Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Horses Again

with 4 comments

It was a little before noon when the truck and trailer rolled up our driveway with our new herd of four Thoroughbred mares: Light, Mix, Mia, and Swings. Their names being remnants of the longer versions the racing industry dreams up for their potential champions.

Zodiacal Light (18); Pleasant Mix (17); The Yellow Sheet [Momma Mia] (21); Gate Swinger (26).

From the sound of banging coming from inside the trailer before it even stopped rolling, we got the impression the horses weren’t entirely happy with the situation. That attitude changed swiftly upon their assessment of the paddocks. 

We wanted nothing more than to have them know this is their new home where they could relax and forget all their worries.

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It seemed as though the sky came alive with energy in a reflection of how exciting it was to have horses back on our land. We felt great joy when they rather quickly took turns laying down which offers a clear demonstration of their comfort level with the surroundings.

The chickens appeared to be a new phenomenon to the horses and garnered a fair amount of attention throughout the day, but just in terms of curious interest as opposed to concern over any possible threat.

We aren’t aware of there being a commanding leader at this point among the four mares, but early impressions indicate a willingness to follow Light when she initiates a relocation to different space. She put on a brief show of alerting on the chickens while the others were grazing. Focusing with her head high as the hens rustled in the leaves among the trees, Light rushed up to the fence to get a closer look, then ran back down with the others, still staring. 

It wasn’t that big a deal, except that she repeated the exercise about three times.

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There was only a minor hesitation about drinking from the automatic waterer for all of the horses except Swings, who struggled mightily to convince herself it would be okay. She would bring her head down close, but then give in to nerves and pull away. Finally, it seemed she had become so thirsty she needed to force herself to push through the hesitation. After about a minute of lip smacking, tongue in and out, inches away “I will, I won’t” behaviors, she just shoved her muzzle into the refreshing goodness and took one of the longest drinks ever.

Putting out feed pans in the evening was a fresh adventure. We were so used to a simple routine with our other horses, it was eye opening to realize this was a whole new ball game. They didn’t know where to go, we didn’t know where to put the pans.

Two horses are supposed to get larger servings than the others, but of course, all four quickly engaged in the circus routine of snitching bites from one pan and then moving to push someone off another which kicks off a domino effect of rearranging.

Add in a couple of spontaneous emergency response drills and it becomes impossible to know who has eaten what. The servings this morning weren’t much different. It will be a while before we all figure out an efficient routine.

As dusk settled in last night, the four horses seemed settled enough for the amount of excitement the day had brought them.

I think it brought even more excitement for us. It is incredibly precious to have horses here again.

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Written by johnwhays

April 17, 2021 at 9:08 am

4 Responses

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  1. One of our herd is a Thoroughbred. More fencing is suppose to go up on the other side of the road this week.

    Jim Parker

    April 18, 2021 at 11:47 am

    • Do your horses have space to run a little bit, Jim? Ours sure surprised us with a thrill earlier today after we gave them their first access to several acres.

      johnwhays

      April 18, 2021 at 9:16 pm

  2. Hello, I am Liz’s daughter, Heidi. I have a keen interest in horses, and have been waiting to ride one for a long time. I think it is so cool that you get to have horses at you house for a whole summer!😆.
    I hope that I may be able to come see them this summer and pet them, but I think due to their ages, the aren’t able to ride. I hope you have fun with them!!!!

    Elizabeth Shatek

    April 17, 2021 at 9:50 am

    • It’s wonderful to hear from you, Heidi. We hope you will come see us this summer, too! It won’t be long and the horses will become comfortable with their new home and we hope that will allow them to feel safe enough to gain confidence around visitors.
      You are correct that they are too old for riding. Today they spent a LOT of time napping in the sun. Already, we feel like they are very special horses. Thank you for writing!

      johnwhays

      April 17, 2021 at 5:44 pm


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