Saturday, December 13, 2008
Well, Coop's Midnight Rain has now been nicknamed "Guinness" (as in my husband's favorite beer). Guinness is turning out to be a fun name to twist into many other pet names including: Guinea Pig, Guinea Baby, and Ginny, not to mention "Mud Puppy," etc. :-)
We've had him here for three weeks now, and all is going well. We've been very slowly introducing him to the two older geldings. At first they just met over a board fence, but more recently he has been taking turns out with each of them.
We've had to take it slow to accommodate Cody (my boarder, another Rocky Mountain Horse), who managed to severely lacerate his knee about a week into the process. Fortunately, it didn't impact his joint and he has now almost completely healed.
At this point, everyone is ready to be turned out together - except that we've had torrential rain and the pasture is pretty slippery (unless it is below freezing)! Fortunately, it was frozen hard this morning so Cody and Guinness had some time together. Tomorrow is also supposed to be clear and cold, but then it is supposed to rain for several more days.. Agh!
Here are some cute photos and videos that I've taken over the last few days (every time I pull out the camera, he gets too close to me trying to investigate!):
This photo is of the baby (on the left) taking a nap next to Smokey in the sunny mud. (A few seconds before, Smokey was flat on the ground too.)
This video is of the baby playing in a rain water "pond" that formed in our back pasture. He had been locked in all night, and when I let him out, he was so excited to see the pond that he jumped in and started to splash (and it was about 33 degrees out). Definitely not phased by a little water!
Here is a photo of Guinness shadowing Smokey around. Fortunately, Smokey loves to have other horses on his tail and rarely even "humps up" to warn them back. Baby loves to chew on Smokey's hocks, tail head, blanket and I've even seen him holding on to Smokey's tongue! (This is a game that Smokey & Cody often play.)
This is a video of Smokey & Guinness playing out in the field. Baby sitting the little guy wears Smokey out!
Here are two more clips that illustrate his typical Rocky Mountain Horse attitude. One is of Guinness following a rolling barrel and the other is of him herding the chickens that share his pasture and run-in. (One great benefit to having the hen house in the pasture is that the horses get totally used to flapping, noisy birds running under their feet and leaping from nowhere.)
And finally, at long last, a clip of Cody playing with the baby over the fence while Smokey ignores the situation.. The dynamics of this threesome have been continually changing. At first, Smokey would drive the new guy away from his herd mate, Cody. Then after Smokey had been out alone with Guinness, he would defend the baby from Cody! Finally, I've seen Cody on one side of the fence with baby on the other, with Smokey sandwiched in between trying to control the situation while the baby chewed on his hocks. Now, I think that Smokey has just given up trying to control everyone - which is a great thing!!
That's it for now! Next time I'll talk about our progress in starting to play the Seven Games of Parelli Natural Horsemanship. (Hint: I've had to find a firmer phase 4 and it has actually improved our relationship..)