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Today we visited Elvis.  We hadn’t seen him since Monday, when we dropped him off.  I was surprised that as we drove up, he wasn’t in his assigned pasture.  We got out of the car and ran into the BO, who was finishing up working a horse.  We stopped along the fence line to chat, and she told us that she had decided yesterday that Elvis wasn’t happy in his old group.  Tuesday we had spoken and, at that time, he was doing OK.  He wasn’t fully accepted by the herd boss, but things weren’t unusual.  Sometime on Wednesday though, the BO noticed Elvis standing by himself in a lonely corner of the pasture.  This instance, coupled with the fact that he had gotten a fresh kick mark and she saw him trying to bond through play with the lowest horse in the group with no success, caused her to decide things weren’t working out for him.  The problem though was that he was already with the most mild group, the herd made up of the most subordinate horses!  There was one other option though… the pony herd!

The BO has a mini donkey (pictured in the last post), two small ponies, and one medium.  She figured that this would be a very non-threatening group, even if somewhat untraditional for a horse to join.  To make sure that he had the best chance at building confidence, she put him in a smaller pasture with only one of the ponies.  He’s now been with his new friend for a day or so, and things appear to be working out much better.  At first he was frightened when the small hairy beast boldly trotted up to him, but then was pleased to find that the diminutive equine was friendly.  They have reportedly been seen galloping in circles in play – Elvis may have found his first friend!

For such a bold horse, I find it amusing and interesting that Elvis can have his confidence shaken within a herd of horses.  I tend to believe this will change with time and maturity, but what an interesting thing!  The BO sees him as extremely immature.  I do as well, but then again she has a fresh pair of unbiased eyes.  Perhaps he’s even more of a baby than I realize on a daily basis!  Aww, that makes me think he’s even more adorable.

Elvis and his Little Friend.

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