Thursday, February 26, 2009

It was inevitable that the day would come when Rumor would leave the farm to follow her destiny into the reining world and that day did come. I wanted to tell the story about Rose's new "herd" eons ago, but I've been finding it hard to find any time for myself lately with all the kids' after school activities and and stuff but thankfully I've got a little time on my hands now before it's off to tennis practice, football and karate!

I'd been dreading this time for months, not really knowing what I'd do with Rose once her best friend left. Usually around here, the coming 2 year olds go straight into the herd and make their place among the old timers. Rosie hasn't made that much of an impression with anyone around here. In fact, the last time I did try to put her in with a grown up, it was my old cancer ridden mare, Lou. Lou has been a gem her entire life. She's nearing 20 something and throughout her life she has been the adoptive "mom" on the farm, adopting all weanlings that either foaled out here or that were brought here. She'd even go as far as to stand still and let them attempt to nurse til they were blue in the face. She was patient to each new baby as if they were her own. Lou was the ideal first candidate when it was time to slowly introduce Rose to the herd. There's just something about Rose, Lou didn't like and Rose managed to get herself a swift kick to the head. Yep, herd introduction just wasn't going to work with this unique white horse. At least not yet. If Lou didn't like her, I just knew the rest would try to kill her so I didn't even go there.
Rosie and Ru were just going to have to stay together until Ru's time came. Yes, I could leave her by herself but I don't like to leave anyone alone out here so option number two..............Rosie would have to get downgraded........... to the yearling herd. In the end, it would probably be a good thing. My favorite, Nim, was highly independent and pushy in her own right. She really needed somebody in charge soon to teach her the ropes of herd behavior. Rose would be my best bet to keep Nim from getting annihilated when it was her turn to go in with the herd down the road.

So one morning, I left Rose's halter on for quick emergency retrieval and unsnapped her lead and crossed my fingers and threw her in with Nim and Dollar (Halie's perlino). At first, they didn't know what to do about the intruder.

Here is Rose in the middle with both yearlings groveling for mercy:

There was no mercy however and Rose proceeded to establish her position within her new tiny herd.

Rose in pure evil form:

Then Rose decided that chasing yearlings was WAY more exciting than she could have ever imagined!

She really did surprise me though. She was all mouth more than anything else. Pinned the ears a few times, chased them around a little (which they could ALL use the exercise) and just pushed them around the field staying behind their shoulders. The fun part (for her) came when she decided to split them up while she stayed in the middle (divide and conquer right?). Any time one of the yearlings tried to cross the middle line, she cut them right back to the side they came from. It was amusing watching the confused yearlings, separated by "The Great White", trying to figure out a way around her so they could reunite. Here she is daring one of them to cross her imaginary middle line:

and returning to post position after mission accomplished:

ABOUT FACE! Next target............

Again.....................mission accomplished.

Eventually Nim managed to cross the line and Rosie took chase.

Game Over.

She eventually lost interest and all else was boring so, my curiosity satisfied, I pulled Rose out of the field that day. She has been doing just fine with the yearlings since Ru left last Friday even though I don't think THEY are too happy with the new arrangements. As it stands, I'm able to trust Rose out there with them full time now, even through the night.


Laura said...

What beautiful photos - the first one is just priceless - what a great capture.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a true character Rose is. She is a once-in-a-lifetime horse, isn't she. I was laughing at the photo where the two yearlings were groveling for mercy. You captured it perfectly.


word verification: 'cowstree'

OnTheBit said...

I was laughing about the herd dynamics until I came upon the pictures of Rose. Her back looks really good to me...I know some of the first pictures I saw of her I thought "wow...poor thing". But now if you saw a picture of her without knowing anything about her back it would take you a while to notice. I think she looks really good..mean face and all!

Anonymous said...

The "groveling for mercy" pic is priceless. :o) Glad to hear she has a new herd.


MaryE said...

That girl is having way too much fun. Poor babies don't know what hit 'em...

smottical said...

I wish my filly had some yearlings to boss around! Like Rose, she is a bit on the rotund side. Plus, I think she would enjoy having some playmates - the mares she's in with now are older and not interested in baby antics.

AmyJ said...

thank you everyone! The first picture of Rose with the yearlings is definitely one of our favorites. I think my daughter almost peed her pants she laughed so hard at Nim's face.