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January 27, 2013: Betrayal?

At the onset, it seemed like a good idea. Take Hrimfara to Vicki Talbot’s for a few days, so she’d get used to being over there. This would then make for another option in terms of our trip plan. If we leave her behind, she’ll have Hunar to interact with and good care.

It was cold out -15 according to the kitchen thermometer. We put Signy in the trailer and then got Hrimmi. We led her up to it. She held her ground – didn’t want to step onto the pallet platform Pete built. We removed it, and used a butt rope. She had no choice but to hop in. Once in, we shut the trailer doors and drove off.

It was a short twenty minute ride to Vicki’s place. We opened the trailer doors and Hunar came trotting over to see what was up. Hrimmi was a first taken aback by the sight of this strange little horse. Hrimmi asserted herself by leaping out of the back of the trailer and moving to the far side of her dam.

Pete tied Signy to the side of the trailer, leaving Hrimmi loose, to hang out. He took Hunar over Vicki, who was straightening out her tack room. I groomed Signy and Hrimmi and kept an eye on the latter. Hrimmi went over to the fence, and said hello to Hunar, who was now on the far side of the fence. A very independent horse, I thought. A good sign. Signy, not so independent, whinnied for Hrimmi, who bounded back to her side and stuck her nose where the milk used to be.

Vicki tacked up Huner, I saddled up Signy, and we took off down the road. Hrimmi followed, happily, as we turned off the road, onto the trail. The horses had no trouble negotiating the steep up-and-down, snow covered terrain. Very impressive, Vicki riding Hunar bareback, with just a fleece blanket on his back.

We finally came to a vast, snow covered hayfield. We rode around it, stopping so that Vicki might remove Hunar’s gear and let him run free for a bit. I would have let Signy go, but because she’d never been in this area, decided against this. During this time Hrimmi stuck close to Signy, who remained amazingly calm, even when a moose appeared at the wood’s edge, and came running at us, finally veering off to the left.

We finally called it good because both Vicki and I were beginning to feel the cold. Once back at Vicki’s, we met back up with Pete, who’d followed us a ways. We all agreed it was time to separate Signy and Hrimmi. Vicki lead Hunar into the combination shed/bar, and Signy followed. Hrimmi did not. Rather, she planted her feet at the half-log sill, and refused to go any further. We used a but rope to get her over it, and then let her out with Hunar.

Pete went to put Signy in the trailer. We’d decided that I’d remain behind with Vicki, Hunar, and Hrimmi. He put her in the box, tied her up, and drove off. Hrimmi, seeing that Signy was on her way elsewhere, immediately became agitated. She raced around a bit (with Hunar following) and then stopped by the mesh-electric tape fence. She looked at me, looked at it, and then took action. Any doubts I might have had about her having weak hindquarters were then dismissed. Over the fence she went, front feet tucked up neatly beneath her. She didn’t quite clear it with her rear legs, which caused me to gasp. But she came down on the far side just fine. She ran to the driveway’s edge, and for a moment looked for Signy, who was gone. Now what, she seemed to ask. I took advantage of her momentary hesitation and grabbed her.

Vicki suggested that we put Hrimmi in Hunar’s stall, which we did. We figured that Hunar could keep her company. He was visible to her over the half gate.
Of course, Hrimmi was displeased, and in fact viewed her sequester as a very sad state of affairs. She let us know this by whinnying repeatedly. Vicki said that it would be best to leave her in the stall for a few days, by then she’ll be calmed down. This way, we’ll be assured that she won’t go over the fence again. Her rationale is that Hrimmi is not yet weaned. And she’s right. Signy and Hrimmi are quite close, in part because of herd dynamics. Signy is somewhat of a loner – her best friend is Hrimmi.

We had kept them separate, but not separated. Having one in a small pen and the other in the large pen has not eliminated all contact.

I’m no happier than Hrimmi about her current situation. This, on top of Peaches’ death, has me feeling a bit down. However, while I know that this is for the best, I feel like I’ve betrayed our darling little girl.

It could have been an easier transition. I ought to have clicker trained her, so that she loaded into the trailer more easily, and stepped over the sill in a more confident manner. I ought to have worked with her more on leading. All these things, they do affect a young horses’ psyche.

Today Pete and I are going to Vicki’s and will spend some time with Hrimmi, maybe walking her around the pasture. And between now and June we’ll take her back to Vicki’s so that she begins to see this place as a second home.

I can’t help but feeling bad. I am very attached to this little horse. It’s laughable, on the ride home from Part I of our trip, we speculated that we’d sell the horse that we then called Pretzel. We have never once called her Pretzel. And it’s never once crossed our mind to part with her. I don’t know if this is the up or the downside of having a large heart.

Next: 28. 1/28/12: Trip Plans, Continued