Last weekend I completed the last Hoof Trimming Clinic of the year and during that time, I had turned Little Jake in with Spencer. I was really surprised at how well they got along. Jake is a 3 year quarab who weighs in about 750 pounds, soak and wet, and he took charge! That was kind of weird, but nice. Spencer liked having a buddy in with him again.
This is Missy, my most patient teaching horse with her Azteca filly, Neenah. (Neenah was kind of an accident. Her story can be found on the Rainier Hoof Recovery Center blog.) My three students at this clinic are David, Leonard and Cora. All three did very well and I know will do a good job of trimming their own horses from here on out.
Then, on Monday, I just felt it was time.
Spencer was so good with Jake, that I figured he could get along okay with the others even the mares.
So I opened the gate and turned both he and Jake in with Pearl, Classy and Peaches, (all mares) and Forrest, and Patch and the minis. (Missy and baby Neenah and brother Danny were in a separate field, just in case. )
This picture was taken at just before the sun went down and so is kind of dark, but if you look closely you can see Spencer out with his herd.
That is Classy (Appy mare and founder rehab) in the foreground, Spencer, Forrest, Pearl (gray Arab mare) and Patch (QH ex-reinier with arthritis issues.) Peaches is in there somewhere too.
Most my horses are rescues of one sort or another and so this is their last home. The Rainier Hoof Recovery Center is mainly a santuary for horses with chronic lameness issues and we have started the process for becoming a non-profit organization. Very exciting!
So here is he! Former unhandled stallion, left in a field, alone, for 2 years to fend for himself. A few ah-hm, trainers were hired to try to catch him, but he out-smarted or buffaloed each one.
He's only been a gelding since August 5th, and he's eating politely next to a mare and in with several mares. How cool is that!
When I first turned them out together, there was lots of bellowing and striking and posturing. Spencer truely sounds like a bull-elephant when he calls out to other horses. Probably because he's been alone so much of his life, he's learned to make his voice carry. (I should record him and make that the ringtone on my cell phone. No more excuses for not hearing it.)
Or maybe he's just naturally loud. He's the size of an elephant afterall. I know he poops like one.
In this video, watch Harley, the appy mini, trying to posture and be important out there in the thick of it all. What the little guy lacks in size, he makes up for in moxy! He was a little stud for about ten years and was rescued from a really bad situation himself some years ago. He didn't conform very well, so he hangs out with us now!
That's Harley's girlfriend, Trudy, the mini mule. She's never far from her man! It's so interesting to me how, when you have this many horses, who "pair bonds" with whom. Usually one gelding to one mare, and usually of similar color.
Patch isn't very brave in situations like this. He's hiding behind me in the trees. But now he and Spencer are good friends. Spencer is a very gregarious horse really for one that was kept alone most of his young life. Interesting, huh.
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