July 17, 2014
The summer so far is very hot, very dry and we are in drought like conditions. The horses are fed twice daily, morning and night, their usual bales of hay as well as having a round bale in the adjoining paddock to pick away at. There is no grass to speak of but the herd is still enjoying their ability to be together in community.
The last few days some changes within their ranks and their 'pecking order' or hierarchy have been taking place.
The heat has brought out the worst and the best in the herd.
Jet, the elder has been the lead mare and is usually fair and firm.
Yesterday, the 16th of July, she was crabby beyond belief. She spent much of the morning chasing the others from pile to pile of hay.
I was filling water troughs and noticed Trinity watching Jet .... Trinity was quietly munching her hay but kept her eyes on Jet.
Then, as if she had seen enough and could not tolerate Jet's behavior for one more second, she left her pile of hay and slowly positioned herself between Jet and Sirius who Jet had been picking on. She carefully and deliberately turned her haunches and taking aim kicked hard and fast at Jet.
Jet immediately began firing back...but Trinity was relentless and kicked in rapid fire succession until Jet quit and moved away. Jet stood a distance off looking Trinity her eyes wide in disbelief.
She started toward Trinity...and once more Trin turned her haunches toward Jet, backing slowly and deliberately toward her.
Looking around her eyes fell to a pile of hay being nibbled at by Venus and she moved across the 'circle' toward it.
Trin also moved toward the pile of hay and blocked Jet's path to Venus, standing guard...
Jet moved toward Wit's pile of hay....and Trin moved to block her path and stood guard next to Wit.
Jet moved to a vacant pile of hay...and Trin moved with her....Jet remained alert, ready to move off, but Trin was not interested in chasing her away. Instead she invited her to eat with her.
Trin had gained a position of power but was clearly not wishing to abuse this new position.
She had no interest in becoming a bully.
She was taking up her place in a peace keeping role.
The herd hierarchy had been in this order:
Most people would assume that with a change in leadership only the top two positions would shift.
But that is not how herd hierarchy works.
Trinity has enjoyed a loving relationship with Jet and has been given special privileges by her in the past. Jet allowed Trin many trespasses that would never have been allowed to any other.
Trinity has also shared a special unbreakable loving bond with her sisters.
Trinity loves Wit.
She adores his company.
The hierarchy of 'the herd' this morning is non-existent.
It seems to be equal, as long as no bullying is going on!
This morning Jet has a few visible battle scars from kicks well aimed and planted. I was without my camera but witnessed all four mares eating from one pile of hay.
Jet was last to approach when I fed this morning.
Usually she is first and scatters anyone who dares to come near....
By the time I went to the house to get my camera and returned the two older fillies had moved to the next pile leaving Venus and Jet together....Trinity however remains positioned in a 'no nonsense' ready to break up any altercations manner.
Trinity can be seen behind Jet....keeping her eye on things
Yesterday I noted many occasions where Trinity and Jet were standing head to tail...Trinity seeming to tell Jet she loves her. Trinity is going to be a fair, firm, gentle, loving leader.
I am looking forward to watching and witnessing Trinity's Peace Keeping Leadership Style...where all are equal.