|Calabar in babysitting mode|
We saw some of this with his concern over who was riding and handling Lena after the bad person did both badly and the next person came along and had to prove herself worthy before the big brown horse would relax.
I frequently get stared at when handling Dixie or Cash and not his royal Calabar-highness, eyes leveled down between the pipe panel observing with annoyance as I took one or the other out to graze, work or groom.
But last week, when someone else took Dixie out and walked her around--BTM, before the move-- Calabar became over-protective watchful horse. Totally still, totally focused on what this new person might be doing with his little bay mare.
After the recent changes, Calabar is not between his two mares and has only Forrest to watch over and Forrest is often too busy hanging out with the mules behind him, enjoying his wide open, woodsy paddock. Forrest is also pretty sure he does not need supervision from bossy-pants-Calabar.
Last night, I had Clyde in the lower barn pointed out towards Calabar's new paddock. I was picking Clyde's feet and anointing them with iodine when I peered out upside down between my own knees. There was my horse, white crescent moon spot glowing at me as the light outside began to fade because he was facing me, watching me. Every. Move. I. Made.
I had no choice after I put Clyde away but to take Calabar out and work him, play with him, rub his brown head and tell him how much I loved him and that his is still my most favorite big brown ex-racehorse in the entire world. He mostly believed me. It helped that today he did not see ME holding Clyde's lead rope. Nope. Not me. This is not my favorite big brown ex-racehorse, Calabar. YOU are. See? Someone else is leading him around, not me.
|Allison and Clyde discussing "the bubble"|
|So, Calabar.. what are Lena's favorite flowers?|
It may be only minor consolation to Calabar that Dixie does not like Clyde very much--there is much ear pinning and posturing between them--and made goo-goo eyes at Calabar when she saw him. He saw her and watched us, but did not get quite as excited as when he saw Lena. This of course makes sense since Lena and Calabar have been together for over five years and Dixie is only the newest female addition to the herd.
|Hey! I know him! Why is he way down here?|
|Yes, that is Calabar on the left telling Romeo these are his mares. (Manna and me, or at least me.)|
Calabar says that he is supposed to be master of the herd and all of these changes have left him quite upset. On the plus side, the changes have also left him more focused and reliant on me, making our training sessions a wee bit more productive.
Guess that makes me the alpha mare, Calabar. I'll take care of you and everyone else, just don't bite anyone. Especially me.