As I’ve said (grumbled) in several posts this past month… (or longer), I’m in school again, working, working, studying, doing house stuff/chores and then studying. Blech. Yuk. Yes, it is for my betterment but right now, YUK.
What I’m trying to say is that I’ve had little time to work with Rojo, my prisoner trained marvelous mistake Mustang.
Well, he isn’t a mistake, it was just that I made a mistake while bidding and ended up with him even though I had no intention of adopting another horse. In fact, I felt all sweaty and kinda nauseous afterwards. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!!!
But, as soon as I got next to him and saw his enormous kind eyes and smelled his sweet cheeks, I was a goner. He is wonderful.
So, what’s new with my red horse, you ask?…
(If you’d like to read about his story or any of the previous Red Horse Diaries, click here.)
MAYHEM AND FOOLISHNESS
I left off when I made the awful mistake of putting him in with the mares… I figured that since they had been across the fence from each other for a few month with no drama, everything would be OK.
I was wrong.
The mares took their turns at mini 15-second cage fighting and then would switch off. I knew this was going to end badly so I quickly opened the gate and let the mares rush out onto our lawn – Hubby was not happy about that.
Once the mares were blissfully grazing and had forgotten all about Rojo, I stealthly moved him into what was Remi’s pasture – next to the ponies and Norma.
I know he and Norma get along… the ponies, not so much.
Anyway, the object of the game was to keep everyone safe. At this point, having him alone was my best idea so far. After all, since he has been alone, he is really loving when he sees me… which is probably selfish of me but it felt good. But, down deep, I wanted him to have a herdie. I just needed to figure out who. Obviously, the ‘throwing him into the herd and letting them work it out’ wasn’t working for me.
SENTRY DUTY HAS GOT TO END.
The whole reason I wanted to put Rojo in with others is because when he is alone, he become SUPER SENTRY. In fact, the first month I had him, I never saw him lay down. He was dirty, but I never actually saw him get dirty. He could have just been rolling… no nap time whatsoever.
And, worse than not laying down, he was becoming increasingly more nervous. I’d see him pace across the highest area of the pasture patrolling the outskirts of the ranch. He was actually becoming haggard looking – if that is possible for a horse… This wasn’t good. The poor guy was obsessing.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
My thought was that I had put him alone in my first pasture which backs against oblivion (barren acreage next door) and then I switched him to another pasture which backs against the top side of the property – with wild stuff beyond (neighbor’s empty acreage).
It felt to me like he was fretting and overwhelmed with having to patrol these non-occupied areas. He was on the fringe and he felt insecure.
That is why I decided to move him with the mares – which didn’t work at all. So, now he was alone in a MIDDLE pasture.
And then the pacing started again… it wasn’t as bad, but he was Mr. Alert again. Not sleeping on the job.
So, I had to find him a friend…
Which brings us up to date.
Who would be the sacrificial lamb that I would remove from his/her solid herd to throw her/him in with the new guy?
REMI TO THE RESCUE
Remi is my Mustang mare who has been gentled for about 8 years now. She is solid as a rock and very sweet. Oh, and she’s big. In fact, I call her my Henchmare because she is such a bruiser.
Anyway, Remi really loved the pasture that Rojo now took from her and she wanted back in. So, I let her – and held my breath.
To my surprise, she entered and was just so happy to be back home that she let him dominate her!
ROJO: Who are you and what are you doing in my pasture?
WISE REMI: It is a lovely pasture isn’t it. May we share it?
ROJO: OK, but I’m Boss around here and I’m so special that Human gives me more food than anyone else.
WISE REMI: Ohhhh, I hadn’t noticed… <wink>
No matter if Rojo thinks he is the boss, the real power is with the mare because for the very first time, I saw Rojo laying down.
He took the longest nap in Mustang history, I swear. Remi just stood nearby and kept watch while she ate. Remi’s been here done that for a while now. She has no worries.
Remi puts Rojo at ease.
I do have to say that it is rather odd that out of all the horses here, the two Mustangs – the two branded horses – live together. Do they have some sort of kindred spirit or familiar trauma (helicopter round-up)? Do they sit around the shelter and reflect on the good ol’ days when they were free?
Or, do they just ‘get’ one another because they have similar backgrounds?
Whatever the chemistry, they are buddies. He thinks he is the herd sire and she is fine with that as long as she has enough food. Perfect.
Oddly, Both Remi and Rojo prefer smaller pastures. It must give them security. Dunno. None of the other horses prefer the smaller pastures. No Way!
Anyway, it took me a year or so for Remi to come out of her pasture and eat the green grass around the interior of the ranch. She wouldn’t leave the security of her fenceline unless I was leading her.
Rojo is the same. If I open the gate to let Remi out (which she now looooves), he will hold back and stay inside their pasture.
But, it kinda works for both Remi and me… She gets a break from him to visit her other buddies and Rojo again looks to me for comfort – which I looooove.
Yup, I find myself letting Remi out more just so that I can slip into their pasture and have some alone time with sweet Rojo.
Even though I’d selfishly prefer for him to be alone so that he will bond with me more, it is way better to see him thrive with his new herdie. He looks and feels like he is finally settled and that is the very best feeling of all.
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
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