Thursday, April 3, 2008

New horse owners at the barn

Earlier this week, three new horses arrived at the barn where Panama is stabled. One is a mare only a month older than Panama. There is also a giant of a horse and his smaller companion, who is comically called Bacon.

When I was at the barn yesterday evening, all of the new owners were there. The young mare is owned by a woman who was there alone, and the "odd couple" (the big horse and the little horse) are owned by a husband and wife, both of whom were there.

I spent a long time chatting with the new horses' owners while our horses comingled. Even though it means I don't get as much done at the barn, I love talking to other horse owners. I particularly liked the young mare and her owner — and I think Panama did too.

The interactions between the young mare and Panama were funny to watch. She has attached herself to one of the other, larger geldings in the pasture — one of the two geldings who are competing for the boss position, in fact. When Panama tried to approach the two of them, both the other gelding and the young mare reached out to nip at him and chase him off.

Later, though, when the other gelding wasn't around, Panama and the young mare seemed to be flirting a little bit. He started out by smelling her mane, kind of like a dog would — by sticking his nose into it and snuffling visibly. She turned and nipped at him, but it wasn't hard, and he didn't run off. A short while later, when they were facing each other and Panama was checking her out, she nipped him on the neck — but again, not hard, and he didn't seem to mind.

Her owner was funny — she horrified, or perhaps embarrassed, that her little mare was being so assertive. She kept telling her, "Naughty!" I laughed and tried to tell her that I thought they were playing or flirting, that if her mare was being mean Panama would have run away, but I don't think she quite understood that.

Panama didn't get to interact much with the other horses while I was there — he just checked them out over the fence a couple of times. Honestly, he was more interested in their owners! But I guess all three horses have been around for a couple of days now, so he's already seen them quite a bit, even if this was my first time.

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