If you read my blog posts last summer and fall, you’ll know about Rosa’s unfortunate condition, her sensitivity to green grass and the laminitis (inflamed feet) that result. Being “allergic” to your favourite food has got to be the crappiest of crappy deals going, but maybe some of you know about this if you’ve, for example, got a wheat sensitivity and just love cinnamon buns. Rosa’s not allergic to grass, per se, but she is sensitive to the sugars it contains, kind of like a diabetic.
You’ll also know from last year’s posts that Rosa spent three months in a dry pen, separated from the rest of the herd while her system settled and her feet stopped hurting. It was a long haul for her and all we could offer was our condolences across the fence.
This year, Rosa’s starting the season off in a smaller space, a paddock area with a long L-shaped track off the west side, to keep her moving without the excess grass. The goal: keep her weight down and her feet happy. Great idea, right? I thought so too until I found out who was going to be her track-mate. Me! I admit to not being the most svelte horse on the planet, but the fat pen!? (Sorry, Rosa. I know you don’t like it called that.)
I’ve been here at Almosta Ranch since 2004, seventeen years, and in those years I have always shared accommodations with Nevada, and he has always been my leader and mentor. I thought I wanted to be boss and have sometimes challenged Nevada’s authority, but I take it all back. I don’t want to be the leader! There’s too much pressure and responsibility!
Our second night of separation, a storm was rolling in, and I wanted to be where I always am in bad weather, tucked into the south shelter right next to Nevada. But I couldn’t get there. I ran the quarter mile to the end of our track only to find the track didn’t loop around the pasture like it did last year but dead ended. I ran even faster on the way back, calling as I went. And do you know what my humans did? They stood and watched and might have even laughed a little. Why it was funny to watch me not get what I wanted and express myself accordingly is beyond my comprehension. (In their defense, they also gave me a treat, which did help to settle my rattled pony nerves.)
It’s been four days and I’ve settled into the new digs somewhat, although I’m still enormously put out that Gidget gets yard-grazing privileges alongside Nevada. I’ve been here longer than her and am higher up in the herd. That should be me out there! But there I go getting all entitled and indignant again.
On the plus side, Rosa and I are good buddies and grazing companions, and Nevada will be just across the fence. And .. I hear there’s to be an unending supply of hay served in nets to supplement the meagre grass rations. And … I’m pretty sure soft-hearted T will have me out for a little graze whenever we spend some saddle time. And … there’s my svelteness, which should be at an all-time high this summer.
I will adapt.
I will put on my big-boy halter.