I spent a good part of my morning preparing the pasture for Prize. Yeah, I’ve known she was going to be back for weeks and in my head I kept saying, “I have to go make sure the fence is at full power,” but of course I didn’t actually do anything about until this morning.
Around here we have a bush called multiflora rose. When I moved here I remember thinking that it sounded pretty. Now I know that it is an evil plant designed to torment people. It is about 5 feet tall and consists of thick canes with big thorns. It’s favorite thing to do is lean on electric fence wires. I got into a battle with one today. The easiest thing to do would be to cut it back with pruners. Could I find my pruners? No. So, I tried the time tested method of bending canes to break them and then stomping them. The plant fights back and it fights dirty. It kept grabbing my pants and pulling me off balance. Once it tried to poke my eye out. We compromised. I only knocked back half of it and it quit touching my fence for now. That got my fence back up to full power which is required to discourage Prize from going to visit the neighbor horse,
I had a plan for introducing Prize and Rosie to peaceful co-existence outside. I let Spirit and Rosie out first. Then I led Prize out on a 22 foot rope. I could hold her while she met Rosie outside and pull her off Rosie if it got ugly. Rosie tried to get Prize’s attention over the gate but Prize still didn’t acknowledge her existence. Rosie decided to bite Spirit in frustration. Spirit struck her with a front foot. She (and I) are both totally shocked. Either he knew that the balance of power was about to shift and he didn’t have to take any crap from her anymore or he’s still in a really bad mood about Prize coming home.
I let Prize into the pasture. I was able to hold her for about 0.2 seconds. She hasn’t had a big pasture to run in for 6 months. She was gone like a flash – dragging 22 feet of rope behind her. End of my well thought out plan.
I let her run for a while then walked up to her and took off her halter and rope. She was so happy. She kept running and bucking and rolling. Rosie kept sneaking up behind her and kicking at her but mostly Prize ignored her still. A few times she kicked back. Rosie finally figured out that Prize has longer legs so she can kick Rosie when Rosie is too far away to kick her. This took the fun out of the game for Rosie and it was nice and peaceful after that.
That’s a lovely story. pony-girl and I love to set Clyde free in the field with a companion (tho they have to be carefully chosen as the evil old beggar can be aggressively alpha-male with anything he doesn’t like the look of) 🙂 It’s worth the hours of grooming the mud off to see him running and kicking in natural surroundings.