Well, there have been some developments at the barn which I have not talked about before, but need to address now, so everyone knows where we are at. For quite some time there have been some issues between the humans at the barn, mainly involving Metku's owner and the barn owner. I'm not going to get into too much detail, but basically the way Metku's owner wanted to keep, feed and exercise her horse did not exactly match the way everyone else was doing it. She also had some demands concerning different areas of horse care that the barn owner could not fulfill as well as no respect whatsoever to the rules of the barn.
I talked to Little Love about this already weeks ago, because I was starting to foresee the outcome of the situation well before it actually materialized. If you remember my post about the truck coming and Little Love thinking it was there to pick up one of the horses... well, she didn't just make that up. I had just a few days before talked to her about the situation concerning Metku. She really did think the truck was there for her friend. After that incident, I continued to prepare Lilo to what was to come. Even though I couldn't know for sure what that was, I tried my best to keep her posted. All I could do is hope that she understood what I was saying.
Now I'm happy I talked about all of it with her because this way it didn't come as a complete surprise when Metku's owner took her horse away this past weekend. I do wish I would have known about it beforehand, but I didn't, nor did anyone else. One day the horse was there (at this point kept in her stall 24/7 by the wish of her owner who was worried about the muddy paddock) and the next she wasn't. When I heard about her departure, I went to the barn to talk with Little Love, because I knew she would be upset. Metku was her paddock buddy and they were friends.
During the last two weeks Metku was at our barn, I actually worked with her a bit, taking her on some walks either alone or with Lilo and Melissa. I offered this to the owner not because I wanted to help her, but because I felt the need to help Metku. Her owner was injured a while back and stopped riding her horse. But at the same time she stopped doing much else as well and Metku was left "hanging". Lilo was very understanding of the situation and I think even wished for me to interact with the ever-so-social Metku, who at this point was having very little human contact (but doing her best to get any, if the opportunity rose). There were times when I went into the paddock (when Metku was still going outside) and Little Love wouldn't let me catch her (completely unheard of!). Metku, on the other hand, would crowd me, doing her "take me, take me!" routine. Little Love would merely watch me put the halter on Metku, but when I brought Metku back to the paddock, she would finally walk to the gate and let me halter her. She has a big heart and these past weeks have reminded me of that fact over and over again.
When I got to the barn after Metku's departure, I was worried Little Love would be really sad. Instead I felt like she was relieved. Or perhaps it was the relief of all the humans I was feeling? The tension at the barn had escalated in the past weeks and I'm sure the horses were affected by it as much as us humans. Now that the energy is back to the familiar peaceful zen, Little Love is definitely more relaxed. She has been going out with Kira since Manta has been a bit unwell and had to be out in a small paddock on her own. Kira and Lilo seem to have an "understanding", meaning they hang out but never crowd each other too much. Hopefully Manta will fit right in again once the time comes.
But this incident yet again shows how horses are truly at the mercy of us humans. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to guarrantee some sort of "social stability" for your horse is to own your own property and all the horses on it. Sigh.