump for joy* and Fred still seemed perfectly happy off in his own little paddock.

Since Mandy came home it's been interesting fascinating to watch the social dynamics of my little herd changing as they all find their new places. Mandy seems to be one of those horses that I equate to the *popular* girls in high-school.  Not the ones who were the prettiest, but the girls that everyone liked from all the different factions. The one who hung out in the cool crowd, but would always be nice to everyone.

Now, not to say that Mandy doesn't boss Bree around now and again, but she seems to be an equalizer horse. I have even seen Fred making overtures of friendliness to her over the stall walls which I was just floored about the first time I saw him do that. He's shown ZERO interest in Bree for a whole year and now he likes Mandy. Huh. You can think you have one all figured out and then they go and surprise you. Never fails.

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