Feather arrived this afternoon and the initial introduction went perfectly. Feather more or less ignored Prince, who behaved just like a foal should. He went up to Feather and chattered his teeth together. That’s horse talk for: “I’m a baby, please don’t hurt me. I’m small and helpless.” It’s how young and submissive horses demonstrate their position to anyone in the herd besides their mother. There really wasn’t much obvious interaction besides this, but there is a noticeable difference in Prince’s behavior whenever I leave his stall. Before he would get upset and pace the fence, calling. Now he’s much quieter and obviously feeling more safe and content without me there. Yay for Uncle Feather!
You may notice in the pictures that we are wearing our very fashionable quarantine clothes. Prince is in quarantine, but not because of the possibility of a disease he might have, but actually for his protection. Little foals are extremely susceptible to contagious diseases and orphaned foals are even more so. So we want to be sure that we aren’t bringing any bugs to him from any of the other horses in our herd. So what about Feather? He could obviously bring something with him, right? That is a possibility, but since he is Ann’s horse we know who and what he has had exposure to, and that he has been very healthy the past several years. It is risky for Prince, but the benefits of Uncle Feather’s companionship far outweigh the risks, so we made the informed choice to put them together.