Monday, March 08, 2010

Herd of One

Horses are herd animals. They don’t like being alone. Even if they don’t like and bully a pasture mate they get really upset if the pasture mate is ever removed or out of sight. It’s a lot like an abusive relationship. This is the case with most horses. They have a pecking order, too.

Though it is rare, some horses do bond positively with one another from time to time. I recall bringing a horse home that belonged to a woman that was the sister of the woman that sold us another horse earlier. These two horses hadn’t seen one another for five or six years, but when we put them together there was a love fest and they were never apart the entire time we had them both at our place. They were long lost friends that were reunited.

My horse is about to become an “only horse” again for the next week in preparation for the arrival of our new horse. He’s been through this before. We’ve had horses here on a trial basis. He bonds with them and when the horses go back he will call for then for the first day. He will be anxious for another day, but then he resigns to being an only horse again. Then when we bring in a new horse he gets all puffy to show this is his place and he is the king. The funny thing was that he was the low horse in the pecking order at the farm where I got him. Pairing any two horses is always a crap shoot. I wonder how it will all work out.

4 Comments:

Blogger darev2005 said...

It's the same way with humans. It's a good thing most of us don't carry weapons and the "I'm the big dog" games are generally bloodless. They usually try not to pair anybody new with me at work. I tend to run them over and scare them away. It's in my nature.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the neighbors down the road had a horse die in an accident during a competition. Though the remaining horse had not seemed to care much before hand she called and called for nearly a week afterward. It was really heart breaking to hear her. She has a new pasture mate and if the other horse leaves for any reason, even if just for a little while she immediately starts yelling for him to come back.

Thankfully we're far enough way it's not too annoying, but I'm sure the closer neighbors aren't thrilled.

columbiacritter

7:30 PM  
Blogger Shelly Rayedeane said...

Stupid blonde question.

Do horses bite each other like they do humans? I think they are beautiful creatures but wish I could sometimes pull their teeth out when they bite.

9:52 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, it's a wonder you attracted a mate...

Critter, that's what I have to look forward to, but then it looks like I may have three horses around here for a while.

Shelly, biting is a really bad vice. Most don't bite humans but they do bite each other. Oddly when you see them grooming each others necks, those sessions usually end in the lead horse biting the other to end the session.

5:19 AM  

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