What happened when I put Honey, Bae, and Mairsiedotes together? The pecking order established itself.
I put the horses together because, as herd animals do, they wanted to be together. I could tell because when they weren’t eating, they were hanging out at the fence together, ignoring the shade they could be enjoying in the hot 90-100 degree sunshine. I opened the gate between the two holding areas; they came together and wandered into the shade without any incident, until I filled up their empty water buckets.
Honey chased the other two off. I wasn’t surprised at that, she has been the lead mare with Bae since I’ve had them. Once she was done drinking, however, Bae and Mairsiedotes approached the water and both tried to drink at the same time. Then Mairsiedotes nipped at big Bae and Bae gave way, allowing Mairsiedotes to drink first.
Horses have definite personalities and Bae’s gentle, friendly nature showed through at the watering trough. She would not challenge or fight, she backed off and let the little girl drink first.
Last night I took my dog, Bear, out for her evening walk after dark, in the back yard by the pasture. I saw in the darkness Mairsiedotes curled up on the ground, sleeping, with Honey and Bae hovering over her, watching her, and sleeping too. They didn’t let the earlier bossiness affect their desire to be together or take care of each other.