while these photos are extremely different, I love everyone's expressions. They are content and that brings me joy.
Thunder is happy because she has a stall. We now have a system of swinging and removable panels that allows to go from two large stalls to four box stalls. Right now we have it configured with two always open box stalls and one giant stall. This is Thunder's spot. Pan has chosen the other box stall and Thor and super share the big stall. But Thunder spends part of her time with Pan in his stall.
Pan has reached the two month mark since being gelded but he and Thunder are still a couple of sorts. I personally never been through gelding before, but the internet said it was no big deal. For me it was a big deal. The vet did the surgery with Pan standing and sedated. He was quite happy- our vet, not Pan- because a lot of horses don't stand well even after sedation. We've desensitized all of our horses nether regions along the way for times like this.
Prior to gelding Pan, we had dived our paddock into two sections. This was about March. Pan fought with Thor for head horse and won, and being that he was a stallion, went after Thor and Super. Our Superman was used to being chased off, so took no offense. But Thor had a life crisis. When his mind is clear and stress free his ability to work all four legs at the same time can leave a bit to be desired. When his frightened mind and hooves go different directions. It was often cartoonish as Pan said go away now and Thor stood in place looking around frantically, speaking without words "What can I do? What can I do?" By the time "Run!" was processed Pan had clamped down on him, not with the nips of horses teaching, but the flesh tearing bite of a stallion. Thankfully, Pan didn't actually know how to inflict really wounds nor the desire to really harm Thor. He just wanted him away from his mare... further than our pasture allowed away. So up went the electric tap.
And because Pan was a good stallion it didn't take much. Thor was not such a good gelding. He pined after Thunder much as a stallion would, even calling to her. This made me think he might be proud cut (one testicle remains inside the horse.) After much speculation, Liz pulled up his medical records. He was not not proud cut... anymore. When he was gelding one testicle remained, and then, perhaps to see if it would make him faster, it was removed in a very costly surgery. We thanked our lucky stars that it wasn't left for us to do. But, it also explained Thor's behavior. Well, the calling part. The trembling in fear at when Pan looked his way was all Thor. He was beside himself with what to do.
Eventually things settled. Then the hurricane blew through and took out our sad divider. It's important to note that Korea does not have electric fence poles so we use aluminum garden poles. Unfortunately, the wind was strong enough to sheer several poles off and we had four horses running together. By this time, Thor and Pan were on seeing terms. That is Thor could see him and not tremble with fear and Pan could seem him with out wanting to run off to China. In the meantime, Thunder DID NOT GET PREGNANT. Pan was a lovely stallion in that he was soooo easy to handle. He was a terrible stallion in ever other respect. Even with help, he could not seal deal. And then the poles got knocked down and Thunder got a puncture wound which sealed Pan's fate.
We'd been on the fence about snip, snip but, while Pan didn't knock the fence down, the ensuing chaos of two geldings, a stallion and a mare together knocked us to the other side of the fence. For our situation and set up it was the best choice. There is of course always a chance that a stallion will retain his stallion behaviors after gelding and we are still managing those a bit. But for the most part Pan is a lovely gelding. Thunder had already stopped coming into heat strongly around him before the surgery and continues to be a low key mare. I suppose to a great extent her life has improved. She has all the benefits of being the girl friend of the only "stallion." She is learning that she can tell the boys off and run behind Pan and they can't do anything about it. She's getting more brazen all the time. On the other hoof, she doesn't have him biting her incessantly and then not performing the one thing all the biting is supposed to lead too.
Which is perhaps why she is so content these days. She has her space, she has a buddy who does not say," Oh, it's you go away." She can grump at him all day long and he's happy to have a mare. And perhaps they are just best buddies. Thor on the other hands says, "All I have is Super." Everybody says that. He has the "I'm not a quitter unless you put a saddle on my back and then I quit. No really, I quit .. I mean about riding. Not that grass you keep telling me I'm not aloud to eat right now." motto. Thus if there is grain to steal or hay to steal or butt scratches to get, he usually gets his way. He is the Steve Urkel of horses. And he used to, but no loner, chase Thunder around the paddock for entertainment.
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two house cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and three barn cats .
Bear (Gom in Korean) )
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018