Monday, July 8, 2019

Pony Kindergarten

Both ponies have settled into A's barn pretty well by now and we've got a good routine started.  Peebs has obviously been here many times and settles into most places well so I wasn't worried about him. But this would be the first time Cinder would be out with horses other than Peebs (or her mom and another pony at her breeder's) and I was a little worried. It's like dropping you kid off at kindergarten and hoping they play nice with the other kids.

Letting Cin get settled in with Peebs in the drylot at first
Of the four horses at A's, all are gelding and three of them are in their mid to late twenties. Scottie is 14 but acts about 4 with other horses so both A and I were hoping he at Cinder would play together.  And they do.  Scottie tends to be a  bit lower on the totem pole and Cinder, while not yet showing alpha mare tendencies, does push him around a bit. One of the other geldings, Giz, is only turned out at night but he and Cinder are back scratching buddies and get along well.

Red, the oldest on the place at 28 is the one with the broken coffin bone.  He's turned out during the day with Peebs in the dry lot which shares a fence line on two sides with the big pasture.  Red used to be boarded at my old barn and both his owner and I kinda forgot that he sometimes falls hopelessly in love with mares. The first few days Cinder was out Red was frantically pacing the fence line trying to catch her attention and push the other boys away from her.  She couldn't have cared less about him.  We started calling him the creepy old man and told him that toxic masculinity bullshit will not be tolerated at TCF. He does seem to calmed down a bit and isn't quite as frantic when Cinder's close to the fence.

Out with her best bud Scottie
The biggest issue has been between Cinder and Blue.  Blue is the herd leader and doesn't tolerate bullshit. The first few days Cin was out with him, I saw him pin his ears at her and she respectfully stayed out of his way.  But the morning before we left for the horse show A called me that Cinder had jumped the pasture gate destroying it. Blue and Scottie had been down by the gate when she put Cinder out and she had her back turned to them when she heard scrambling and turned around in time to see Cinder's escape.  Cinder hit the metal gate with both her front and hind feet, but landed fine and ran back into the barn and into her stall. The gate sadly died on impact.

RIP gate
We kept Cinder in till A and I got back from the show, and luckily her parents were able to get a new gate and install it that same day. When I went to put Cin out again Blue pinned his ears and snaked his head at her.  Cinder went full on panic and ran back to me clearly terrified of him.  We're assuming Blue must have gotten after her and since Cinder absolutely does not want to touch the hot wire fence she must have jumped to gate to get away from him. So currently Blue is turned out in the smaller field by himself during the day and with Giz at night and Cinder and Scottie are in the big field 24/7. I feel awful that Cin has caused such a ruckus and wrote A's parents a check to replace the gate. And I know part of having horses turned out together is them not getting along and finding the right buddies.  But it feels like I sent my baby away and she got beat up by the school bully.


  1. Oh herd dynamics... Glad no one got hurt!

  2. I feel your pain. Sophie got a huge scrape down her side from being run into a gate by the herd boss the first day she went out with the adults. It scarred and I'm still sad when I see it :( it's such a tricky thing when they're young!

  3. Ugh so scary but I'm glad she's ok