Sunday, December 4, 2011

An Interesting Thing Has Been Happening...

My herd dynamics have been changing.  All these years Lostine was at the top of the pecking order, followed by Gabbrielle, and Bombay brought up the rear.  I had to feed them in that order or a fight would break out.

Recently I began noticing that Gabbrielle was hanging back and letting Bombay go ahead of her at feeding time.  I wonder if he challenged her and won when I wasn't looking.  It could be that Bombay is getting more wild since I've spent less time with him than the girls this year.  In previous years, I spent more time riding him than any other horse.  If he challenged Gabbrielle's spot in the pecking order and scared her enough that she backed down, that would explain why he is now challenging me in the round pen.

It could also be that both horses are maturing.  Perhaps previously Gabbrielle was like a high-energy kid terrorizing grown-up Bombay, who had no experience with kids.  However, now Bombay is a middle-aged horse with plenty of experience dealing with Gabbrielle, and he's not willing to put up with her antics anymore.  The time she spent at pasture with other horses at the training facility also brought her down a notch.  Remember how they beat her up and shunned her, so that she had to graze by herself away from the herd?

I doubt that Bombay will pass up Lostine, because she's like a brick in her personality.  I suspect that her I.Q. is levels beyond that of the younger horses.  She knows all the games they play and knows what to do to head it off at the pass.  What I think is really funny is that Lostine won't let me catch her when I approach her with a halter, but if I approach another horse with a halter, she will actually round him/her up for me, and get the horse in a corner so that I can halter him/her.

There were a couple of nights this week when the water trough in Bombay's stall was really low and I didn't have the time to clean and fill it, so I just left his stall door open so that he could get water from the outdoor trough during the night.  The next morning, on both mornings, I found a Jolly Ball in Gabbrielle's stall, so Bombay had been trying to play with her during the night and dropped the ball through her stall window.  How cute is that?


achieve1dream said...

That's really interesting! My guess is that Gabrielle finally learned how to speak "horse" properly at the training facility and is now "listening" to Bombay. :) This will probably be good for her. Obviously I could be wrong, but with what you wrote that's my guess.

That's adorable about the Jolly Ball in Gabrielle's stall. At least they are still buddies.

Regarding your comment on Chrome's blog, sometimes I wish we were boarding through this whole thing instead of doing it on our own lol. I'd be a lot less worried I think. He's doing well though, so I think it will be fine.

aurora said...

Very Cute. Horse dynamics are so interesting!

fernvalley01 said...

Awe! Bombay is such a sweetie!

Crystal said...

Very interesting! I like watching herd dynamics. I like that he leaves tha ball in her stall, too cute!