Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adventures in Moving Horses

I've posted the details of the horses' homecoming over at my main blog, Just another perfect day, but I've got to share some pictures of Ida's horses, Peanut and Doc.

Doc is a young 'un, only four or so, and really feeling his teenage testosterone despite being cut.  Estes just happens to be in season and Doc had decided that Estee was his mare.  Doc and I went a couple of rounds about me taking his mare away from him.  Not so many years ago, I would have been nervous about putting him in his place, but not now.  The first time he challenged me, I had just put the lead on Estes and I worked him in circles with the end of the lead rope.  I love that mare of mine, she just pivoted behind me like she was the one working him in circles.

The second time, he tried to come up for a sneak attack from behind as I was leading her out of the pasture.  I heard him start his charge and turned to look at him, planting myself firmly and making the "bad" noise - you know the AAAAARRRRRGGGG noise you yell at dogs and bad horses.  He backed off.

The third and last time happened when he realized I was going to put Estes in the trailer and take her away from him.  He again tried to charge me from behind, but I turned and put him in his place.  He was so focused on me that he didn't realize that Bill was behind him, so when he got the "bad" noise in stereo, he wasn't sure what hit him.

We got Estes loaded up in the trailer with Mom's horses and Doc realized that we'd taken the herd he'd been hanging out with.  The other geldings in the adjoining pastures were hollering for Doc to come and join them.  He raced off toward them, but made a wrong turn and ended up in a pen, not the pasture with the other geldings.  I went into one of the pens, trying to get his attention and shoo him out of the pen.  As panicked as he was, there was no way on earth I was going into the smaller pen.

Finally, he made it out of the pen and began racing up and down the yard...

Finally, Peanut got frustrated with hollering at Doc and raced down the mountain and into the yard to fetch him...

It was absolutely terrifying and exhilarating to be watching these horses racing up and down the yard.  It's amazing to think that we actually ride these crazy critters.  Peanut was a kids' horse when we had him at the livery, for Pete's sake!  Of course, Peanut was also the one who tried to buck Digger off when we were introducing him to the mounting block - forgot about that tidbit.

I didn't give standing up to Doc a second thought when he was trying to get Estes away from me, but then I saw this display of raw power and maybe I should have thought twice about standing up to him.  It only worked because I *knew* I could take him and because I believed it, he believed it.  It wasn't until I saw the pictures that I'd taken that I realized how badly he could have hurt me if he so desired.


Rising Rainbow said...

Geldings can indeed be dangerously territorial over mares they consider to belong to them. I lost a mare because of such a gelding.

Killlashandra said...

Never give an inch that's for sure. Sometimes it's good to forget they weight as much as a small car because some horses get that into their head and just become the biggest bullies. Although we don't want you to get hurt either. Definitely sounds like a lot going on there and a lot to see too. :)

TjandMark/AKA PearlandHawkeye said...

It is definitely the absolute resolve that makes it work. If I feel a weakening in myself at all, I get worried. Kind of like that in life too.