Relative Something

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

Slowly Becoming

with 2 comments

We sat beside one of the gates to the large paddock with friends yesterday afternoon and looked in on the four horses as they grazed. They showed awareness of our presence, but little in the way of interest in interacting with us. There have been enough other interactions where they chose to walk near us as we stroll around the perimeter of their pastures that we sense the early hints of a relationship between us.

In the weeks they have been here we have become increasingly aware of the differences between these horses and our previous herd of four well-loved Arabians.

One issue that Mix is experiencing is food aggressive behavior around feeding time that could easily be a relic of being starved sometime in her past.

Our old herd would commonly show up at a gate for social interaction and treats when people would visit. These mares show no sense whatsoever of this concept of “treats.” It’s a little sad to imagine the neglect they might have endured that has left them so uninterested in what humans might have to offer.

I suspect that too much of their experience with people in the last half of their lives has been negative.

These rescued Thoroughbreds have now become familiar with all the borders of their new confines and appear more than satisfied with the accommodations. They seem to understand that we clean up after them and serve pans of feed pellets for supplemental nutrition. Also, they now sense we aren’t a threat, but I don’t know that they are interested in making any hasty leap toward framing us as completely trustworthy.

While I was standing in the field among them around nap time the other day and three of them decided to lie down, I pulled out my camera to record the moment. While I was filming Light and Swings in front of me, I started hearing some strange sounds from behind me.

When I turned around to check, I found Mia’s snout was resting on the ground and it was causing a sort of whistle on her inhale, and then she snorted upon exhale. She was sleeping so soundly, she was snoring!

I took that as a great sign she was thoroughly comfortable with her surroundings and also, my benign presence in the middle of all of them.

We are slowly becoming connected to this herd and they are slowly becoming adjusted to us and our fields.

I anticipate this summer will provide plenty of opportunities to use idle time to continue deepening our precious connections.



Written by johnwhays

May 3, 2021 at 6:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Have you introduced them to stalls as yet? Do you have 4 individual stalls or will they have to double up? If so, how do you determine the best mates?


    May 3, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    • Good questions, Ward. We have not needed to move them indoors since they arrived. They are much more deserving of the great outdoors. We do have 4 stalls, but they are just under ideal size for these tall Thoroughbreds. Our barn originally housed mini-horses and we upgraded the wall height for our Arabians, but expanding overall floor space is unlikely to happen. We can bring them in to protect from freezing rain or bitter cold wind, but there should be little need for them to be confined to stalls during the summer.
      We are able to isolate our paddocks to separate them outside, which is one way we are addressing Mix’s aggression around feeding time.
      Knowing for sure which pairs are most compatible is a little bit of a guessing game, but watching their movements throughout a day offers enough hints to give us a starting point if we should decide to separate the herd for some period of time.


      May 3, 2021 at 1:45 pm

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