If you ever want to see horses in motion, just switch their fields around. It’s good for at least a half hour of excitement.
The farm where Jo is growing up is divided into four main pastures. The way the land lies, the first and second pastures are most visible from the house. The second and third pastures have run-in access, and are usually the fields where the broodmares reside. Today, Hermione and Jo’s Magic, along with our other broodmare and her colt, moved from the third field to the second so we could watch them more frequently, since we won’t be up at the barn quite as often.
Two geldings had been located in the second pasture, so we just switched the residents of the two fields. Of course, that meant that every horse on the property suddenly had different neighbors. What a thrill it is to watch nine horses running and bucking and tearing around as they process their new situation. It seems that even horses who aren’t normally demonstrative will let loose and kick it up for a while.
The broodmares aren’t quite friends yet. They’ve always done well together before, but this is the first time they’ve been around each other with foals, and both are single-minded mothers–very protective and uninterested in socializing. There’ve been plenty of squeals, bared teeth, and flattened ears, but it’s mostly a show, and I know they’ll all settle down together soon.
The mares and foals still have the geldings in an adjacent field–just on their left now instead of their right. And they now have a new neighbor: Exotic Blue is in the next pasture over. It’s been long enough that probably none of the horses make any connection between Blue and Jo, but it sure makes an interesting sight for us human observers, to have Blue and Jo and Hermione all grazing sometimes within a few feet of each other.
Today’s been an eventful day for the foals, especially. They both received new halters–Jo outgrew hers and the colt had slipped out of his two days before while I was handling him. We generally keep a foal halter on our foals until they’re willing to let us remove and reattach a halter several times, and then after that we only halter them during lessons or feeding time.
The foals also have full-time access to a new creep feeder now. Hermione had figured out how to remove the restriction device from the feeder previously, and even when she left it on, her small muzzle allowed her to get to most of the grain. Hermione has always been on the wrong side of “rotund,” so it doesn’t come as a surprise that she’d try to cheat the creep feeder out of an extra meal–but that wasn’t especially good for either her or Jo. The new set-up involved manually bending the metal cross-pieces so that they’re closer together and bowed up a bit, plus the whole affair is screwed down to the fenceboard. Let’s see Hermione get by that!