My Fell Pony mare Restar Mountain Shelley III was one of the three ponies that contributed to ‘My Week to Learn From.’ When she came home from a night in the hospital, she spent a few days in the ‘infirmary’ so I could closely monitor her various bodily functions. She is normally housed with my stallion Guards Apollo. They seem to be quite fond of each other, which is handy since Shelley doesn’t seem to like my other mares much. So Shelley and Apollo are paddocked together for much of the year.
Shelley was apart from Apollo for about five days, though they called to each other when Shelley was home from the hospital. On the morning that I decided Shelley could be released from the infirmary, I tied Apollo to the fence and led Shelley into the paddock. After I released her, I released Apollo.
When Apollo first saw Shelley in his territory again, he called a typical stallion greeting. Shelley swished her tail vigorously. I knew what it meant, but I wonder if Apollo paid attention?! Upon being let free, they greeted each other nose to nose, blowing and breathing for thirty seconds, with Shelley’s tail going constantly. Then Shelley drew herself to full height and started pushing Apollo back with her nose to his nose. I’d never seen this maneuver before, but it worked really well. When Apollo didn’t retreat fast enough for her liking, she turned her tail and gave a half-hearted kick. By this time Apollo recognized the routine and retreated as asked. They then headed for their piles of hay, a little more animated than usual, but pleased, I think, to be reunited.
(c) Jenifer Morrissey, 2011