Trouble in Paradise, Part 2

amywink June 14th, 2010

So, once we arrived home from our long day at Agarita, we decided to introduce the rest of the herd to Blessing. She’d been with Popeye for a week, in a pasture alongside Will and Windy. Everyone was very tired so it was very peaceful–at first. Blessing was very excited to see her brother up close. I can’t help thinking she knows they look alike!


All looked very peaceful.


But Will was lying, and he eventually had it and started off after Blessing, in a very aggressive and determined effort to make sure she knew she was at the Complete Bottom of The Herd Order:


He chased her hard and eventually forced her into the far corner of the pasture. I went in and retrieved him and Lisa retrieved Blessing.

Will spent the rest of the evening in Time Out, standing on the tree first, then in the stall overnight, separate from the herd. And Blessing went out with Popeye and Windy for an uneventful evening out.

I did not sleep well that night and I spent a lot of time determining a plan of action to deal with this turn of events. Even though I knew this was a natural process and part of herd dynamics that’s often unsettling to the humans involved, I also wanted to manage the relationship between Blessing and Will and see what we could do to ease the introductions so neither horse would be injured.

At this point, I could easily see Will developing a determined animosity toward Blessing, making our eventual pair plans more complicated. He can be (and has been) a jerk to other horses in the past. So, how to mitigate his worst jerk-itude, use his current herd-bound issues to our advantage, and create at least, an indifference between he and his sister, at most, a good bond that would make create an effective partnership

So, time for tough love. Stay tuned.

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