Monday, June 9, 2008
Slideshow of the Great Chase and an Explanation
I had lots of emails today of people worrying about my horses and about Fiera. I want to say thanks to everyone who offered me help and advice on my fence and on my situation. I wanted to post some other photos and make sure that all the folks who were concerned don't need to be worried. I guess I will need to tell the whole story.
First, I need to assure everyone that the fence is really much better than it appears in the photos. There is a solid exterior fence. One side is loose, nasty barbed wire. One side is a pipe and cord fence, and two sides is cattle fencing with barbed wire at the top. The back has other horses, but the two long sides have foliage as well as fencing. There have been horses successfully kept in this field for a long time. No one ever did much to make it safe, but I didn't like the fence, so I wired the inside with poly strand hot wire. I have a strong fence charger and it regularly hits 4.5 or higher (4000+ volts) I had cross fenced originally so that Deli and Fiera would have their own space, but they had outgrown their pen.
On Sunday, it was time to put them all out together. Originally my plan was to leave up the paddock fence so that I could bring in Deli and Fiera in for feeding with less hassle, but it didn't work out. Deli headed out to the big field without Fiera right behind her and Fiera, who isn't afraid of the other horses, ended up with Merlin between her and her mother. In the slide show posted, the first photo (the one I originally posted that I found to be such a neat photo never mind the content) Merlin has his ears back, not b/c he's feeling evil toward the foal, but b/c Deli is coming up on his rear. This moment took place so quickly and then they made a lap around the field, where Fiera blasted through the poly wire which broke as it was supposed to.
While the situation with Merlin and Deli was more exciting than I wanted it to be, it wasn't as dangerous as the photo made it look. I Just loved the photo I had up on Sunday. I have a new camera and it took such a lovely picture. It did look really vicious, but I wouldn't have been snapping photos if I had been worried about the proceedings.
Tonight they are all fine together. The paddock fence is down and they have split up into groups. Freeley watches out over Fiera the most, but Liberty seems to be able to get closest before mom has a cow. Today I took Freeley out for a ride and they seemed to be a little weirded out without their leader. I wish I'd had a separate place to put them today only b/c they run a little more when their leader is gone. It has made me wonder if it will be more stressful on Sat. when Maggie, Jena and I go riding and the only two left are Merlin and Deli and Fiera...me thinks I will build a new paddock to keep Merlin in just to be safe.
I have had foals before and they all lived in the herd setting. I never had the means to separate my mares and foals for more than a few weeks and I felt like this was better for my herd. I don't know how most breeders do it. I wish that I could split up the field and put the two mares and the foal together, but honestly, Dixie wants that baby bad and bugs Deli...Deli hates Dixie and might hurt her. As a group they are all doing just great. I worry constantly about whether or not I'm doing the right thing. I just have to hope and pray that the decisions I have made for the herd are the best ones.
Funny story that happened before I was leaving. Fiera was laying down sleeping and Liberty wandered over. Deli started urging her to get up and she didn't want to. I could almost hear her say: Naw, mom, I'm comfy, life's cool, chill out...So she nudged her and nipped her on the butt. Fiera didn't budge...not until Deli bit her soundly on the ear. Then Fiera hopped up and trotted off. Liberty trotted after them, and they all went to the hay bale to eat.
I love this foal. She is just everything I have ever wanted in a foal. She's bold and friendly (now) and put together so well. I would hate it if anything happened to her, but I also know that I can't wrap her in bubble wrap and set her aside till she grows up. She has a good mom who protects her in the herd and they will all be fine! If anything happens I will be so miserable, but I don't know anyway to keep the little one completely safe unless I keep her totally alone. The other horses will teach her to be a better horse. They have room to run and get away from each other. I think it's probably better than any other situation I have had my foals in from the past.