Seriously this boy could give lessons on what to do while traveling. He quickly learned that when we stopped, he was to take his Pro Bi, drink his water and eat his wet cubes. Every time he did as asked. Then he went back to eating off the two bales we had to block the breast bar area. Though he really missed his Mom, he kept his priorities straight.
We pulled into the barn at midnight and this is when the "only just weaned" issues appeared. Ember was so excited that he finally received an answer to one of his neighs, I ended up with him over my shoulder. Thank you Roscoe for preparing me for baby antics. Now we had to get him off the trailer and into the barn with his limited leading. Ember decided that he did want to go to the barn, but the white grate in front of the aisle was way too scary.
So we pulled DaVinci out to see if Ember would follow him into the barn. Well DaVinci pinned his ears and totally frowned at the baby. Cue the baby clacking. Ember began to get somewhat frustrated at wanting to go be with horses, but not being able to get to them. Eventually we found another way. We led DaVinci into the paddock attached to the stall Ember would stay in and Ember followed. Whew! Finally he was secured.
Now he could go and visit Roscoe and Comrade. Those two we glued next to each other staring at the baby in fascination. Comrade squealed, Roscoe postured and Ember baby clacked. All good, time to go home.
The next day we let the rest of the herd meet him over the stall door. DaVinci and Dottie only glared at him since he is occupying their special stall and eating their hay. Winston squealed at him, seems to be the gelding thing to do. Rosemary was really interested, but did not hesitate if he got too forward to scold him. I think poor Ember thought she could be his mother. Roscoe and Comrade kept track of him through out the day, but their intensity decreased.
After cleaning the trailer we had just enough daylight to work on his leading and get a picture.
Ember walked out of his stall fine, but then got stuck by Dottie. I had to use a lead line and burrito him and get the forward motion going again. Ember walked right over the scary grate and we went by the trailer for the picture.
|Castleberrys Esquire, Newest addition to Sixpence Farm|
Then we were able to work on walking without the burrito lead before going back to the barn. This time he looked at the grate and had to take a minute to examine the area before crossing. Ember has a solid brain in that cute head of his. We see it more everyday.
We talked about when we would let him go out with the Red Boys and Mom said she wanted him leading and eating out of the hay net. I think Ember heard because he already was leading like a champ and was making good progress eating out of the hay net. And since this topic sparked controversy on FaceBook, let me just say he has loose hay to eat, so he chooses to eat from the hay net. We supervised to make sure it was safe. We are only introducing him to the hay net because when he is turned out with the Red Boys, that is how the hay will be served. Back to Ember, he definitely said "Challenge Accepted!"
It was a hard choice to pick which of the five super foals Roscoe helped produce would come home, but each day Ember shows the right one fits right in. On Saturday we made the decision to let him go out with the Red Boys. Especially since he had done everything Mom asked him to learn. To help we used the neutral ground and no corner of the arena. Ember went out first and our jaws dropped when he started to move. That boy covers ground and has an awesome Cob trot. I only had my cell phone, but wished for my camera. As many times as I have visited the foals, they have never been active so I have sadly not seen any movement in person. Plus since Ember already had a home, his siblings took priority in the picture taking. Now all the foals are claimed and at their homes.
|The quiet before the running|
Once Ember was ready, we brought in Roscoe. All started quiet, but then Roscoe started moving/chasing Ember around the arena. He seemed to want to mount him, but never did. He nipped at him and rode his butt looking really aggressive. Mom and Peggy totally stressed out and I worried a bit. But as I watched you could see the energy decelerate and when Ember clocked Roscoe in the cheeks, the whole scene changed. Horses have to work things out on their own. It is hard, but herd dynamics work for a reason. After they both stopped and walked, we looked them both over. There was absolutely no mark on Ember, not even ruffled fur. Ember was not scared or worried by Roscoe. Roscoe had a few more time where he chased Ember, but Ember learned to kick him and shutdown the episode quicker. Soon they were eating the grass and corn stalks along the arena edge.
We bit the bullet and brought Comrade down to join in. I held Roscoe while the others interacted. As I worked Roscoe on the line, I saw Ember come towards Roscoe. Yep no worries in that baby. We had fun watching all three interact. Ember got a good bite from Comrade when he tried to eat Comrade's grass. Of course he just made baby faces and kept right on eating. Ember even took corn stalks right from Roscoe and Comrade's mouths.
Ember was great about handling the separation afterwards. We really want him getting enough hay, so he will stay alone at night.
The next day I let him go out with the boys in the turnout. There was no drama, he meshed like he had always been there. He happily shared hay nets and tried to steal hay from Comrade's mouth which earned him a stern scolding. Since this pen shares a fence with the other horses he made sure to go visit. Roscoe was a bit of a helicopter dad, not wanting him to talk to the others. I did catch grumpy DaVinci grooming Ember before he pushed him away with an ugly face once he spotted me. I think Ember is growing on him. I was able to get a Cob shot and a 3 generation shot so I was happy.
Overall Ember has been an amazing edition to our herd. He is learning quickly and his personality works with the Red Boys. Mom thinks he will be our quiet Cob, but you know what they say about the quiet ones... :) I already found twine everywhere when he got into the storage bucket.
Anyone close by is welcome to visit :) Some of the neighbors have already come by.