In case you have been missing K's posts, she has been quite busy with trying to get herself and her family settled into their new house here in Finland. She's had very little time to get to Little Love, not to mention trying to write about it. But she will be back soon! :-)
Today Little Love and I didn't do much except graze and take a couple of short training walks (who is training whom? :-) ), but I got to witness some interesting developments in the herd - or at least between Lilo and Kira, the herd leader (up to now, anyway). While Little Love and I were hanging out around the barn, both Metku's and Manta's owners showed up and set to tacking up their horses to go out for a walk. Since Little Love and I had been out for a while already, I said that I could put her back in with Kira, so that Kira wouldn't have to be alone outside. (She had already been calling out to all the horses a bit frantically, wondering where all her herd members were without her.)
As K has mentioned, Little Love has been slowly working her way up in the herd pecking order - or at least not letting Manta try to push her around anymore. Today, I felt that she was reluctant to go into the pasture when she realized she would be alone there with Kira. I had a bit more time to spend at the barn, so I ran inside to grab our notebook and came back to hang out with the two horses. From the start of their time alone together, I noticed that something was happening. In fact, at the beginning I felt that Little Love enjoyed the fact that I had joined them and was trying to keep Kira away from me. They spent some time alternating between nuzzling each other's faces and doing some mare squealing. I even saw some hoofs fly in the air a couple of times, but interestingly, it seemed to be Kira who ended up moving away. Hmm...was Little Love taking advantage of this opportunity alone with Kira to move herself up even further in the the herd?
I started writing in the notebook and didn't pay much attention for a bit. I did see that the horses kept separating, standing apart for a while, and then coming back together. After a while, I looked up from my writing to see Little Love "herding" Kira around the pen, moving her left, right, and then in circles. At one point, Kira almost looked like a cutting horse so quickly was she spinning away from Little Love's shoulder - or was Little Love practicing some of that natural horsemanship stuff on Kira? :-) But the most interesting part of this was that Kira seemed to accept it pretty well. In fact, I got the feeling that she and Little Love were really enjoying each other's company while the others were gone.
I wish I had gotten some of this activity on film, but as I was leaving I did manage to snap a few pictures of them settling down together for a bit of nuzzling (and still a little squealing - they are mares, after all). Oh, and by the way, Little Love seems to be coming into heat, which is a good indicator that she is starting to feel at home here!