So every time I get Joey and Paige together, one or the other of them seems to really latch onto the other. This time (and last time) it was Paige. I brought her in to share in stall rest with Copper to give Joey more turnout, but, apparently that wasn’t her idea of a good time.
She was calm enough about coming in the field to hang out with Joey. As usual, I didn’t plan this super well. I walked up to the top of the hill (without a halter, rope, or as much as a belt…) and whistled. Robin led the charge up the hill as usual and Paige calmly walked up behind the rest of the cantering horses. I walked out and scratched her withers, clicked to her, put my hand on her jaw and she followed me by Robin (who typically chases horses away from the gate in an effort to be the first to get to go anywhere…) into the field with Joey.
Once in the field with Joey, the two loped around for a while before she settled down with the round bale in the middle of the field. He ran up to instigate more running and she squealed and struck at him. She’s much more of an authority figure with 11 month old Joey than she was with him pre-weaning.
I like to watch them interact, so I let them follow me into the barn, where Paige found yet another round bale to munch on. This time she allowed Joey to eat with her, but made it clear he was NOT to socialize with Copper. When Joey trotted over near Copper, Paige surged ahead and put herself in between the two. Copper is not to be trusted.
I then tossed her in the foaling stall. She and Joey are both nasty cows in their stalls and tend to fling their hay around and poop in it, so I put them in the big stall so there is more room and the pooping in the hay is less frequent. Believe it or not, it’s working.
Paige then proceeded to LOSE it when I tossed Joey in the stall beside Copper. Rearing. From Paige. In a stall. What the heck. I went ahead and used the tractor to put another round bale in the barn to feed off of over the weekend and watched her to see if she’d settle, which she did…until I kicked Joey outside in the pasture solo.
So with Joey outside, I now had Paige back in mama mode and she was acting a fool and pacing the stall and Copper was screaming because apparently he likes Joey a lot more than he lets on when they’re turned out together. And, to top it all off, Joey was pushing on the gate to the run in and has figured out how to flip the gate somewhat in a poor attempt to get in the barn. *facepalm* You know how sometimes good horses have bad days? I was like, nope, forget this plan. I pulled Joey back in and tossed Paige out in the field by the barn. I would generally just be like, tough it out guys, but I was getting a bad vibe from the whole situation and decided to put things mostly back to how they were and move on and avoid any stupid injuries that may occur. I might try to let Joey have some turnout and bring Paige in another day soon.
So now the boys have been reunited and Paige is living the solo life (though she’s not thrilled with the idea). Robin, Highness, and the two boarders remain out in the 20 acre field happily. I figure with Paige in closer to the barn, I’m more likely to ride her, you know, if it ever stops raining and/or snowing. The mud isn’t very conducive to riding…
I would like to point out that during all of this, Joey was the most calm of the three. Apparently he jumps right into resolving the problem (problem equals frustration at separation, which is resolved by pushing the gate up in an effort to get in?) and doesn’t bother with the hysterics of running around and neighing. He just calmly started to attempt to break into the barn as if I wasn’t watching him.
So yay for no theatrics from the baby horse? This is how Paige normally is, but apparently her maternal switch is very easy to flip. When I went out and groomed her the next day, I noticed that her udder was swollen, and when I pulled on a teat, she had MILK streaming out. Just a few minutes with Joey (who didn’t attempt to nurse at all thankfully) and she put things back into production. Does he really look like he needs to be fed any extra, Paige?
So apparently these two can’t be together, even briefly, without consequences…