Sunday, October 5, 2008

My horse in his new home, part 1

When we arrived at my horse's new home Friday night, Panama was slick with sweat from his traumatic trailering experience, but his night wasn't yet over: He had to get through the ordeal of meeting his three new stablemates.

The property's owner had the other horses all in the far pasture to make it easier for us to unload Panama, so we backed the truck right into the pasture that borders the street. Panama unloaded just fine (of course — all he wanted was to be off that trailer), but then he danced around uncertainly at the end of the lead rope until I unhooked him to let him explore.

He poked around a little bit, but quickly discovered that there were horses on the other side of the fence. I knew he'd be happier with other horses, even if they picked on him at first, so the owner and I opened the gate between the pastures to let the others through. Of course, they went right after Panama — he ran like hell, wheeling around when he ran out of room to avoid getting trapped in the corners, and squealing when their teeth found flesh.

Although I expect the bites that come with a herd environment, it's difficult to watch your horse getting picked on. Luckily, after ten minutes or so — once they'd convinced him that he would be staying the night on the far end of the pasture — they left him alone, so I was able to check him over. He had one bad bite on the highest part of his rump, and a few minor bites, but that was it.

I wish I'd been able to move him earlier in the day, as originally planned; I had intended to spend most of the afternoon with him. But late at night, in the dark, there wasn't much I could do with him. We stayed for a little bit, fed him some hay, and then called it a night.

Stay tuned to find out how Panama handled his first weekend at the new place, and see some pictures of him and his new buddies!

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