View Full Version : Do yo ever have the time to just sit and watch your horses?
28th February 2012, 03:01 PM
How well do you know their herd and their place in it? Do they behave differently in different weather, different times of year? If a herd member has been pts how have the herd dynamics changed? when a herd member has just been moved away is it the same reaction? When a new horse/pony arrives how do they react? And finally do you notice them behaving differently when they move as a herd to a new paddock/field?
I find I know my herd better by being able to watch them and just wondered how many people really know their horses behaviour away from us.
With my lot they were unsettled last summer because I had Peter coming and going and the dynamics were all over the place, Star turned out to be the boss with Kosha as her sidekick but then funnily Willow would stand up to Star when she was in his space. Moy was always the protector of the newbies and until she was ill she was the Alpha mare with Willow as her sidekick. Kosha was just happy to go along with who ever was in charge but he would bully the newbies if he thought it would impress Star lol.
When Mony was pts the herd seemed to settle down and Amber is now very close to Kosha, she once wouldnt let another horse anywhere near her during feed time but Kosha can practically stand underneath her whilst they share piles of hay, she still doesnt tolerate the others that close but they are allowed to share her pile as long as they stay away from her. Willow seems to have gone back to being the outsider but he is still able to defend himself in disputes.
We dont have a change of grazing due for another month or two so I dont know how it will affect this herd at the moment but in the past they appeared more relaxed on the summer grazing and happier to lie down and rest together.
The four are more playful now since Mony has gone and they love a run about.
I think as a whole the ponies are relaxed and happier now than they have ever been.
28th February 2012, 05:43 PM
I love watching Ferdie. But. You have to creep up and "hide" or else as soon as he sees you he has to be with you.
On Saturday just gone i sneaked up at lunch time unexpeted and crept over to the field. Both boys were stood, very close, eyes shut, bottom lips drooped sunbathing. It filled me with such contentment! As soon as they see me or food, they can become a little argy bargy. But seeing them like this was lovely. They are firm friends, and watching them from afar has proven this to me. I always worried that Digs was a little mean to Ferdie, as whenever food time arrives he gets quite stroppy with Ferdie. But, the other day when i was poo picking, Ferdie came to see me! He lost sight of Digby and started to fret (such a baby!) He started to call/screech in my ear! Digs responded from around the corner, and walked round to show Ferdie that he was still there. Ferds wickered in reply and went back down to him. Melted my heart and showed me just how close they are, and i perhaps did not realise this before.
Digby is the boss. Ferdie is the follower. Ferdie is very funny to watch. Id love to know what he was thinking! If he wants a drink, he wont go down the field alone and pushes Digby in that direction so as he doesnt have to go alone ... what a brave horse i own :rollseyes:
They do also play a lot. Which i love, looks so natural and free and shows signs they are happy i believe.
My boys have always been very content. But, then they have always had a very solid and stable routine. Im lucky that they are easy going ponies!!
28th February 2012, 06:45 PM
I love horse watching. Unfortunately in recent months (last 2 years if i'm honest) doing the horses has been all about getting in and out as quick as possible because there was always a child to feed, change, run to/from nursery. Its one of the things that made it clearer that i had to sell Mitch.
One day i'll get it back and i'll be spending lazy sunny afternoons sat on an upturned bucket listening to horses munching away.
28th February 2012, 07:56 PM
I used to be able to watch their antics all the time when they were at home. I do miss seeing them just being themselves, especially the dawn and dusk mad playing. I've lost count of the amount of times I saw Derek playing with his football, but, if I appeared with my camera, he'd drop the ball and pretend he wasn't interested in it at all.
28th February 2012, 08:30 PM
Nothing better. Am getting deck chairs in our ex BT van aka tack room at the yard so I can spend the hours at the yard in gainful employment doing just that. Otherwise, I'll be supping a glass of something cold and dozing. One could turn into the other very easily.
29th February 2012, 12:28 AM
Yes, quite regularly. I take a chair up, and a book and just sit in the field with them. Sometimes they wander over for a fuss, and in summer, more so, will stand and doze next to me. If my lad is laid down, i go and lay with him and have cuddles. I enjoy every moment i spend with them, more so in summer, as it`s never fun being wet and cold obviously. but yes, there is nothing i enjoy more than just chilling out and watching them.
Lol at Mob .... The people i rent our little yard from have said we can take tents up if we like, i`ll certainly be doing that when the warmer weather gets here, sleeping under the stars with my horses, i can think of nothing better :love:
29th February 2012, 01:02 AM
I wish! I work full time so always in a hurry during the week and weekends aren't much better as it's the only time I have to do anything. I do love watching my horses though and could think of nothing better than being able to spend as many hours with them as possible :)
29th February 2012, 09:17 AM
Yep, I love it.
We have a very clear top with Jasper. Last year the herd was very up and down with Stella being in a good mood with some and not others and then swap round lol.
Now it's alot more settled, Arfur is second, him and Jasper will play for ages, then it goes Alfie then Charlie and then last the newbie little Bertie.
Although there is a clear hierarchy, they still all get on, Jasper is an amazing boss, he will be friends with them all, share food with them all, be nice and play with them all. He only steps in when he really feels he has to, so if a couple of them are getting rowdy or a bit too rough he ends whatever is going on usually a glare from him is enough.
If one of the others pee's him off they are chucked out of the group for the rest of the day. Which is really funny to watch.
They have their squabbles but then any family does.
I love watching them disappear off down the field for a play, they usually go down in their normal pairs, a patchy one with a ginger one normally. Not sure how Bertie is going to fall into this. Him and Jasper play alot at the moment while the patchy ponies are still only allowed out on day release but Arfur is not impressed that his half brother is getting on so well with Jasper as Jasper is his ginger one.
1st March 2012, 03:48 AM
I used to take some of my lunch break to sit and watch Northy eating his lunch. He was always so chuffed to get food lol! I loved it :)
2nd March 2012, 10:00 AM
What a great idea for a thread!
I get to watch the ponies a lot, they are fascinating animals to watch at times and I remember reading about how the proximity between each horse can indicate who is higher in the pecking order and who is bonded with who.
My Welsh pony has always been the boss of any horses he has been with. He appears to be the herd leader that the others all approve of, he has always been the one who who is first at the water, gets the best spot under the trees for shade/ shelter, but he also plays and socialises well within the herd. What he does not like is new horses or any horse over the fence, especially if any of his herd start to get friendly with them, its like being able to communicate with a wild animal when we get him out as he seems to be savvy with people yet very much intouch with his wild animal instinct, alert to danger and looks after his horses driving them to where he wants sometimes.
I feel privileged to own him, he has taught me so much about respecting horses and communicating appropriately to get the right response back, even if he is only a 11 hh pony that remains unridden!!:)
My Crazy Clan
2nd March 2012, 09:42 PM
If any other horse par Jester goes out for a ride/work they all come runing and neighing.
Magic is the boss, Sisco the bottom.
I sometimes sneak down and hide in the bushes :lol:
If I come down on a bike, not even looking at them, with face etc covered they know its me!!
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