“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman (or mare).”
- Maya Angelou
Ever since Gem got caught up in her pasture last weekend, I have been worried about her. No, she didn't hurt herself beyond some superficial scratches, but I can't keep from wondering what drove her into the woods in the first place. She isn't a particularly nosey horse. That takes effort and Gem is all about low energy usage. There were no scrumptious grasses hidden to lure her in. So why go in?
The only explanation I can come up with is that she was running to escape one of her herd mates. I know which one too. A stocky brown mare with a crooked white stripe down her face named Classy. Classy, my butt! I've seen her chasing Gem off the water trough and she has forced me to be the crazy horse owner who chases a horse away to let mine drink after a work out. I have no issues stooping to that level. Gem is very low key in a herd. She doesn't vie for the head honcho spot (again too much effort and responsibility) and leaves everyone else pretty much alone. At first I figured it was because Gemmie was so new to the herd and it did settle down for a while. But on Tuesday night I noticed yet another new mark on her hide and this one was definitively hoof shaped.
I got angry. Gem is getting all marked up. Yes, they are all superficial. Yes, horses will be horses and sometimes come in with a mark. But all these superficial marks are starting to add up to one messy looking pony and I am tired of it. I pulled her over to show the BM in the middle of her lesson. She tried to pass it off as a scratch from the woods. I told her there was no way that was from a branch. I'm not going to allow Gem to get hurt. She told me that she had thought of a plan. Ok, fine, but it better be a good one.
Her thought is that Gem is going into the woods to say hello to the other horses across the fence (perhaps, but only because her herd is a bunch of cranky ladies that she doesn't like) and if we eliminate both the woods and the neighbors it should all go away. So, the whole farm is getting an upheaval. The geldings are getting moved to Gem's current pasture, the other herd of mares (currently next to Gem) are going to the geldings' pasture and Gem's herd are getting put out back behind the barn. That way no horses will have immediate neighbors.
Personally I think that is a lot of hoopla when all she really needs to do is move Gem out of her current herd and in with the other group of mares or better yet take Pete and her and put them in one of the empty pastures all to themselves. But, no. Why do something simple when you can make it more dramatic and time consuming and annoying?