This weekend, I decided that it was time to open the panel separating the two wild ones, and let them be together. This is primarily a decision in preparation for winter...we will need to be able to water them both down in the front of the barn next to the water spigot, since we can't run a hose to them in the frigid WI winters. We use a self draining PVC pipe to get water to the horses in winter and it works great.
The opening of the panel was extremely uneventful. The two have been close to eachother on either side of the panel (even grooming eachother through it) that it was no different for them to be together. It was crazy though, to see Kachina beside Griffin because he makes her look puny! Kachina did try to show Griffin a little bit of puny mare attitude when he was eating hay with her at her pile, but she was extremely half-hearted about laying her ears back and picking up one back foot. Griffin showed no aggression at all toward Kachina.
I laughed out loud as I watch Chico notice the "new" horse in the front pen...the horse that they see and hear, but can't smell. He sauntered over, trying to look kinda tough and really cool (although a roly-poly mustang slipping on the muddy ground had a really hard time looking cool!). Griffin met him at the fence and they sniffed noses down low for a while, then Chico pawed and struck the ground over and over. Griffin stuck his nose through the panel and Chico hit him with his leg and Griffin did a squeal and spin and butted up against the panel, but there was really no kicking. Chico didn't react when Griffin did that...he just stood there trying to look really tough.
I think this will be a good step to get them all used to interacting with one another. My grand plan is to try to turn them out in the pasture over winter break. I'll be able to be around then...plus if I do it in the winter, I don't have to worry about transitioning anyone onto pasture. AND if there is an event where someone goes through the fence, we can bait them with hay if we have to recapture...just a thought. I think Kachina will be easy to approach in the pasture, but I think Griffin is going to become very hard to approach...I say that based on how they act together in the same pen. If I stand in the center, they'll both trot around me (Griffin on the outside, Kachina on the inside), and Kachina will turn and and approach me almost immediately. Griffin keeps himself on the opposite side of Kachina, no matter where I stand. I can't approach him when he is with her. But I shoo'ed her through the barn to his side and shut the gate behind so that he had to deal with me, and then I could approach and pet him. So, I see that we need to work on the trust thing a lot more, but I think he can get to be a horse for the winter...since I have no time to work with them right now.