Uneventful would not be the way to describe Apple’s first day with us. Excalibur certainly ran her a bit down the fence line but she knew to explore her options and keep going. He didn’t make contact, but certainly ran her like they would mares in the wild, ears pinned, galloping flat out and snaking directing her moves. He kept it going for a few minutes, before they settled into the corner down by the gate and went back to back with X getting kicked and being on 3 legs…still driving her though and not missing a stride. Luckily no long term damage, but lame for sure. Once the initial exchange took place, X settled down knowing that Apple knew her place. The occasional reprimand at the water tank and lots of comfort and mutual grooming, X has now taken Apple on as his and is quite protective of her.
Aria accepted Apple as our second introduction and Apple wanted to rule the roost at first. Aria, in her bold way blocked Apple many times, with shear strength of body weight. The unusual behavior from Aria was her display of sexual interest which continues today as she sniffs Apple while “winking” sporadically. Squeals, kicks and mutual grooming allowed them to move forward to become quite connected. Apple seeks Aria out when she is fearful or being charged (over the fence) by Honey.
Honey dislikes Apple, to the point of charging the fence line continuously. It is not safe to put them together and we shall be
spending the week with them in at night to try to gain more acceptance. They have individual runs so Apple can remove herself and away from the aggression. She is totally upset by her disruption of the herd and has no time for Apple. Pacing the fence, ears back and wishing to make contact with her physically is how the day is spent. Conversations with Honey about acceptance and Apples role have been explained to her as a lead mare.
Apple is truly a gem. Vin spent hours fixing the fence line before winter hits and she followed him around gently and respectfully. She is becoming comfortable with a stall at night and spends her days outside with either X or Aria at this time. Time will tell when its right for us to open the gates for the herd to be together.