Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Playfight! Or maybe it's not playing?

I've been reading about all the training that my blogger friends are getting started on this year, and I'm jealous! I ache to get out there and do something with my horses, but alas, the snow is too deep (and I'm tied to the baby indoors). Sometimes I really miss my setup in Idaho where I had an indoor round pen and the best trails ever right outside the barn. I'll just have to be happy watching my horses play in the field for now. This is what they were up to this morning...

Chico and Griffin really tear it up out in the field. They are the only two geldings amongst five mares. Sometimes I wonder if Griffin is trying unseat Chico from his higher standing, but I think most of the time, they are just playing. Griffin pesters Chico constantly though. I think most of these pictures need no captions. Remember, Griffin is the dun who will be 4 years old this year and Chico is the bay who will be 7 years old. Chico has always been a high standing member of my little herd, while Griffin has only just joined it a year ago.







Don't the mares look a little bored?


Cody and Kachina both pin their ears at the boys as they barge through the middle of the herd. They are saying: play your little hearts out, but don't run into me!






This picture may need a caption: Kachina (will be 5 years old, red dun mare) is heading up to get involved in what the boys are doing. She is the only mare that does so - gets all mixed up in the geldings playing. I'm not quite sure why she does it. She's lower than either of them in the herd hierarchy...maybe that's why. It's a time she gets to try to throw her own weight around and act tough. None of the other mare bother with "playing". It's beneath them.


After separating himself, Chico decides to head back down to the main herd at a full gallop.



Griffin and Kachina both lunge at him as he races by.



Chico gets back and immediately settles in to rest with the mares. He's pooped (he's overweight).


Kachina is still full of energy so she continues to pester Griffin to play. She isn't always the instigator. Just this time.


She kicks at him.


Then ends her kick with a lovely tail swat to the face!

I love watching them! The funniest thing is that later in the day, I saw the boys playing again, and somehow, Griffin got stuck under Chico! I think Chico reared up, came down over Griffin's back, and then becamse high-centered! The two of them kept whirling around and around trying to free themselves. I worried that they might get into the fence since this was all happening along the fenceline where they like to loaf, but thankfully they freed themselves without incident...then continued fighting like nothing had happened. If anything, it increased the intensity of their play. They were down on their knees biting eachother ferociously, and Chico was kicking Griffin repeatedly as Griffin kept chasing him and pestering him. Sometimes I really do wonder if Griffin isn't trying to drive Chico out of the herd, but then when they stop playing, everyone rests/grazes peacefully. I never see actual pinned ear chasing out of the herd...it's always aggressive rearing and playing all around and through the herd. And in the end, it seems like Chico is still above Griffin. Chico can make Griffin move out of his way when he really means it (usually that happens around the hay feeder).

5 comments:

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I love your pictures! My boys play like that too, and sometimes I wonder if ranks are changing, but usually at feeding time they sort themselves out predictably. They sure are fun to watch though.

Kate said...

Looks like Pie and Scout playing - Scout is glad to have a young friend who wants to play - the other two geldings in the herd are too old for that sort of fun.

Linda said...

Makes you wonder. None of mine play that hard. Beautiful does the most instigating, but she is definitely trying to move up in the herd. Great pictures!

Amber said...

I've been a Griffin fan since you first got him. I love to see him playing!

Rising Rainbow said...

All we can do is guess with games like that. Sometimes I'd really like to be a horse, then I would know.