Cora's parents have five horses living on our place. They are very little trouble to us and, in fact, make my life more pleasant. No animal is the world is more beautiful, powerful, and photogenic than a horse. However, there are certain problems come with having horses around.
A lot of the trouble is with pecking order: Being herd animals, somebody is always trying to take the lead of the group. Once the leader is established, things go fairly smooth... usually. But a horse's personality sometimes clashes with others in his group for no reason anyone can fathom, and therein lies a tale.
'Tude, Adam's first horse, was the leader here, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. For years it was just him and Sassy. Life was good, except that they became so bonded to one another you could hardly do anything with either one when they were separated. Sassy was sold and other horses made their entrance. With Cora's mom, you never know what horse you will wake up to tomorrow, but at present she has two mares here (my favorites). Adam now has a huge younger gelding, Huck, in addition to 'Tude; 'Tude looked at Huck as competition and chased him away from the herd every chance he got. Eventually 'Tude was so rude (I'm a poet) that Adam and Amber decided to keep him in a pen with Cora's pony, Dixie.
That didn't work. Although 'Tude seems to think he's quite the stud, he HATES Dixie. He cornered her, kicked her, and bit her unmercifully, so out she went with the herd, which now consists of Amber's mares, Cora's little pony mare, and Huck. Dixie is still shoved away from the group by the other horses, but at least they don't try to kill her.
My calves are behind the house, with an electric fence behind their hutches to keep them from straying too far out in the pasture. Cliff recently allowed the horse herd into the rest of the behind-the-house pasture temporarily, thinking they'd enjoy some winter grazing. An electric fence separated them from the two steers.
This morning I glanced out the window and saw the horses were in with the calves, eating their $5 per bale alfalfa hay with gusto. We could see the electric fence was broken. The calves huddled in a hutch together, peeking out at the invaders. "They'll be all right until after Church," Cliff said. "We don't have time to take care of the situation before Church."
"Well then, let's just stay home and fix it. I hate to have something like that bugging me all morning."
That's all I needed to say. Cliff had one method in mind to get them out of the pasture and I had another, but we got it taken care of. There will be more about my method in another entry.