Wednesday, August 9, 2017

oh hai, fren!!

Charlie finally has a turnout friend at his new barn! Much excitement!

contented grazing
They have a reasonably conservative introduction period of solo turnout that we extended a little bit bc of Charlie's aggravated splint, but he's finally graduated to step two: getting a buddy added to his small paddock.

fireworks!! or uh, ya know, polite greetings
The OTTB adoption facility had told me that Charlie was a pretty easy going dude in the field, and he was able to easily mix in with a couple different groups while at the h/j place for the past eleven-ish months.

Plus he's always been super friendly and interested in meeting new horses while in the cross ties or under saddle or in the barn or whatever.

Loki samples Charlie's butt for taste haha
So I expected Charlie to be pretty good for his first turnout with a friend at OF.

The reality, tho, is that I actually haven't been able to spend much time observing Charlie in the field with a herd. Mostly bc that's a sad side effect of not working at the barn - I don't get to see as much of the dynamics bc I'm not there all the time.

call me biased but i think they're stinkin adorable
Therefore getting to watch this latest introduction was pretty cool for me. The buddy horse apparently is OF's go-to for introducing new geldings, and had actually just played babysitter for another new horse last week. Poor guy is probably missing his own normal turnout, but he was the perfect choice for Charlie.

He's actually kinda a cheeky little pony lol - taking lots of little nibbles and chews on Charlie. Playful stuff, ya know? But Charlie maybe doesn't actually know how to play haha. At one point the pony grabbed Charlie's hock and Charlie tried to squeal.... but, ya know, wind surgery, so.... it came out more like this pathetic heave-y wheeze haha. Poor Charlie.

nose sniffies!!!
They've been getting along pretty well so far, sharing hay piles and spending lots of time chatting with each other. But also not like... obsessively attached or anything either.

Next steps will be for Loki to be Charlie's chaperone/wingman/body guard for his introduction to the full herd in the big turnout. Something that will probably happen in the next couple of days.

It's definitely exciting for me that Charlie's getting friends now - he's a pretty social horse in that he seems happier with company, even if he doesn't interact much with the other horses. When he's out by himself he stays near the fence lines closest to other horses. But when he has a horse sharing the field with him? He's content to just go do his own thing (even if he ends up farther away from that horse than he would stray from neighboring horses when he was "alone").

It's always nerve wracking too tho lol. I don't want anybody to pick on him or bully him, but definitely don't want him dishing out any rudeness either! So far so good tho!

27 comments:

  1. Friends are great. And I agree- the first part is always nerve wracking!

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    1. so nerve wracking! but it turns out charlie's more of a risk to himself when he's alone than in a group (uh, HELLO aggravated splint!)

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  2. It's such a fine balance of wanting your horse not to get picked on but also not wanting your horse to be the asshole in turnout haha. Glad Charlie and Loki had a good intro and hopefully his transition out with more horses is similarly smooth!

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    1. ugh yea i would feel terrible if charlie did anything nasty to another horse!! so far so good tho, so fingers crossed it stays that way!

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  3. SO CUTE (I want that gray he is adorable) Glad Charlie is getting FRIENDS :) YAY

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    1. omg yea that gray is freakin adorable, he's a funny little guy too!

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  4. Always nerve racking when they get introduced to Anne group. Mine are in pretty small groups and now Houston and Annie actually go out together until we get another mare in the barn. I guess at least if one bullies the other they are both mine? 😂

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    1. haha yea it's always easier when they're all your horses anyway! that's like when i bumped my trailer wheel into my own car. like, whelp, oh well!

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  5. Oh good! Looks like he's happy with his new buddy! It is really nerve racking when turning horses out together! They're your baby and you don't want anything to happen to them but you want them happy too lol. I'm scared to put Amber with someone else. She developed some bad behavior from a mare who would not stop picking on her, and I'm petrified she'll double barrel at someone's horse if she's turned out with one. But I'm glad Charlie is getting along well, though! Isn't that funny how when you "give" them a friend they're like "oh hold up I need my me time and I'll just be far away" and then they're separated from friends and they must be by the fence? haha Horse logic LOL

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    1. Aw poor Amber, nobody likes being double barrel kicked!! I've fortunately never had a horse that needed solo turnout tho some of the barns I've been to have a few for health or behavioral reasons.

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  6. Grey horses are the best welcome wagons. Griffin plays the same role for our herd of being turned out one-on-one with the "new kid" and then helping them integrate more seamlessly with the bigger group. I'm so happy for Charlie to have a new turnout buddy with even more buddies in the future! It doesn't surprise me at all that he makes friends pretty easily. Calm down, Charlie. ;-)

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    1. Lol this horse reminded me so strongly of Griffin!! Same cute nose and everything! Love be welcome wagon analogy too - that's so true lol

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  7. Awww, friends are the best! There are a couple horses at my barn that have to go out alone because they don't play well with others and it must be sooo boring. P is super annoying in the field- he has to go with horses that don't mind playing non-stop.

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    1. haha omg goofy P!! charlie doesn't really seem to play much... but i'm also not sure he really like, knows how. or has had playful friends before. bc he's kinda a curious, goofy guy. like, quiet and low key... but i feel like he would be playful with the right play mate lol

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  8. That's the one thing about mares... it can be tough finding friends for them. Georgie was the WORST and June is already copping an attitude.. I'm glad Charlie is social and sweet. I found my geldings typically were much better about sharing pasture..

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  9. hooray for friends!!!! Poor Leo had the HARDEST time making them before he moved home and met Saja - he's such a giant pushover that he always got picked on and ended up at the bottom of the pecking order!

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  10. "Please don't let my horse embarrass me, please don't let my horse embarrass me" is my mantra. He seems like he's getting along nicely with his new friend. Mae is like the annoying little sister who tries to get everyone to play and they don't want to so they take a big bite out of her back. She's learning to leave everyone alone... finally

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  11. If only all horses could be so easy going with their pasture mates! Savvy goes straight for the jugular with horses she does not like. Very scary.

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  12. He looks like Merrylegs from Black Beauty!

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  13. So glad Charlie has a friend! Hopefully they don't become as bonded as Jean-Luc and his friend Cody. In a herd of 11, they are their own herd of 2 . . . it's frustrating to say the least. I'm sure Charlie will be great, though. LOL, just a personal problem over here.

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  14. Looks like they'll do fine. Sure his name isn't spelled Low Key? Just sayin'...

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  15. So much has happened since I took a break from blogging! Charlie's friend is super cute. How could they not get along??

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  16. Awww, it's like watching your child out on the playground. You want them to be friends, but don't want the other kids to be mean!
    I'm glad he has a friend!

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