Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pony update - Saturday PM

Had a bad moment yesterday afternoon when my phone buzzed with a new text from Eric - I immediately had visions of Thunder through a fence or flipped upside down in the crossties...  Thankfully, although horse-related his message had nothing to do with my spotted boy.

Sunny and Rufus continue to coexist uneventfully if not cheerfully, at least on Sunny's part.  Poor Sunny - he doesn't want Rufus too close to him, or people, for that matter, but he doesn't want him too far away, either.  Yesterday morning when I checked them Rufus was at the hay feeder and Sunny was loafing under the big tree nearby.  Both of them nickered at me, but I missed hearing Sunny's high-pitched whinny peeling out in greeting. 

Sunny was of course absolutely fine with me rubbing his belly and scratching the itchy spots around his ears, but when I walked over to do the same to Rufus, Sunny took exception and started to run him off.  Not acceptable.  So I stayed with Rufus, and every time Sunny approached with his ears back I chased him off.

It took about three times before he stopped and stood, staring at us mournfully from about 10 feet away. After I'd loved on Rufus for a while, I walked him up to the waterer.  Given Sunny's behavior, I wanted to make sure Rufus had had an opportunity to drink - where the waterer sits is sort of a V, and he might not have wanted to risk getting stuck in there if Sunny was stalking him. 

We went up the hill, trailed at a respectful distance by Sunny, who plodded along behind us with his ears tipped back, flicking them forward hopefully every time I turned my head to glance back at him.  The fat lambs were scampering and bouncing around in their lot - they share common fence and a waterer with the horses.  Rufus keep an eye on them, and a weather eye on on Sunny, who was sort of hovering back near the corn bin.  I was keeping an eye on Sunny, too, and he knew it

Rufus sniffed at the water, but didn't seem too interested in drinking - not sure if he just wasn't thirsty, or if the water didn't taste like what he was used to.  He didn't seem overly worried, though.

When Rufus headed back down, I ran interference through the narrower part of the lot by the gate, and then walked with Sunny out into the pasture.  When Rufus showed signs of coming over to visit, Sunny pinned his ears again, and got himself chased away.  Herd dynamics are fine, but he will respect me when I'm standing there and learn to mind his manners.

Maintaining a respectful distance

Also a resentful distance

When T and I checked them yesterday evening - taking Rufus up to the waterer again, where he did drink, but not in a hadn't-had-anything-to-drink-all-day way - Sunny was still crabby.  But Rufus isn't sporting any nip marks, and when he wanders off Sunny trails along behind him, making sure he's not left behind. 

I'm hoping to get a ride in this afternoon, which should give them something to commiserate about - lol!


Kellie said...

Glad to hear you've had no problems - so far.

I agree Sunny has to respect your presence out there. Dangerous things can happen when the horses don't.

My daughter used to think that horses were like dogs or cats. Love on them and they will love you forever and would never hurt you. Until a herd pecking order re-boot and she got kicked in the back by her beloved horse. We were incredibly lucky she didn't get killed or badly injured. Lesson learned the hard way.

We had a weirdly mild winter last year too and summer was pretty dry too. Last I heard we are six inches under the average for moisture. Could definitely use some rain around here too.

SunnySD said...

Yikes - glad to hear your daughter wasn't seriously injured. It can be really scary (and deadly) when heels start flying.

I had T back Sunny off a couple times last night too, to reinforce the "people are on top" idea. Sunny's used to me moving him around - he wasn't quite as quick to step away from T initially, so the reminder was a good thing. It's been a while since the days when there were 10 horses out there, and it's easy to get complacent.

Here's hoping we both get some rain soon! :)