RED HORSE DIARY #6:
“IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME…”
It all started out so innocently…
You see, I felt I needed to move Rojo out of his pasture for several reasons… First, the rain was coming and there isn’t a shelter in his paddock. There are a ton of tress, but no man-made shelter. .
Secondly, he was becoming obsessed. Rojo would not let go of his paranoia that something was going to get him from the wide open spaces beyond his area.
Actually, I couldn’t blame him. He lived out in the wilds of Nevada until recently. So, he did have to look out for bad things all the time… But, I swear to you, he was over the top with this. It got so bad that he wouldn’t even come to the fence for dinner. I had to deliver it to him at his sentinel post up by the top of his command.
Thursday was the clincher. I put Norma in with him to ease his perceived duties and perhaps make him more comfortable. Instead, he ignored her and carried on with his WATCHING obsession. To make matter worse, when I did deliver his dinner at his watching spot, he kinda jumped and acted spooky.
Me: OK. That’s it. I’m moving you. Besides, the rain is coming and you have no shelter.
Rojo: What is ‘shelter’?
Me: Something that makes me feel better when it rains on you. Come with me.
Rojo: Where are we going?
Me: To the barn.
Rojo: GOODY! I love the barn! Food everywhere!
Me: Yup. And you’ll be in there until I can think of a better idea…
FAST FORWARD TWO DAYS…
So, I had Rojo in the barn. He had one stall to wander into as well as the entire aisle to move about. He was happy.
Tess and Sam (the wild one) were just outside the barn in the huge pasture that attaches to the barn. So, both Sam and Tess could rub noses with Rojo and get to know each other before I released them all together. Seemed like a fail-safe plan.
I thought this grouping would be good since Tess is the Boss. No one challenges her. I concluded that for sure Rojo would be smart about Boss mares since he came from a herd run by mares, right? You’d think? And I wasn’t worried about Sam because she had shared a fence with Rojo for a month now and there had been no issue.
OK… so this morning, after 2 days of solid rain and solid Rojo, the barn was a mess. I wanted Rojo out of there. It was time to set him free with Tess and Sam.
The sun was shining a bit. The mares were both eating down in the pasture. Perfect. A gentle union between the two mares and little Rojo.
I had one concern and that was the wet ground… It was slippery so I made sure to move Rojo below the slickest parts and then gave him a flake of hay.
IT ALL SEEMED JUST FINE
Here is a photo journal of my stellar idea to put Rojo in with Tess and Sam…
SO, I WENT INSIDE THE HOUSE…
(of course, I didn’t have a camera during this part…)
All of a sudden, I heard horses shrieking like I’ve never heard before.
I practically killed the cat as I raced to the front door, tripping over him and grabbing my shoes in one ungraceful move. I was out the door and running/sliding towards the barn just as Hubby was emerging from the garage.
“Something bad is happening”, he said observantly.
As I ran to comprehend the scene, I screamed at them so loudly that my voice is hoarse as I write this. Tess was in a full-on showdown with Rojo. Both of them were in the GUNFIGHTER position, too close to each other and too close to the fence. I had visions of my 22 year-old dowager mare slipping and breaking her hip or something equally as horrible.
“OYYYY, STOP NOW, NOOO. NOOOOOOOOO. DON’T YOU DARE! NOOOOOOOO”, I shrieked back at them as I tripped and belly slid into the fence.
Tess is an obedient girl and she knew that I was acting very strangely and that I was very, very angry with her. She knew it was time to be a good girl and walk away – which she did.
But what floored me was that as she passed Sam, who was watching several yards away, it was as if Tess whispered in her ear, “Tag Team, your turn – go get that little soandso!”
In a flash, Sam was on Rojo, kicking and screaming like a banshee! They were so close, their kicks weren’t really going anywhere but they were rapid fire. I wasn’t sure who was kicking who or who insulted who or the pecking order or whatever was the issue and I didn’t care. It just had to stop before one of these previously wild horses was going to fight to the finish of all of us.
I finally got myself up and very violently pointed my finger right at Sam. Sam looked at me and stopped just long enough for Rojo to get into a better retaliation position.
NOOOOOOOOOOO. STOP IT RIGHT NOW! S-T-O-P RIGHT NOW! DON’T YOU DARE MOVE OR I WILL PUMMEL YOU BOTH MYSELF!!
Sam froze in her footsteps.
Rojo looked at me puzzled.
I herded Sam away via the power of my Ninja pointed finger and insane glare. I pointed and yelled and pointed and moved so that she moved along with me inside the fenceline. Our little herding dance got her to the back of the barn. But, like a doofus, Rojo followed her. So, now I had the Rock’em Sock’em Mustangs at the back of the barn.
Oy. I opened the barn gate. I figured Sam would run through and out into the courtyard since she has done this many times when I let them out to eat green grass. Rojo wouldn’t have ever done this before and I just hoped he wouldn’t follow her.
I called to Sam and showed her the open gate. Ohhhhh. The decision was so difficult for her… Should she kick the crap out of Rojo or eat green grass? Sam puffed up to twice her size and glared at Rojo with superbly pinned ears. Then, she made her decision and ran full speed right at me. I opened the gate wide and let her through, shutting it quickly behind her.
Rojo looked at me confused.
I was devastated. Now who would I put in with Rojo? The mares were my best idea so far.
Finally I decided to put the poor ponies and Norma back into the small paddock at the end of the ranch. I put Rojo in Remi’s pasture.
Everyone else will go back where they were.
Is there a moral to this story? Maybe… and that is – Even if you think it will be fine, don’t introduce horses on a very wet day…
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.