With the ranch riding clinic coming up, it motivated me to go ahead and wean Joey so that I could get Paige back in regular work. Yes, I weaned him kind of early. Apparently everyone thinks you should wean between 6 months and 6 years (lol…exaggeration for the win). So weaning him at just over three months will probably raise some eyebrows.
Our reasoning was that he’s strong, eating and drinking on his own, and a big boy. Paige dropped a fair amount of weight nursing him in spite of being fed a LOT (especially for her), so it was in her best interests to put some weight back on.
He’s done super well so far. I brought Paige in the barn on Friday night and groomed on her for a while. He and the other mare and foal were in the pasture, but he hardly even seemed to care that he couldn’t see Paige. She sure didn’t care that she was in the barn (out of the rain) and being groomed. After a little while my friend K, who has graciously offered to let Paige live with her for a while, showed up to haul her to her house. K and I talked for a while to let the rain die down before loading, and she also noted how quiet things seemed.
We loaded Paige on the trailer (along with my saddle) and talked a while longer. Once on the trailer, Paige was more vocal, but more because she realized she was going somewhere alone than that she missed Joey we think. Joey and the other mare neighed back a lot, but never got too worried. After they left, I stayed with them at the barn for a while to make sure Joey doesn’t have a secret crazy side that I wasn’t aware of that would present itself when he’s stressed, but no. He calmly ate his grain, followed the other mare and baby around, etc. He neighed a couple of times, but Legs neighed more. Apparently she was more fond of Paige than we realized. His biggest learning curve has been that he takes his time eating his grain and Legs ends up eating at least half of his dinner if I leave them out together, so I’ve been separating him to feed him so that he can get all of his food.
He’s also struggling with wanting to nurse everyone. The other mare shuts him down pretty quickly, but the other colt is either weird and likes it or just doesn’t care? Video on my instagram if you want to lol at the weird that is this bromance.
He seems a little sad, but otherwise is himself. Hopefully I’ll have time to fool with him tonight instead of just feeding and running. He does come over and visit me when I sit and watch him eat, and he neighs at me a lot…maybe thinking I’ll bring Paige back to him? Who knows what his baby logic is.
Tomorrow I’ll post a ride recap about our trail ride this weekend. It’s a long one with no Joey pictures, so these will have to do you for a while. 🙂