So, lets get caught up on the activities at the Sanctuary. Ivan broke the last straw last week. On Saturday, I pulled Junior out, put his green blanket on, and put him in with the big herd. I gave the herd a stern warning to not harass Junior in any way. It was a bit chilly and I'd thrown out alfalfa so no one really cared. Chaos gave him a look but Junior just hung out. I felt terrible for Junior (and still do). He seems a bit lost in the big herd. Although last night he was standing somewhat close to Chaos so maybe those two can become friends.
I also pulled Ivan out of the big herd and put him in with the mares. Rabbit and Mayhem HATE Ivan. I thought Ivan was just a bully to Bo and Zeke because he is lower in the pecking order. Apparently he's gotten up some gusto and now he thinks he can push the mares around. There were a few kicks and squeals but everyone seems to be settling in. Rabbit and Mayhem continue to keep a wide distance from Ivan, which makes me mad because Ivan is the one who is causing all the problems.
Zeke has become super jealous. Now that I've implemented Plan B where Junior and Bo go into the barn each night so that they can eat in peace, Zeke is super jealous. I'm not talking being pissy with me. I'm talking all out rage towards Junior. I know it's because Zeke is low in the pecking order and Junior is at the bottom. I watched it with Ace and Rain so many years ago. But I hate it. Junior is too old to have to fight for his place within the herd. He doesn't have a buddy because his one and only buddy was Mayhem (although Rabbit would tolerate him).
Having Junior in with the big herd makes my chores easier but it's so hard on Junior. I just don't know what to do.
For my safety, I have to have Ivan out of the big herd and away from Bo. Ivan will bully Bo and Bo will run over me. Bo is the only horse that will do that. Bo should be punished as well but Ivan is the instigator in all of this.
Brego seems a little lost and hangs out with Zeke at night when Junior and Bo are in the barn. Neither Bo or Junior seem to mind this new arrangement. I may consider stalling Zeke at night to see if the jealousy goes away. Last night I watched Zeke pin his ears and rush Junior. Junior is not as swift as Zeke. Junior has a bit of arthritis and other things going on in that back end and Zeke is still able bodied even if he is 22. I was so mad that I finally caught Zeke and made him stand while I finished doing all my chores.
I do not tolerate bullying.
Everyone seems to understand that they are all on bad terms with me. All I have to do is point a finger at them and they stop cold in their tracks. Brego was coming for hay last night when I told him sternly that the hay wasn't for him and then pointed at him. He acted all subtle like he'd meant to come over but he was really going to snitch hay. I can read some of those horses like a book!
So least to say, everyone is still learning. I would have rather waited until spring when there's more room out in the pasture before putting Junior in with the big herd but I can't risk getting run over and hurt.
I'm debating on what to do for tonight. We are supposed to be getting subzero temps again and if I need to run horses in to the barn, then I have to juggle some horses around to figure out who goes were. Junior is pretty content to be in his stall next to Bo. Bo could care less where Junior is at but at least is starting to tolerate him. But if I bring in other horses, then I have to figure out which stall Junior will get. It'll have to be one where no one attacks him but if that's the case, it'll be one of the last stalls available and I'm not sure I can hold him off from coming into the barn.
Junior has already figured out that when I appear, it's grain time and he's RIGHT at my shoulder. The first night I had to halter him. The second night I had to make sure the rest of the horses wouldn't come close, and last night he didn't even look twice but walked right up to me (after Zeke was out of the way). Junior is pretty quick witted. I really do like him.
So I guess we'll just wait and see how things play out. Nothing is ever easy when changing a horse's routine.