Friday, February 8, 2013

Bre's Adjustment Problems

When we talked about moving Bre my biggest concerns were her colic history and her farrier issues. I didn't think colic would be a problem at Dickie's barn because turnout with other horses seems to be the key. We decided we will haul the horses home for trimming if the farrier won't come to our barn. He trims Bre and Romeo because of the boarding stable down the street so he might not make a separate trip for us. I actually love Dickie's farrier but I don't want to change for three months. Plus, Bre is weird about her feet and is terrified of most farriers. She loves her current farrier and I am not going to change that. 

Bre has been out with other horses for the last 11 years and always gets along. She will be the head mare if given then chance but won't pick a fight. The herd she was with for six years changed several times a year and she always adjusted with zero stress. Her past colics where never related to stress over a specific move or show. It was either related to a change in food or living in a cramped chaotic stable. 

When I brought her to Dickie's place she initially settled in just as expected. I thought we might take a few days to get the herd integrated but it wasn't needed. First I put her out with Dickie in the smaller paddock and they trotted around then went to grazing. She let him molest her without even one squeal. I decided to put Josey out int the paddock with Dickie and Bre. There were a few squeals (what do you expect from mares) but they quickly decided grass and enjoying the sun was a better use of time. After 13 years I know my mare pretty well and she wasn't even the slightest bit stressed. I let her eat some grass then took her across to the big pasture. The little mare wanted to make friends and would sniff Bre but if Bre moved an inch she would squeal kick and run with her tail between her legs like she thought Bre was going to eat her. 

Bre did some fancy trotting around the pasture to check things out but wasn't worried. She just likes to run and seemed thrilled to have a wide flat space to run in. At this point I noticed Josey and Dickie screaming for Bre. They were totally fine with Bre in the pasture with them but once she left the screaming started. They always seem to think something better is going on where the humans are. Never mind that they had a paddock of lush grass.

When I took Dickie over he was thrilled to be back with his new girlfriend and they all proceeded to meander to the far end of the pasture. I went back to catch Josey and I was sure she would give me a run for my money. Josey loves that green grass and also thinks the barn is where the fun is. Even on a dry sunny day she wants in at 2:00pm. The paddock is attached to the barn and I stupidly left the barn door open when I went to catch her rather than closing it behind me. I thought there was no way Josey was going to leave the barn when all of her other escapes have been to get back to the barn and stuff herself with hay. Lo and behold miss Josey bolted out that door and made a beeline for the pasture. She waited patiently for me a the gate to be let back in then ran with her big thundering Clydesdale feet to be with her buddies. 

The rest of the day Bre and Josey had odd interactions. They would act like they wanted to be best friends they Josey would kick out and squeal like Bre's mere presence was killing her. Sometimes she would stay away from Bre just staring and other times she would circle around her not letting the other horses in. Then every so often Tari (little arab) would get int he middle of it. Dickie and Bre all the while seemed unconcerned by the other weirdo horses and just wandered happily. 

I brought them all in around five and was surprised by Bre and Josey calling to each other across the hall. They were talking incessantly and reach their noses across the aisle as far as they could. I left thinking Bre was fine and dandy. She had her new buddies and seemed thrilled to be with them. Jump to five hours later when I stopped in for one last check. Bre's pile of hay was untouched (not even tossed around) and neither was her water. Bre will ALWAYS eat unless she is colicky and she goes through two buckets of water a night. I noticed that she seemed alert and comfortable but wouldn't take her eyes off Josey. I also noticed that eating the hay would require her to look away from Josey. I handed her some hay and she wolfed it like she was starving. Then I put the hay in a cart in front of her so she munched happily. I still wasn't sure if maybe she was colicky so I went to her old barn for banamine and her equinet. When I came back she had almost wolfed down her hay (that's my girl). I moved her next to Josey so they could touch noses. The second she touched her nose she then turned and gulped down a bucket of water. I hung the next outside her stall and she was happy as could be. I spend a few hours hanging out with the kids to make sure she was back to her normal self. A week later Josey hates Bre but still goes out of her way to sniff noses and squeal. Maybe Bre loves her so much because it is the first time she has been rejected. What we can't have is always the most exciting. 

Bre is in love? Go figure. 

Bre and Dickie eating some yummy grass in the sun. 

Bre and Josey meet for the first time. 

Dickie sandwich. He's in heaven!!

Bre is already starting to shed out her winter coat. 

Josey batting her eyelashes then playing hard to get. 

I realized how babyish Dickie still looks until he was next to my beefcake QH. 

Josey reaching out to her new friend. 

Bre munching away now the she doesn't have to turn away from Josey. 


  1. Dang how tall is Bre?? I thought Dickie was taller for some reason.

    I love all of the pictures. They are so cute! The love story between Bre and Josey is too funny. :D

    1. Dickie is actually a little taller. He was just standing a few feet from her in the picture. His back is shorter though and he's mostly leg. Bre looked way spindlier than he did at the same age. I need to scan the only 3yo picture of her I have. She is sooo narrow.

    2. I would LOVE to see her three year old picture!!!