Friday, February 22, 2013

kick in the ass

Shyloh is working on her assertiveness skills. When she first moved into the herd, she would run from all the horses whenever they would look sideways at her. I always knew she is not one to pick on other horses or start anything, but she won't take another horses' crap for long.
Shy can smell the green!
Let's back up to this morning. I woke up to snow. Lots of snow. I was not expecting this, especially since I don't watch the news or much TV and I don't listen to the radio (I heart iPod). I find it very inconvenient that Detroit sits atop one of the larges salt deposits in the world, yet we can't seem to get the salt trucks out to keep the roads safe. My drive to work consisted on a top speed of 25 miles per hour on the free way with cars spinning out everywhere. We have gone through a freeze/melt/freeze cycle that has left ice over all surfaces, including the barn. 
See Jesse waiting for Shy in the background?
The pasture horses are mostly fine. Since they are out all the time they don't get crazy and they only have one really icy area that I saw in their pasture. But the barn property is another story. Ice is hidden under the snow and you don't know it is there until it is too late. 
Tunnel of Hay. . .bet it would be real scary if it wasn't covered with yummy hay!
I didn't want Shy to miss her dinner, so I didn't want to chance hooking her to the cart for a short time and I didn't really want to drive her in the arena. It is small and boring. So we carefully walked around the sand covered areas of the barn looking for some edible grass under the snow and hay dropped by people.
Foraging for anything green!
We only hit a few icy patches (oops) but we both stayed upright. I chatted with another boarder and he spoiled Shy with some more hay and a few treats. We discussed his horse, who he felt was getting thin and how he was supplementing him to put some weight back on. I commented on how Shy seems to be doing good food-wise in the herd and how I did not notice her dropping weight. He said that was because Shy hooked up with Jesse, one of the more dominant horses, and he has seen her kick out at other horses when they tried to get her food.
Can't even tell she has a trimmed bridle path! Digging through snow for grass.
What? I have never seen Shy do that! I frequently get comments on how Shy is a little firecracker out in her pasture, running around like a nut. Every time I see her she is standing still. Or napping. Very rarely, she is laying. But never kicking or running! I miss out on all the fun.
After I put Shy back in the herd, she usually walks down the fence line with me. . .sometimes I give her a treat or two. Sometimes, the other horses know this. . .Today, they did. And it is usually Lukas, Tony, and Rainy Day (the highest three in the herd) that follow me and Shy. Today, Tony the donkey must have felt he was entitled to something because he went right up to Shy and bit her on the crest of her neck. She ducked away but came right back. Tony had it out for Shy and went for her again, but Shy was having none of that. She turned around and aimed a kick right at him. And she got him. Go Shy! Way to stand up for herself! Tony wasn't hurt but he did leave her alone. Now if Shy can just stand up to Lukas. . .


  1. I have some serious mane envy SIGH We had tons of ice here, still my trimmer managed to make it out :). Was a good day to take off work.

  2. Thank goodness you don't have muck like we have here or you would have to deal with clay dreadlocks in that gorgeous mane!

  3. Go Shy! Sounds like you're on the way to being top pony! Those long ears can be cheeky when they want to be, us short ears have to beware, loving your gorgeous mane. Snuffles - Roller xxx

    1. Tony has really moved his way up, he even kicks back at Lukas, top dog in the herd. But I am glad Shy can hold her own when she sees it necessary.

  4. Sometimes I wish I could see Simon kicking up his heels and having a good time, but I also really appreciate all his good ground manners when I turn him out at night.

    1. I appreciate Shy's good ground manners when she is with me, but I would like to see her be more active with the herd.

  5. Herd dynamics are fascinating. A friend of mine took an equine course and one of her assignments was to sit in a pasture for a period of time and analyze the herd dynamics. She was in awe of what she saw when she was made to pay attention to it.

    1. So fascinating! I love it. The dynamics really show during feeding time, that's when I see it most. Other times, all the horses seem to get along with each other. I find hanging out with almost all the horses in her herd at different times.


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