Saturday, September 18, 2010
Yeshio, the Andalusian
This is Yeshio. He's the Andalusian I referred to the other day. FV asked for a picture.
He is just beautiful, unfortunately at this point in his development it's only skin deep. Today it was my turn to feed and I decided I'd take on some of Yeshio's annoying traits.
Like banging on the gate, demanding to be fed.
I decided to take a page from Chris Irwin who says you should never feed a rude horse. So when he banged on the gate, I took the wooden part of the pitchfork and banged much more loudly back. He didn't like the sharp sound and danced back.
I went on my business, getting the grain organized and getting ready to feed. He banged again. I banged back again, more loudly. He scooted back. When he dropped his head, I took the pressure off and dropped his grain in.
When he waited for his hay he began pawing. I raised the wooden handle (not in a threatening "I'm going to hit you" way, but in a "this is my head and it's higher than yours" way). He stopped. He regarded me. He stopped pushing on the gate. I could feel his impatient energy change, into what, I couldn't quite say.
He waited. Politely.
I fed him and told him he was beautiful.
I decided to do this because I get the feeling he's passing on bad behavior to Smokey who started chasing Lily off her hay and pawing. He doesn't do it in front of me, but Steph mentioned it.
I don't know if Smokey is just coming into his own, or if it is the dynamic of a new horse in the herd.
I've noticed dramatic changes in herds when a single horse is added - and not just in regards to that horse. We had an alpha horse in a pen that is in the center of a paddock. The other, established alpha became a huge bully, putting some serious bites on everyone else in his herd. It was almost as if he was frustrated at not being able to herd the horse in the pen and took it out on the others. Or perhaps it was a form of showing off.
I see this and I think of how challenging it is to build a stable (no pun intended) herd and I wonder when we get our own place what is the best set up to be able to separate horses, yet let them be a herd.
I've recently decided that I need to focus on where I want to go and what I want it to look like when I get there. Want to come along?
I spend some time day dreaming about the best set up for a relatively low maintenance layout, one where you can have horses turned out 90% of the time, yet easily separate and protect them from the weather. I mentally review the dozens of places I've seen in the last three years, mulling over the pros and cons of each. My favorite is probably the layout at our old barn where the pipe runs connected to the paddock. It looked like this:
I'd like the pipe runs to be like the beautiful ones where Cibolo used to live, limestone rock walls, and beautiful wooden ceilings and metal roof, with a wooden name plate on every run. (Dream big, what the heck!)
What does your ideal place look like?
PS Smokey now loads fine. I had the BO help me get through the last of the resistance - getting him in the right position - and he's back to normal. Now I have to make sure I load him every day.