Yesterday two good-looking horses, a bay TB mare a bay gelding, moved into the General Pasture. New horses are always a huge event as there is no slow introduction and accommodation, they are released right into the herd. This upsets the herd hierarchy and creates several days of chaos. All the horses are stressed until the new horses find their place in the herd hierarchy.
The new gelding did not mess around - he saw Coal, the black percheron who is boss mare (and Red's beloved) and made straight for her. When I left yesterday the geldings were milling about with arched necks, squealing, and maneuvering for the position closest to Coal. Tonight, this is what I found. The new gelding was scooched right next to Coalie and looking mighty pleased with himself. My Red Horse was not in sight. My stomach dropped to my toes.
Then I saw him, far away, all alone. Not at all happy.
Just a little black bird for company.
Poor, dejected Red Horse.
Meanwhile, Steamer, a tough little mustang, is pretty angry about the new gelding. Steamer is the horse that kicked Red last August, laming him for two weeks. Red and Steamer worked out a time-share arrangement on Coal. The new gelding looks like he has other ideas.
Looks like Steamer won that round.
Yeesh! That new gelding certainly looks surly.
This was the only damage I could find. I think Red's self concept took a much worse hit today.
ps - a slower introduction to the herd has been suggested by many people and rejected by management. It is one of the things that troubles me about the general pasture. I have never found an acceptable balance that still allows my horses movement and a life in the herd. Fortunately, the herd is fairly stable - changes seem to happen 2 - 4 times a year.