Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘horse communication

Getting Nipped

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It wasn’t clear at first, but after repeated scrapes of similar appearance and orientation, Cyndie and I have come to the conclusion that Dezirea is getting bitten. Most likely, as a function of hierarchy “negotiations” within the tiny herd of three horses.

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A pattern of bite-sized scrapes is showing up on both sides of her rump with an unfortunate regularity of late. We haven’t caught anyone in the act, but I have seen Hunter pinning his ears back and moving her around enough to suspect that it’s him taking things to the next level when we’re not around.

I take some solace in remembering the time I was standing right next to them when Dezirea leaned forward and let loose a kick with two back hooves, landing them with such impact on Hunters chest that even I felt the energy. She knows how to dish out her own discipline when the situation calls for it.

If the evidence of biting continues, we may cover Dezirea with a blanket to give her hide a break, but for now we have chosen to see if they can work this out as nature would have it.

Cyndie already saw some interaction during yesterday afternoon’s mealtime that revealed Dezirea is not simply playing the victim. The elder mare moved the other two off each of their food, showing she can exert some control of her own.

Heck, it could be such behavior is why she is getting bitten in the first place.

This all tugs at our ongoing ache of missing Legacy, seeing them without the strong leadership he always commanded.

There were plenty of times when the three chestnuts would test things between each other, but it never went on for more than a brief time before Legacy would pass judgement and direct them all to knock it off.

In two months, it will have been a year since Legacy died, and the three are still searching for a new normal of life without him.

In plenty of ways, we are, too.

Reality bites.

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Written by johnwhays

November 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

Four Tattletales

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Our lovely dog, Delilah, took advantage of Cyndie’s decision to allow some time off leash in the afternoon yesterday, while she shoveled away the accumulation of Wednesday night’s snow. After a couple of successes, in which Delilah returned to Cyndie when called, there came the great escape once again.

Out of sight in a blink.

Cyndie hollered and whistled for Delilah. She walked through the barn and found the horses in the paddock, looking at her while she made the ruckus. They’d witnessed this routine enough times before that they knew what was going on. Cyndie decided to drive the roads in search of our wandering canine. She hiked up to the house to get the truck keys, but was stymied by a dead battery.

That’s an ongoing occasional drama for another time.

She went back up to the house to get her car to widen her search. Down the road, when she spotted a flock of turkeys luxuriating in a field, she knew she was in the wrong spot. No dog in that vicinity.

As she returned to our place and pulled into the driveway, she spotted all four horses, now in the hay-field, lined up and facing one specific direction. They didn’t even turn to look at her, as is their usual behavior, but rather, maintained their intense stare in that single direction. They were clearly signaling a message for Cyndie, compelling her to look at what they were seeing. She turned her head to follow their gaze and immediately spotted the bright orange flash of Delilah’s vest across the street, in the neighbor’s field, past the snowmobile trail leading into the woods.

Cyndie described how it was the distinct posture of each of the horses which made the message so clear. They were not lolling around aimlessly, or relaxed in the stance of a nap, but instead were straight and tall, flexed as if on a specific mission. She would totally have missed that Delilah was in that direction, had it not been for their help.

The horses had totally ratted out our dog on the lam.

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Written by johnwhays

January 8, 2016 at 7:00 am