Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Story of Milo II

The Story Begins Here

Getting to know Milo that summer was a lot of fun. He had a ton of personality, and was a fresh slate. I didnt ride him for about two weeks, although he had been advertised with fifteen rides and I had even ridden him at my initial meet with him.

He had a lot of ground manners to correct. He didnt respect a person's space, was extremely mouthy, and was just broke to lead (sort of). I spent the first two weeks simply teaching him how to longe, move out of my space, lead quietly beside me, among some other basic groundwork exercises. He had an issue when I first met him of holding up his hind legs, so that was another obstacle I planned to work through.

Since it was summer time and I already took the transit bus to Js everyday for work, I opted to just spend all day there. I spent a lot of time hanging out with Milo in the pasture, letting him get used to my continued presence and build some confidence in me. Lying in the pasture near his water trough, Milo stuck close to me, a little too timid of this new home yet to explore the farther corners of the pasture.

July 2007
He seemed to enjoy my company, but was still very interested in meeting the Arabians, always taunting him with their mystery on the other side of the fence.

Soon the day came for Milo to finally meet the Arabians. They had all been together for years and had a strong herd, and it's pecking order. Koalt previously had always been on the bottom of the totem pole, and none of the Arabians even seemed interested in befriending him. He didnt seem to mind having his own space, but I hoped a different fate for Milo.
With two older dominant mares, two geldings right in the center of the pecking order, and four more mares taking up the bottom of the totem, I wondered where Milo would fit in. He seemed like a docile guy but it would be interesting to see where he fit in. J and I decided to bring the two geldings, Rocky and Amadaan into Milo's pasture first, and see if the boys could all buddy up together.
At first there simply was just a lot of touching noses, some puffing and only one squeal (from Amadaan, more dominant then Rocky). All seemed well, and J and I leaned against the fence, waiting for something to happen. Some time passed and the two Arabian boys meandered down to the farther end of the pasture, where some of the good spring grass was still abundant. Milo had stuck up top with J and I, but now wandered the boys' direction, trying to make a friend.
But Rocky decided Milo was uninvited to their grass party and charged at Milo, chasing him quickly down the fenceline, back up towards where J and I stood watching. Milo ran his little heart out trying to escape the jaws and teeth of Rocky, who was on his rear the entire time, nipping and running his teeth along Milo's flank. Milo dropped his head down and made the baby face, trying to tell Rocky that he was not dominant and just a mere baby. Rocky persisted, then finally Milo got up a few kicks to Rocky. With no impact but now tired (Rocky was fat off at grass), Rocky decided he made his point, and jogged back over to continue his shmorgasborge with Amadaan.
Milo came up to the fence to us, wide eyed and confused and seemed to ask what happened, he simply wanted to be friends.
J decided they would be fine, and headed back up to the house. I stayed with Milo a little longer.

Milo settling down to graze. Black Amadaan is visible in the background.
I called it a day and asked J to notify me if there was any more trouble. He agreed, and drove me to the bus stop, where I boarded and sat for the 45 minute drive back home.

1 comment:

Rising Rainbow said...

I always worry about that process of introducing a new horse to the herd. I hope this went well for Milo.