Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ruling With An Iron Hoof

Just like people, some horses enjoy being leaders and others simply want to be part of the pack. Of course we have a wide variety of personalities on the farm, but one retiree in particular stood out as determined to be in charge. The fact that he is a stallion no doubt had much to do with his strong personality. He was named Mister and I thought it was perfect as you could just hear him saying "that's Mister to you."

Mister always had a cocky look about him
Every now and then his forelock just had to be chopped off - it would get really out of control!
A palomino mini, does it get any cuter than this?
Barely taller than the grass in the spring of 2007
Mister is a miniature horse and is all of thirty one inches tall. Is he the cutest thing you have ever seen or what? Every day as I was caring for Mister and enjoying having him on the farm I would think to myself "I can't believe I am getting paid for this!!!"

Almost immediately upon arrival Mister became very obsessed with Ogie. I have mentioned Ogie before in this post. Ogie is one of those horses that is always liked by other horses. He is a very gentle, reassuring presence and does not have a demanding personality. I think Ogie could be turned out with any horse, be it a mare, stallion, or gelding, and they would think Ogie was great. Ogie is a retired eventer in his late 20's who had fallen on some hard times. Thankfully a wonderful woman stepped in to care for him. She does a lot of wonderful rescue work and founded the The Bucket Foundation which is involved in both small and large animal rescue. If you are looking for a good rescue to support, I can personally attest to the wonderful work done by The Bucket Foundation.

Ogie posing for the camera

Mister quickly decided that he was in charge of Ogie and took control of his life immediately. Ogie could not go anywhere or do anything without Mister's approval. One time I saw Ogie make the mistake of trying to hang out with a couple of horses that were not in Mister's crowd. Mister marched over to Ogie, who had his head down sniffing noses, reared up, grabbed Ogie's lip, and lead him back over to a place in the pasture he approved of! If only I'd had my camera with me at the time!

Ogie and Mister in April 2007

Mister standing watch while Ogie naps
When Ogie needed to come into the barn for the farrier, to be groomed, or for any reason Mister had to come as well. I made this mistake once (and only once) of bringing Ogie into the barn without Mister. I heard a terrible racket outside and rushed out to see Mister trying to find a way through the gate so he could get to Ogie in the barn. I opened the gate and Mister marched himself into the barn minus halter or leadrope and calmly stood beside Ogie. And from then on whenever I needed to take Ogie anywhere Mister came too and I never bothered putting his halter on to lead him. There was no question that he was going with Ogie, whether you wanted him to or not.

Mister and Ogie grazing nose to nose
Mister waiting patiently while Ogie is worked on by our farrier
What, Ogie and Mister grazing together
Mister enjoyed retirement with us for a year and a half. His loving owner ended up purchasing a small acreage perfect for a mini and a companion so he lives with her now. Who can blame her for wanting to look out her window and see Mister? He moved in December and I still miss him every single day. We all say that life on the farm just isn't the same without Mister. On the other hand I am not sure that Ogie misses Mister. I would think he is thrilled to be out from under the iron hoof and to be able to exercise some independent thought again!


Redsmom said...

Just too cute! I have one of those pairs where my younger gelding (18) bosses my older gelding (22) ALL the time and can't even go out of sight of him without having a metldown. If I want to ride them separately I have to trailer one of them off the property! Oh, and loading one at a time is really fun. The only way it can be accomplished is to distract the younger one with food, which he loves a little bit more than he loves the elder.

The Intrepid Instructor said...

Hahaha, adorable!

Holly Ratcliff said...

I was wondering how Mister was doing, and then was thrilled to see all these great pictures. But, as I started to read through, you kept saying "was" and using the past-tense ...and I got really teary and upset!!! Imagine how happy I was to see at the last that he has not passed away (as I'd feared), but has just moved home with his owner! That's wonderful, and he sure is such a cutie. I know you miss him, but all those great pictures and knowing how happy and healthy he is must give you reason to smile every day. You should write a book about him and Ogie!!!

Amy Bennett said...

I miss him alot! He was a little guy, but had such a HUGE personality! My Mini Cooper is the same way! He has such a Napoleon Complex!