With a new horse, came new experiences for me and Kiwi. In September, my friend Jenny moved her horse to the yard. Pearl is a beautiful palomino mare. She’s confident and likes to assert herself in a herd. She doesn’t shy away from showing her opinion but is polite to handle and well mannered on the ground. She has moved into Kiwi’s field. Each of them have half of the field and she’s settled in really well. At this time of year, horses living out full time become camouflaged so as to blend into their environment.
Kiwi and Pearl used to live together at a livery yard. Jenny and I used to hack around the village together and both horses got on well. Pearl would be leading and she was happy for Kiwi to walk right behind her, almost resting his chin on her bottom. I’m happy to say that both horses enjoy being neighbours again. Kiwi’s very laid back about his rank in the herd so he doesn’t mind Pearl telling him off or moving him on every so often. And I’m really happy he has a horse close by for company.
Horses and their Hormones
Shortly after Pearl moved in, we had a slight issue arise which I wasn’t at all prepared for. I’ve owned Kiwi for 9 years. He’s lived on 4 yards and always been a star – getting on well with all the horses around him. But Pearl came into season and my reliable, predictable Kiwi went completely loopy for her.
By loopy, I mean he became akin to a young stallion. All of a sudden, he mounted her as we lead her out of the field one day. A day later, I put him in a separate pen next to her and he broke out of it to be with her again. I couldn’t keep him tied up in the yard as he broke the string and galloped out to the field to get to her. At this point I remember feeling panic about what to do.
First I tried penning him further away from Pearl, but to no avail. He broke straight out to get to her. She was just as keen to have him as he was for her! I was half hoping she’d tell him to get off but nope, she enjoyed the attention. I tried moving him to another field away from her. Even leading him away was a challenge because he didn’t want to leave her side. From the moment I let him loos, he galloped around and around the perimeter calling for her.
In the end
We found that if Kiwi was in a separate field next to hers, he could still see her but a solid wooden fence and small cops of trees kept him safely secure. For 3 weeks, I was worried that my sedate, relaxed gelding had disappeared. Gradually, after she finished her season, Kiwi calmed down and we were able to put him back in the field next to her. I bought a lot of new taller electric fence posts and put two strands of tape up between their pens. So far, all is well. Until Pearl next comes into season…