Oh my, where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday I brought Quaid home but it's been 12! When he arrived I kept him separated from Irish and Carmen. I wanted to give him time to settle in and I needed to get him used to grass.
I should give a warning that this is not a sunshine and unicorns post.
In my last post I was starting to introduce him to Irish. I did that deliberately as Irish is quite sweet and gentle while Carmen is, well, Carmen. I started with short stints putting Irish and Quaid together. It didn't take long for everyone to settle down.
|just in case you think I wasn't paying attention. |
they were getting along really really well.
After a few days of this, after my ride I put a halter on Carmen and took her out to the field and let her graze with Irish and Quaid. When he came too close she drove him off but I was at the end of the lead to stop it from being serious. Everyone settled down and I brought them all in for supper.
The next day, again after a ride, I took Carmen out on the lead. When all was calm (which didn't take long) I slipped off her halter and stepped back. Things went fairly well. When Quaid got to close Carmen chased him off with pinned ears and an angry face but as soon as he left they settled. I stayed around puttering but wasn't too worried. About an hour in I heard a big kerfuffle out in the field. I went out and I saw Irish desperately circling Carmen who was chasing Quaid. Because of Irish's neurological condition he can't do sharp turns, which meant he kept slipping and falling. Ideally he would have recognized that he can't do spins but no, he just kept trying harder and getting worse. I was convinced he was going to break a leg. I walked out to the middle of this chaos and said in my most authoritative voice 'WHOA!'
Carmen came to a screeching halt. Oh thank god you are here to take control of this shit show. She calmed down right away, as did Quaid. Irish was frantic and kept circling and bumping into me. I had to chase him off. I brought everyone in for dinner and did some thinking.
The next day I turned Irish and Quaid out together. After I rode Carmen, I brought Irish to the back field and put Carmen out with Quaid. It went fairly well. She chased him a bit but it wasn't dangerous and the two of them seemed to be working things out. A few times it even looked more playful then aggressive. They settled at a respectful distance grazing. A little later I went out and gave Carmen some scritches and then went out to groom Quaid. After a bit he swung his butt into me- it wasn't intentional he just saw something and turned to look. I got after him for that and then Carmen came charging over and chased him off.
Carmen: you DO NOT bump into mom!
With a derisive snort she then went off and back to grazing.
While this was happening Irish was freaking out in the next field. He settled a bit but not a lot. I turned Carmen out with him for a bit before bringing them in. I have to take them one at a time and, because Carmen was closest, I took her first. Irish charged by us through the gate and galloped around. I looked at him and said 'okay fine, you are on your own then' and walked Carmen into the barn. He charged into his stall and I shut the door. He was a mess, sweaty and urine crusted hind legs. When everyone was in I took Irish out to hose off his hind legs and the sweat. When he was taken out of the barn he lost his mind- screaming, charging me, and trying to take off. He was, frankly, dangerous and I had to beat him off me. He was literally 30 feet from Carmen and could see her in her stall.
The next day Irish was out with Quaid - I actually gave him some ACE to see if I could get him to calm down and learn that Quaid is not a threat to his mare. After a bit I brought Carmen in to ride. Irish again lost his mind, throwing his body at the barn and cutting himself. Carmen was fine with the commotion and fine during our ride. I then put them all out together. Other than Irish staying between Carmen and Quaid it was okay.
Sunday I didn't bother to ride, we also got our hay that weekend and I was, frankly, tired. Dominique came out and we did some chores and cleaned some tack. I also did some work with Quaid (a different post because this one is getting long). We decided to bring Irish in to groom him and give him some 1-1 attention.
It was a disaster. He lost his mind and was dangerous again. I had to hold and correct him while he was groomed and then we hosed him off. Usually Irish is easy to correct- a quick growl does it. This time I had to get physical with him before he even noticed me.
I was feeling pretty down. I can't have a horse that is dangerous to handle. In the past I have taken Carmen away from Irish all the time and he has never minded. Clearly it has to do with him feeling that Quaid is a threat. That can be dealt with because he's not dangerous and Quaid is respectful. It the me taking Carmen out to ride that causes the problem.
|peeking at me working the new guy|
On Monday Julia came out and we played with separation. I put a halter on Carmen and Irish. I would walk Carmen away and when Irish freaked out, Julia would put him to work. We increased the distance and it worked fairly well. So I think things are getting better, but not where it needs to be. Irish is wreck, his lip is cut (like how horse? , he has cut his hind legs by stepping on himself, there's a gouge out of his side and he's lame (looks like body soreness rather than leg lameness). I can't have a horse that is dangerous to handle so I am giving him a bit of time. But if he doesn't calm down I may need to make some difficult decisions; unless he kills himself first.
Through all of this, Quaid is being respectful and calm. Even when Irish is losing his mind, he's looking at him like 'wow, that's a lot of energy' . When Irish tries to chase him, he just trots away and then goes back to grazing.
|Quaid: playing with dogs seems safer then getting between those two|
In case you weren't paying attention, the most mature horse on the property is the 2 year old. The second most mature is 12 and the least mature is 22.