Murphy Monday: Murphy’s Meet and Greet

It’s almost weaning time.

Murphy has a meet and greet with Uncle Melody.  If they like each other, Murphy might move in. There is no tension, just curiosity. Then…grooming…? Really? Strike that. Why am I surprised? Melody is calm, stable, gentle, and sharing on the ground. (In the air is another matter: he is his own flyer. Co-pilots must listen to HIM.) Murphy is still incredibly easy going.

Barbie’s opinion: Upset Premium Mare Over Here…Hellloooooo:

Murphy was about 30 feet away.

But he was touching noses with another horse! What if it’s not Melody? What if it’s a stranger that looks, sounds and smells like Melody? Did you think of that? HUH?!?

Barbie is highly intolerant of roommates. She’s a very independent mare. (Read: Everything In Sight Belongs To Me. Touch It And You Die.)

Murphy is her first bonded pasture mate. His weaning will be a double whammy for her: losing baby, losing a pasture mate she’s hooked up with.

Daisy has been highly conscious of this, and doing a thorough think-through of what might be the best way to wean him, given both their natures, circumstances, resources, proximity, etc. She’s run it by her vet, trainer, very experienced friends.  She’s such a good horse mom.

To begin the weaning process, Daisy has been regularly walking Murphy out of his mom’s sight (He’s fine, she melts down) and returning him.  Stretching the time longer and longer. They’re both dealing with it normally, and relaxing into further distances and longer times. When she takes Barbie out and walks her out of sight – leaving Murphy alone in the pasture – Barbie walks away without a second glance, or an ounce of concern: he’s home, he’s safe.

Moving in with Uncle Melody might be a perfect first step. Barbie will be able to see and hear Murphy, she knows Melody, and he would be a good babysitter.

It would give her time to adjust emotionally, without dropping a couple hundred pounds. Barbie has the kind of metabolism that enrages supermodels: she eats like a draft horse, and barely keeps her weight up.  (You would not believe how much extra Daisy feeds her, on top of the all-day food the barn supplies.)

Murphy hit another growth spurt.  I think he grew 6″ this week.  For physical reference:

Daisy is 5’9″ tall, and Melody is plain huge.

Murphy is also less into rump cuddling and back draping. Sniffle, sniffle.

Saturday was so beautiful. We plopped down on top of the leftover all-day-hay, and watched Murphy Vision. Who knew watching horses chew could be so relaxing? (Oh that’s right. We all did.)

I think we need to install hammocks in the paddock.  Murphy Vision all day, a book, a cooler full of beverages, a few Zzzzz’s.

Perfect. Day.

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11 thoughts on “Murphy Monday: Murphy’s Meet and Greet

  1. Pam

    We did *fence line* weaning with Pnut… She was in one paddock with her Uncle Tucker, Cindy and her friend StarBright were in the rest of the pasture and could come to the fence at any time. Pnut slept in her own stall next to Mom’s. Cindy was quite relieved to not have Pnut chewing on her teats any more. After a month or two of this we put everyone back together. Cindy’s milk was gone and everyone was happy. I highly recommend this method. Oh wait… Barbie doesn’t share… hmmm… never mind!

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      You know I’d do it. But you also know how I’ll wean. I’ll move in with Barbie. She and I can roast marshmallows while I tell her how lucky she is to be missing out on teen angst. Or I’ll spend half the night with Barbie, and half the night with Murphy? Haven’t decided. FYI, ordered the hammock.

      Reply
  2. Sue

    🙂 If by “grooming” you mean Murph was opening and closing his mouth, that is horse-speak for “I’m a little horse with no teeth and I’m not looking for a fight.” Melody looks like a great foster parent. 🙂

    Reply
  3. AareneX

    If she doesn’t freak about leaving him behind, how about leaving Murphy in place (put Uncle M in with him) and haul Barbie to the far side of the farm for an hour each day for a week? Far enough that they can’t hear each other hollering, near enough that you can move them around without a bus pass…is that possible?

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      This is such a good idea that Daisy is already planning on doing as close to this as possible (barn geography and space availability issues.) 🙂
      Weaning. We hate it.
      On the other hand, don’t wean some time during the first year and you are going to have big problems on your hands! (I’m thinking of something specific, but I think I’ll share how I got Roz – of Roz and Mr. Chips – in a post.)

      Reply
  4. Marissa

    It seems like no matter how you do it, weaning is always a little traumatic for mom for a few days. My horse’s mom almost tore the barn down the first night, and all I could do was lay awake listening to her scream for him. SO upsetting. I hope Barbie adjusts okay. Poor girl.

    Reply
  5. Marge Coates

    Wow, that last idea sounds great! And finding a place to hang a hammock would be so easy. Eye bolts, and you’re set! (I only got 4 hours sleep last night, so my priorities may be skewed.)

    Reply

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