Be Free

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rely and Remedy: how to read mule

Rely and Remedy

One week after Remy's arrival, Rely and Remedy (Remy) were turned out together for the first time. I watched closely to see what would happen. Rely was uncharacteristically cautious as he followed this new creature around in his domain. I'd say Rely was extremely anxious to make the right first impression. This is interesting since usually Rely approaches other horses with bluster and bravado. He puffs himself up and utters bellows that suggest he is a power to be reckoned with. But, with Remy he said almost nothing for almost two hours. He followed the new kid at a discreet distance. When Remy would stop to graze, Rely would stop nearby and put his head down to eat, but he would sidle closer carefully monitoring Remy's reaction. He pretended ignore Remy, but in reality he was fascinated with reading every nuance of Remy's tail swishes, long ear positions, and other relevant body language. No contact happened between them for a long time. Here are some images that show the first hour in sequence. I'm wondering if the longer ears give greater emphasis to whatever ear gestures mean. Remy snorted a lot, too. He sounded a bit disgusted.

The black and white image is a little odd, I know, but it seemed to me to sort of show how much of a presence Rely's behavior suggested Remy manifested. Sort of like he wasn't all there! Trying to imagine what Rely was thinking, I'm wondering if he wasn't realizing that this little creature will be his only option for a companion for a while and he better make the most of it!