Monday, June 17, 2013


Now that Gabe has been gone for a few weeks, my little herd is finding cohesion.  Not surprisingly, the one who has been the most affected by this change is Tessa.  Oddly enough though, she is the happiest about it.  She loves living with the donkeys.

Emma and Ramsey are a tight little unit and were not sure they really needed a horse in their midst.  They accept her, but remained somewhat aloof toward her at first.  That is my fault I think.  I worked so hard at keeping the horses and donkeys separate in order to protect Ramsey from Gabe that Emma no longer feels attached to Tessa and Ramsey has never learned to live with horses.  That is changing a little bit every day though.

Tessa and Gabe certainly looked like they were meant to be together and they did get along well.  However, Their personalities did not always mesh.  Gabe is the big, strapping football player who wants to hang with the guys, have wrestling matches, drink beer, watch sports, take in a game, he's a real guy's guy.  Tessa....Tessa really wants to be a donkey.

I am not picking on Gabe, you'd be hard pressed to find a sweeter, nicer horse.  Tessa is the odd-ball here, mostly because she never truly learned how to be a horse.  She was born in a fancy show barn and she and her mother were never turned out with other horses.  She was weaned young and sent off to another fancy show barn where she, once again, did not get to be out with any other horses.  Then, as a two year old, when her owner fell on hard times and passed her on, she was thrown out into an established herd of 10-12 adult horses and she had a rough time with them.  Before she ever really got that figured out, she was sold to me and had another tough introduction to the herd I had at the time, (for that story, click here).  She was just managing to feel comfortable when Sprinkle (the mare who was here) came unglued and attacked her, injuring her very badly and injuring her confidence even more.

The bottom line is, Tessa just doesn't know how to live with a horse herd.  And, while she desperately wants to be part of the herd, she is afraid to be out with other horses.  I probably would have kept Tessa with the donkeys if not for the fact that that it would have made Gabe crazy to get in with them and early on, I was worried that Tessa might try to steal Ramsey.  She wanted him for her own (and who could blame her:)).

The happiest, most relaxed time in Tessa's life to date is the year she spent living with just Emma.  Now that she is once again a lone horse living with donkeys, she is incredibly happy and relaxed.  I might just have to get her some ear extensions.


  1. What a nice outcome for everybody. Love the last pictures with the three bunched together like puppies.

  2. I love this story!!! And look, Tessa is hugging and eating at the same time.
    I'm all for the ear extensions, although I think Tessa can be a donkey without them.

  3. Jenny in MN, now in AZJune 18, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Thank you for this story today. It is just what I needed. A smile for my heart.
    I love these pictures!

  4. Imagining Tessa with ear extensions... :D
    Another fabulous post - herd dynamics is my favorite topic. It seems that everybody affected by Gabe leaving benefitted from the change, including even Gabe the beer drinking guys' guy. :) Win-win-win-win-win.
    Your photos are out of this world - but then, you already knew how I love your pictures...

  5. This is turning out to be an amazing story! I'm so happy for all of them - Tessa with her herd happiness, Ramsey because he now has a horse friend, and Emma because she can stop worrying about Ramsey! And I'm giggling at Gabe, over at the horse home, sitting back in a recliner with a beer and telling the other horses about the silly little donkey he had to put up with!

    Nancy in Iowa

  6. Lovely pictures and so great to hear that your little herd are so happy together! Sounds like they have all got their happily ever after :)

  7. Ahhh ... everybody happy! Just love the photos! Need to hug that Ramsey!

  8. lmao.... ear extensions!!!

  9. What a great story....Looking at the pictures I was looking for the like button. lol

  10. Awwww, sweet Tessa. Harmony amongst one's equines is so important. I'm glad they have it now.