Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen some things happen (or not happen to be more accurate) with Reno, the orphan foal… now an ex-orphan weanling I guess… that kind of amazed me.
Reno has always been an independent little cuss. His mama died the day he was born. And he was pretty much raised by Jen’s semi-obnoxious gelding, Twister, and a bunch of humans with baby bottles. From the beginning, he seemed to be very confident and calm. We had to splint one of his hind legs for a couple of days after he was born so the tendons would relax so he didn’t knuckle over. And he was completely unconcerned at the process. We’d lay him down, and I would hold his head down while the splint was applied in the evening. And he would try to get up once, decide it was not worth fussing over and take a nap instead. No worry, no panic. We have doctored any number of injuries (he is a dummy about sticking his head in places it doesn’t belong) without any concern from him at all. He’s had splints, stitches, wound dressings, oral medications, and scrubbings. Nothing fazes him at all. Okay, wait I take that back… Linda once splashed a bucket of wash water under his tail and he was really QUITE put out about her rudeness. But that’s the only thing I can think of. And it didn’t scare him… just made him very very mad!
The other day, I had more evidence of his unflappability. I was walking him up from the pasture by himself to come in for his dinner. I generally move Reno first. Then the other two (much less confident) weanlings come up together. So we’ve come up the hill and into the back of the barn. It has a long straight aisle with a pipe gate across the front door. There is a truck with a delivery of large square hay bales in the courtyard on the other side of the gate. These are the great big bales that you move one at a time with a tractor. They weigh around 500 lbs per bale I think. So just as we reach Reno’s stall door, which is just one stall away from the front door, the driver comes whipping around the back of the truck with two big squares on the tractor loader. Really, one bale is as much as I like to carry at a time, but I guess he was in a hurry. With two bales on the front, you can’t see the tractor at all. It just looks like huge floating bales coming at you. Growling.
I hesitated for a moment, clinging to Reno’s lead rope… waiting for the spook. What he actually did was put his ears up. For about a quarter second. Then just marched into his house for dinner. He didn’t flinch, didn’t slow down, didn’t even look at it for more that a very moderately interested moment. Dinner is FAR more important than growling hay monsters.
Then yesterday, the boss inadvertently let Al slip through the gate as I was bringing Reno through the pasture gate. I say slip… but really Albert exploded through the gate like a little red rocket. Galloped and bucked around Reno, then bolted into the next paddock. Reno did hesitate for a moment as Al bucked around him. I think he was mostly trying to figure out the shortest route around Al so he could get to his dinner. I just marched him on up and let him into his house. Reno ate happily while the boss and I chased the crazy redhead around. Eventually Al broke the damned gate that we were trying to close him in with. Hit it like a battering ram, twisting the gate right around so the pins were facing the opposite side and some gatepost hardware was bent out of shape. Al was fine (albeit missing some hair of his chest), but very over excited by his adventure. Esmerelda, who had been left in the field through all the shenanigans, was absolutely beside herself and ready to come over the fence. Reno was just finishing up his dinner, having paid absolutely NO attention to any of it.
He’s quite a guy. I must take some more pictures of the three of them. Unfortunately I stuck my little camera in King’s feed tub the other day while I was untacking him. Just for a MOMENT you understand. Sigh. Forgot it there and poured wet, sloppy beet pulp all over it. It didn’t survive the trauma. So no photos until I replace that.