So it’s been a full week since the boys arrived. Want to know how things are going?
Happy was due to go home on Sunday so I spent a bit of time with her while Zac worked on the barn some more. She enjoyed supervising the door build. It was going so well she had time for a shoulder rub and an afternoon nap.
Knowing we only had a few days left I began to introduce Blade to the boys.
Friday morning after breakfast I put Blade in with Vai Via and Zeno Bay. After a sip of water he meandered to the boys. They all sniffed one another; it was pretty mild, but it was clear Zeno wanted nothing to do with Blade. Blade took a romp around the paddock but Zeno wouldn’t really allow him to eat. Blade gave me a look like “you put me in the wrong paddock, Ma, these guys are mean to me. Can I go back to Happy now?”
My initial reading of the boys was wrong. Zeno Bay seems to be a lot more well adjusted and has confidence. Zeno, with the crickety hips and “old soul” is in fact the big boss man. Vai Via definitely seems to have a side that lacks self-confidence right now. I had misread initially because Vai’s confidence is granted to him only through Zeno, who gladly lets Vai do whatever he pleases. When it came to Blade, however, he wasn’t so lenient.
Blade spent most of Friday with the boys and went back to his lady at night. Since Zeno was bullying Blade a bit I split the boys up for about two hours Saturday morning so everyone could see each other and Blade had a fair chance to connect. Zeno had his own strip of paddock and settled right in to graze on grass. Vai, who was in the paddock with Blade, looked off mournfully waiting for Zeno to come back. I gave it a bit of time so the two could figure each other out on a one-on-one basis. This time Blade had a chance to find some confidence. When all three horses were happily settled and eating I put them back together; it seemed to do the trick.
Introducing horses can be tricky. It takes time to establish “herd hierarchy” and they all need to figure it out on their own. It was difficult to watch Blade being bullied in his own home. I really didn’t need to intervene but in this case it ended up helping him and it helped me learn a bit more about the personalities of the boys.
Sunday morning Blade moved in with the boys permanently. By the afternoon all three horses were eating from the haynets under the tree. Dare I say that I saw Zeno grooming Blade! At least until the trailer came…
Happy finally got on the trailer around 3pm and went home. As I walked back to the paddock my eyes watered to see Blade heartbroken. For an hour he was galloping around the paddock screaming for her. After the hour he had taken to walking, but still cried out for Happy. He was still searching the perimeter two hours later when I left for work.
Monday morning he still had some voice left so after breakfast he paced the paddock some more in search of his Happy.
By Tuesday Blade seemed to figure out his new situation. Both Zeno Bay and Vai Via must have taken pity on him and accepted him into the posse. We now officially have the three bay amigos.
If I am nearby Blade takes the lead. I seem to be his security blanket so he has some more confidence when I’m around.
“Yeah boys, this lady right here is MY mom!”
If I’m watching the posse from the house, however, Zeno is definitely the leader. I imagine their herd dynamic will blossom from here but it is now finally certain that everyone can happily coexist.
It’s been raining pretty heavily for the last few days. This week, pending the weather, my plan is to take Vai Via out and see what groundwork he knows and to see where we should begin. I imagine this will be slow at first but it will be excellent for getting him to find his own confidence. Doesn’t he know how handsome he is? I believe “working” and having a non-demanding low stress “job” will really make his personality shine.
I may begin some groundwork with Zeno as well, however he came to us with a deep hoof crack. It’s likely caused by a combination of a very dry summer, lots of bugs, and a deficiency in the diet. Until the crack grows out a bit I’m doing my best to monitor the hoof and not over stress it with unnecessary activity.
I’m also still in search of any and all backstory I can find on the boys. If you’re familiar with them please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Comment or email me with what you know because so far I only have a pedigree! This will help me tell their story going forward. For now I will look forward to updating you as we all learn more about each-other.