|For the four years we've had Saorsa, she's been the only large horse we've had. As horses are herd animals, this hadn't really been the plan. Saoradh had seemed content to be alone and a bit afraid of the Minis
when they got loose. He'd been a bused. But Saorsa needs companionship,
she can see the Minis but due to their age and her size and attitude,
we didn't dare let the mingle. The goats,
however, despite her acting like she'd kill them at first, befriended
her, Elína more than our much lamented Randvér. She'll let Elína eat
with her, but if she gets cranky both goats have been spry enough to
get out of her way and small enough to slip in and out of enclosures.
But she knows she's the boss. She needs to learn better herd manners.
we were hoping to get a rather large horse, one that would be a good
"husband-horse" for Aaron and one big enough to keep her in line. But
instead during the summer of 2011 we were offered by Saorsa's trainer a
tiny Morgan cross mare
who was returned to her and needs a home. Misty is in her late teens
and has apparently spent the past 3 years as a sort of petting zoo
animal, being brushed by children and not ridden. She had belonged to
the trainer who had asked that she be returned if they no longer wanted
her; however, she's not in a position to keep her.
Misty is gentle and well behaved, but not particularly friendly; which
she apparently very much was before. We think that she's having a form
of burn out that is not uncommon in horses who are in situations such
as she seems to have been in. Horses who have no real, steady and
positive interaction with people who are "hers." And probably no horses
either, we think she probably had no other horses she was able to
directly interact with. She is afraid to make attachments. We'll work
on this, she's coming to her forever home and eventually she'll realize
also a bit on the pokey side, which again seems to be new. It's
very un-Morgan-like of her and, again, probably will mostly be resolved
when she learns she wants to interact with us. We rode her a
couple of times while she was still at our trainers. This was actually
Aaron's first time on a horse.
arrived here on October 15, 2011, we kept the girls separated at first,
with an area between their pastures so they could see each other. About
every day or every other day for a week, we would close the gap a
bit, letting Saorsa a bit further into "No Mare's Land." A
week after she arrived, we had them with a tiny V of fence between,
then small end close enough for them to touch noses.
W were a bit concerned due to to the size difference and Saorsa's
general bad attitude. This latter, however, we realized was probably
largely due to have having another horse to teach her better. But we
still wanted to make sure Misty had an advantage so Cory, the
trainer we got her from and who has been working with Saorsa, spent a
couple of sessions driving Saorsa with Misty. And Saorsa got the
When the morning after the second time, we opened it up and Saorsa went
in. She pretty much kept her distance, a tiny squeal from Misty would
send her away. Misty started out as Boss Mare and for the first
few days Saorsa didn't get too close. A few days later, they
seemed to be a bit cozier, however.
first heat with Saorsa changed the dynamics, for she's not acting like
an in heat mare who is annoyed by another mare. She's acting like she's
in love. We've long joked that some of Saorsa's behavior is rather,
well, butch, something everyone notes is not surprising for my mare.
But perhaps there's something to it. Misty has been following her
around, totally love sick. Her severe food aggression has been totally
thwarted, she'll let Saorsa eat out of her own dish.
At this point she just seems to be a changed horse, much livelier and brighter than she was. Love heals.
We'll see how the dynamic changes again when her heat ends. And we need
to see how herd bound they're going to be at different times of her
cycle and how we need to deal with that so we can work with them. Butt
it's clear that they're a happy pair, that this has been good for them.
End All Horse Slaughter NOW!
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