Leader of the Herd

It was a beautiful day at the stable yesterday. All of our herd got turned out in the morning, which they love.They spent about 45 minutes socializing, playing, and interacting, and then they were ready to go back to their stalls. At least Lacey was.

Our 25-year-old Arabian mare used to be the leader of the herd. She has the shortest legs, and also the loudest yell. It’s something like a cross between a donkey’s bray and a bull elk’s bugle. She uses it to command respect among the Thoroughbreds. That, and her well-aimed kicking.

Lately, Pickle has been standing up to her. Not sure how that came about. The first time we really became aware of it was one weekday morning when Tim had the herd out for their exercise in the big arena. He decided to bring Lacey in first. Now, Pickle considers Tim his own personal human, and disagreed with this choice. As Lacey exited the arena through the gate, Pickle leaned over and took a BITE out of her butt. Yes, there was a time when Lacey could terrorize Pickle, but no more.

On Sunday, as the three horses stood at the rail of the south arena ogling the carrots Tim held, I noticed that Lacey was keeping her distance from Pickle. If he looked at her, or edged a little bit closer, she would give her trademark donkey call-bull elk bugle… and then she’d scamper away, moving around to the other side of Buster.

I think there is a new leader of the herd. Evidently one well-placed bite on the butt is all it takes to put an old gray mare in her place.


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