Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Survivor - Horse Edition

The weather has continued to be beautiful, high 60's and low 70's with bright sunshine. Lovely weather for running a farm. Some rain is supposed to be moving in over the next couple of days. For all the complaining I've done about precipitation the last couple of months I actually want it to rain right now. The grass is starting to green up and some warm rain will really help that process along.

As I go about my day on the farm I always have random things wandering through my head. Today I was thinking about a conversation, that Gwen the farrier, Amy and I had a couple of weeks ago. We were having a fun conversation about which of the horses here would survive in the wild if we dropped them off in the desert out west.

Some of the horses I am quite confident would never have a chance. They would take a moment to assess their surroundings, realize there was no human coming with their feed, no blanket would be put on in inclement weather, and generally none of their needs would be attended to for them, and they would just choose to lay down right there and hope the predator came sooner rather than later to end their predicament. My horse Lexi comes to mind. She would freak out, lose any and all ability to make a rational decision or follow her instincts, and start screaming for the wild cat to come get her and end this madness right now. She wouldn't even follow along with the herd, she would be too busy having a meltdown to realize they had left. "What, I have to travel 20 miles to get to the water?? Oh. My. God. I want to die RIGHT NOW" would be her thought process. I think B-Rad, Baby, Buffy, Leo, Traveller, Cuffie and Trigger would be right there with her!

On the other hand I could see my horse Bonnie completely taking charge of the situation. She would be like a drill sargent organizing the other horses and leading them to a certain location (she would literally have specific longitude and latitude coordinates in her head) where she just knew the water would be, and then another precise track to follow for grazing. Clay, Chili, Sebastian, Ogie, Harmony, Lily and Homer are others that I have no doubt would make a plan and then execute the plan and enjoy the freedom of the wide open spaces.

The rest of the horses would neither be the leaders but nor would they refuse to even try without a human to attend to all of their needs. They would simply be good herd members, not making any decisions and going with the flow.

How would your horse handle it?

Leo and Homer hanging out and enjoying the sunshine. I put Leo in the no chance category, but maybe he would snap out of his meltdown long enough to just follow Homer.

Elfin hanging out; Elfin would be a good herd member and think it was all a big party

Apollo and Ivan; Apollo would be very confused by the whole situation but would just follow Ivan and it would all work out in the end.

Jason and Ivan hanging out

Chance, another good herd member

Teddy and Clay; Clay would take charge of the situation and keep everyone moving in the right direction and Teddy would happily follow along

Lightening, Lucky and Snappy, more good herd members

Buffy, Harmony and MyLight; I put Buffy in the no chance category, she wants to be pampered and does not want to have to work at survival. Harmony would be a herd leader and I think MyLight might also just get down to business.

A typical scene

B-Rad and Alex sharing a drink at the water trough. I put B-Rad in the no chance category, I think he would have a meltdown when he realized no one was coming with food, a bucket of water and his blanket. Alex would be a good herd member.


Lauren said...

I think all four of mine would do okay. Shasta and Paisley may actually be at a reasonable weight if forced to travel for food and water.

Ari turns feral if he's not handled every other day or so, so I don't think he would have a problem. In fact, I think he and Brandy would be right behind Bonnie in line with coordinates and maps. Wouldn't surprise me if Brandy figured out how to use a GPS!

Anonymous said...

Dawn could have been a mustang (although she's a TB) - she's tough, strong and a leader. But she gets sick easily and doesn't get a decent haircoat in winter, so she might freeze. Noble would freak out - he loves his stall and being cared for - and besides he's almost 30! Maisie is a creampuff - very prissy and fussy - she'd probably follow Dawn but wouldn't make it on her own.

phaedra96 said...

I know Spin and Willow would fare well. They are both in the "eh, whatever" category and would wander off looking for fooood!! Lacey would throw a temper tantrum(she does--soooo good at it, too) and tell Willow(boss mare, thank you for remembering that) she is going the wrong direction, sigh and follow. Smoke would have a huuuuge panic attack and stick his nose up Willow's butt to make sure he would not be left on his own.

ZionFarm said...

Im pretty sure one of my geldings could survive without food for awhile! :) He is so plump and does not require alot to stay that way. Now my Friesian girl would be mortified that she had to do things herself. lol.

I have not taken Hoffy out on a "real" trail ride, I think I would have been a bit worried about him after the one we went on Saturday! We did 12 miles and had to do lots if cantering. I have no doubt that he would be a GREAT mount for that though. Im going to be SO sad to send him back to you, but am glad at the same time. :) He is an amazing horse.

RuckusButt said...

I don't think my current lease would make it a week. He had a meltdown when he moved barns and went from being brought in at 4pm to 8 or 9pm! Granted, he did adapt but I think that's almost at his limit for "neglect" lol.

SmartAlex said...

I think William Pendleton Grey would MacGuyver himself some sort of electronic communication device and Google a helicopter service to come pick him up.

Ace, the yearling, would stand and scream for help and if it came, be pissed of for a week that "Help" did not bring lunch with them.

Jen said...

This post totally cracked me up! As for my horses, I think Mosco my TB would make an attempt at leadership (he's a bossy dude), but have no clue what on earth to do, so he would just beat everyone up & then look for food. The problem being that even for a horse he's incredibly accident prone & LOVES people, so he'd either be miserable or die in short order. Barret the Paint wouldn't care. He would just adapt and he's an easy keeper, so he'd probably be just fine with whatever food he found!