We had some wind-driven rain last night and this morning it is cold - mid 30sF - and very windy with gusts up to 30mph. We're supposed to get some light snow showers on and off, and then the temperature's supposed to drop in the afternoon. Not much of a riding day - even Pie, who is pretty laid-back, did one canter around the pasture before settling down to the round bale.
Misty, on the other hand, was more excited this morning. I don't write much about Misty - she's been at our barn for a number of years, but her owner only works with her on very rare occasions and no longer rides her, although I believe her owner does come late at night to the barn some times to groom her. Misty is a pretty girl - a lovely buckskin with dapples and some frosting on her rump during the summer.
Misty is Impressive-bred (I believe she's HYPP N/H, which means she has one copy of the HYPP gene), and has the heavily muscled body type that many Impressive-breds have. She had two foals when she was younger. Misty can be very excitable - she prances, dances and runs at the slightest provocation, although she rarely runs for long - she's not in shape and is in her mid-teens with some arthritis and can't keep up with the other mares. (In the header picture that's up right now, that's Dawn in the lead with Maisie, who was pretty fast although not as fast as Dawn, next to her and Sugar trying hard to keep up - Misty's completely out of the cropped picture as she got left behind.) She seems to be a worrier and to have a nervous temperament, and apparently could be somewhat spooky on the trail when her owner used to ride her.
Sometimes when I go to halter her in the morning, she's pacing in her stall and flapping her lip from nervousness (she gets no grain - just mineral/vitamin pellets and grass hay). And she's extremely herd-bound - she's one of those horses you can't leave alone in the pasture as she'll scream and run the fence line at a full gallop to the point of exhaustion, which isn't a good idea anyway due to her HYPP status (although she's never had an HYPP problem that we know of). And she's obsessed with Dawn - absolutely obsessed. If Dawn's not in the barn, Misty screams for her. If Dawn goes to turnout first, Misty screams for her and is frantic to get out there and get to her. Dawn, on the other hand, could care less for Misty - Dawn pretty much ignores her except when she's chasing her. Dawn cares about the herd - Dawn is our alpha - and the horses in the herd as a totality - are they accounted for and behaving themselves - but not really about any one horse, and Dawn really doesn't mind leaving the herd. This in my experience is pretty typical of alphas.
Long preamble to this morning. Dawn went out first this morning. Then I led out Sugar and Misty as a pair - all the horses were pretty up this morning with the cold and wind. Misty was prancing at the end of the lead as I fed Sugar into the pasture and turned her to face me over the fence while keeping Misty in the aisle - Sugar headed off at a gallop as soon as her halter came off. Misty was beside herself, snorting and dancing. I got her into the pasture without getting mowed down - I'm big on not getting mowed down and the horses know it - and turned her to face the gate - I always do this for safety as I remove halters. I slipped off Misty's halter and she spun and bolted towards Dawn. She didn't get far - she slipped in the slick area near the gate as she spun and her hind feet and then her front feet went out from under her and she flopped down hard on her side. She immediately scrambled up and bolted off using all legs normally, so I figured she was OK, but I went out to the round bale and checked her out for scrapes or leg problems, but all seemed well. I did sent an e-mail to her owner and the p.m. and other a.m. barn workers in case she comes up sore. Silly mare! - I hope she's OK.