After over 7,5 month, my 1,5y young stallion Muratah came back “home”. He has been on his holiday, with his half sisters and brothers up in the hills in the Odenwald, in a nice big herd with plenty of arabs to be friends with.
The last month he had been with his half sis, Dina, of whom I wrote something in my previous posting, “all in love“.
She also was the reason it had to be delayed a bit. The 2 of em had to go on a trailer, as horses are preferably held with a minimum of 2, and an even number.
Dina however succeeded to go in the trailer and to crawl out of it again, damaging and therefor blocking the inner separation that much that the people had to use a big hammer to release Muratah, who was already in the trailer.
Muratah, however, cool as ever, stood there, watching the people at work, not being bothered by the usage of the hammer and such. To the people and to Muratah – thank you very much for showing my reward of my never-ending training with horses: – how to keep ’em cool, trust people and help each other. Still get the shivers down my spine when I think of it..
Two weeks after the first attempt, Muratah finally landed at his new home. Trailerloading his sis was not a problem this time, she just did not get the chance to get out this time.
Unloading Muratah was also very quick. I had to push him out of the trailer before his sis would notice he was out. The people had to take off quick so she would be occupied with keeping her balance in the trailer.
And there Muratah all of a sudden was.. He was looking around, sniffing the ground, watching for any familiair sounds or views.
There was one familiair sound – his mom. Sam, his mom had interest when she heard him in the trailer, but went back to the hey when she saw him. She recognized Mr. Trouble.
I had to ask my Jr. to get the long whip to make some ground for me and Muratah to enter the paddock. All the horses are afraid of a whip, except mine. This then caused Muratah to have a first sniff at his mom when he came in the paddock.
The silly bugger said hi to his mom and then tried to have a drink.. right.. no, that was not that what mommy had in mind, so he got a (on purpose missed) kick towards him which told him clearly to not try that again.
After the whole herd had a sniff, a kick and a poke at Muratah, I put him in a separate box, and Jr. was so kind to give him some additional hay he could eat. Muratah seemed to be pleased to be all by himself, sheltered by this box, to eat all by himself, not being disturbed by higher level horses that wanted to have his food. It was the 3rd time in his whole life he has been locked up in a “horsebox”. For me, it looks like a prison, but for him it was just the right thing to have at that time. He asked to be let out soon though.
In the meanwhile I had hushed the whole herd into the other paddock, so Jr (and I) could clean the stable. Hard work, but Jr loves it – and I find it great he helps :) First the duties, then the fun :)
When finished we got Muratah out of his box, and I asked sam to come back in. She did what I asked her, and went straight for the hay.
I then suggested Muratah who went straight to me, to go to his mom. Finally, with a D-tour, he went to his mom.
Over the hayshed they had their first real nose-to-nose-re-encounter.
Typical mare, Sam tried to use her front leg to keep this stallion-like-smelling intruder on a distance. Unfortunately she hit her knee badly when she did so. She knows that she did a silly thing there.
She then walked towards him and had another sniff, somehow recognized it and went back to eating hay.
And then something very interesting happened. I have never seen a horse doing this. She was sniffing at her milkglands, first to the left, then to the right side, to see for herself what this was all about. It made me laugh as it looked so funny, but also I tried to understand what link she made there. I do not hope her hormones kick in again – but that would maybe mean horsemilk again soon :)
While doing so, Muratah sneaked closer by and had try to sniff at that particular place. Sam reacted with a “all 4 off the ground” and Muratah decided it was better to keep a bit of a distance.
Even Jr. noticed how Sam reacted to Muratah, and the quick follow up of signs she used:
1. Put head up high and curl nostrils
2. Put ears flat to neck, giving Muratah the evil look
3. Swish tail and position hind leg in direction of Muratah
4. an “in air” shot of the hind hoof, somewhere in the direction of Muratah with a loud scream.
Knowing Sam, a 5th warning would be a soft hit against Muratahs shoulder, but Muratah decided to not even go that far.
And where Muratah happily walked on, to discover his new area with his mom close by,
His mom walked back to the hay and you see her thinking “oh, why, why??”
At that time, most of the people from the stable arrived, as we had our 3rd Advents/Weihnachtsfeier at the stable. Including a BBQ, glühwein, kinderpunsch, pastasalad and much more.
Not even 15 minutes after that, Muratah was spotted in the free. He managed to open the door lever and walked around, discovering his new home in the way he seems to prefer. We got him back quick with some help of a superglu dlice of bread as reward for sticking his nose in the halter again. He was just curious what was going on, sniffed the ground, looked at the flat bits around him. Maybe I should not tell him there are nice sandy bits around the stable where he can try his flatout again :)
He was brought back in the paddock a minute later, not a problem, loads of new things to discover in the inside bit as well.
The horses were let into the paddock with Muratah and Sam, and Muratah was full of interest to the grill and all the food we prepared. The weather had decided to go worse again, it was snowing with a nasty cold wind.
And where all horses were gathering around Muratah, Sam was in the other paddock, looking kind of offended.
In the meanwhile, Muratah met the leader of the new gang, a 5y young ex-racing horse, gelding.
They faced up, nose to nose, none of them wanting to move a step aside. What the owner was astonished by is that her horse did not put his ears back or chase muratah away. I was more stunned by the fact that Muratah did not move a single step away and just tried to “nose out” the leader, which reacted with a short and furious, but girly-like front kicks.
More sniffing, more squeels, no legs used. Muratah even tried his luck to gently bite the leader in his neck and his shoulder and see if he could hold on. He could not though.
In the end they were just ignoring eachother, and when they faced, they were looking friendly. Did he really just try to give himself to a position next to the leader?? Same thing he has done before then, with Johnny Boy :)
When Muratah had his second tour around the paddock, he first got chased by the young frisian horse, giving him an evil look, but not getting the chance to hit Muratah on his legs a second time, like he did in the beginning. Sometimes the offense is the best defense, but maybe this frisian will learn that this is an arab horse, finding a way around the offense, and come around when he least expects it.
Time to wake Sam up, she was still standing next”door”, missing the bigger part of it.
When I went to Sam and suggested she should come in too, she gave me the evil eye.
Yes, she sometimes tells me off, but I have never seen this look. It made me laugh though, although she rewarded me a few more times with it.
She must definately think I have brought back the monster to her :)
Time for her to pick up her role, to take her position and tell Jr. off for what he should not do. Something she does not like to do, but in this case I leave her full freedom and encourage her to look after herself when she is with others. When I am around, I protect her as her being part of “my herd”, as with Jr, but she will not have this when I am not there.
I will need her experience and help soon, as I am planning to have a ride with Jr as “horse on a lead”, and Sam should be able to tell him what he should do, without me interfering. As she used to be a very sensitive, shy and timid horse, quickly impressed, I am glad she develops herself in her role. I expect her to be already knowledgable and reactive enough when we have our first try-outs, when the snow and the ice here are a bit gone.
Not long after we smoked all the people out of the stable while lighting up the grille and we could start our winter-BBQ on the stable, “whom else than a dutchy” could invent that in winter? To be honest, i got it from the “boxing day” BBQ from an aussie :)
All the “Ossies” and the “hessies” enjoyed it a lot though, we had a lot of fun cooking, kids were playing in the hay and all fed with loads of saucages and karbonades, plätzchen with chocolate on the grille as a “dessert” :)
We had watched the horses testing Muratah in the meanwhile, where even the lowest ranked tinker stallion had decided to give it a go at Muratah. I think Muratah was most surprised to be attacked by this lil black-and-white furball and moved slightly away from him.
When the 3rd in-line tried to have a go at him, Muratah decided to stick to the leader, which the 3rd in line decided to stay away from .. a bit confused though.
Sam made her point clear again, no doubt about that, and Muratah walked away, up to the next one to confront.
He decided it were the people at the Grill, one of the kids was feeding bread and carrots, which made him a happy chap.
He had some encounters with Sams big boyfriend, who kept him on a safe distance from “his herd”, the same way as “Tiger” did in the old herd.
Later in the evening it was all quiet, and the 2 horses got their food in their boxes.
Muratah was quite surprised to see Kim with his head in Sams box,
but then found out he could have company too when he wanted to.
Lucky him he was in his safe box A new thing to him, helping him out here.
It made me realize something as well.
I do not have a horse and her foal anymore. I got 2 horses, real horses.
I am so much looking forward to play and work with both of them. They have both the coolness I have learned my horse in the past 10 years. One I did not even have to train in it, he seems to have got it naturally. And he makes me think of the personality “Menes”, Sams dad I have happened to see once … in short, the keywords
And you will have a horse that can read your thoughts and soul and will help you to do things better.
But If you break one of these golden rules, you better watch your back. Horses happen to be more direct, honest, much stronger and faster than humans. And they stick to what to they say. To us, humans, to understand and learn.