Saturday, December 18, 2010

Like a Loyal Old Dog

I'm always learning something about equine behavior with my two guys.  This time it's about bonding...

Toby and Ollie have become extremely close since they have moved to two different barns and to a new state in the past 6 months.  They are always together in the field.  They are constantly looking out for each other and they NEVER are out of eyesight from each other.

When I go out to the barn, I have to bring in both or the one left behind becomes a little frantic and runs the fence line.

The other day, I went out to take care of Toby's cut on his back right leg (which is healing up nicely!).  The whole gang of 7 horses were near the gate when I fetched Toby.  I brought him in and left Ollie out to hang with the other horses.  I thought he'd be ok with all the others nearby.  And when I went to check on him he was still by the gate but so was everyone else.  He seemed ok.

A little while later, when I was cleaning up Toby's wound, the barn owner came out to feed hay to everyone in the field.  He drove his golf cart full of hay way over to the other side of the field.  When the cart went out, all the horses followed it as if it was the pied piper.  That is, everyone but Ollie.  Ollie stood at the gate and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I had no idea he was hanging out there.  Not until I brought out Toby and Ollie greeted him with a hearty nicker.  I felt so badly for him!  Ollie turned down food to wait for his best friend.  Now that's loyalty!

So how did Toby react?  Ollie greeted him with a playful nip to the neck and Toby bit back.  Ah!  Best Friends Forever!


I'm hopeful that his trait of loyalty will help with our training once we can get back into it (too icy right now). Soon! Hopefully soon!


  1. Hi cool blog! I used to make my living rehabing racehorses. i love them even though i been to europe and worked in huge dressage barns, i would chose a good OTTB over a warmblood any day! This year instead of taking in my usal lot of ex racers though, i adopted from muster 2 wild horses.

    please check out and follow my blog

  2. Your horses and your photo are (is) extremely beautiful. My pony stands outside the in and out stall when summoned by our OTTB to babysit him. He won't let her in sometimes. I've seen her there with her back full of ice and snow (when she has her own in and out on the other side of the barn.)

  3. What I like best about TBs is, they have a marvelous work ethic, as a rule, and whether it's loyalty or a desire to please or a heart full of "try"--and whether or not they are EASY to work with ;o)--they will make the most of their experience with you every single time. My guy knows he's got a goody bucket waiting at the end of the ride, and sometimes that prospect takes over and he wants to prance and dance home, which means he doesn't GET home as quickly as he (or I) would like ;oD

    I wouldn't trade those rides for anything, however. We're having a winter storm now--for the next five days--so no working out for us, either. Winter. Bunk.