6/28/2010 - Day 11
I'm thinking now Claymore had a stronger influence in the herd than I ever realized, he was just the velvet glove type because it certainly never showed before. *lol*
It seems clear Monty is intent on "taking over" the herd - he's not just looking for status, he wants to be top dog, and that's why he keeps going for Claymore. While things are getting better out there, Claymore's defenses are much more obvious now. He keeps the group fairly close together, circles them and "stands guard", and generally in a separate pasture from Monty, or at least on the opposite end of the same pasture. (I have three large pastures that all are connected via gates - this time of year I just keep them all three opened up). I can separate Monty out on his own if I need to, but I'd rather they find a way to work things out. A couple times a day Monty makes the charge at Claymore, complete with rearing, squealing, and some serious acrobatics that would make a Lipizzan jealous. Gosh that pony is beautiful in motion. Claymore runs out to meet him, gives him a chomp and chases him away again. I might have the vet do a blood draw on Monty when he comes out to geld Finn - Monty is sooo very studdy, I'm curious about how complete his gelding might have been. I turned Misty back out now that she was past her heat and Claymore sucked her right back into the group, but still keeps Monty at bay.
However, as of yesterday, there is also another newcomer to the pasture, a fellow member on the boards here, Amarea, brought her QH gelding Stiffler out to live here. Shaking things up a bit more! However, he is submissive and non threatening, and my horses don't seem particularly bothered by him. I think if Monty wasn't already in the picture, having Claymore on high alert, then Stiffler would have been readily accepted into the group without a second thought. Claymore is not aggressively defending against Stiffler like he does with Monty, but he is however keeping him run off from the group as well.
On the plus side though, Monty and Stiffler seem to have bonded already. Maybe because Stiffler is submissive, and Monty feels like he's "in charge" of someone now, Monty will cool his jets.