Drifter is being to settle in a bit. Last night he ate almost all his hay and drank a lot of water, and there was enough manure in his stall. This was a big improvement over the prior night when he didn't touch his hay. He wasn't as agitated as he's been at feeding time either - less calling and he ate his breakfast - he's getting vitamin/mineral balancer pellets, some plain table salt, some precautionary U-Gard and as of last night some cocosoya oil. This morning when I took him out to his paddock he immediately started eating his hay instead of pacing around. I think he's beginning to settle in - our barn is very quiet and calm - and he's now completely off the rich hay that his prior owner was feeding him and on to our grass hay.
The nice thing is that, since I have Pie to ride on the trail whenever I want, I don't have to be in a hurry at all with Drifter. I can take things really slowly with him, which I think will be good for a horse who tends to worry. And speaking of Pie, we had a wonderful solo trail ride yesterday. We went a good ways, did a lot of trotting as well as walking and went on some trails that we've not been on since the late fall, and he was great. As we were leaving the barn, Drifter was screaming in his paddock (I think because he saw Pie leaving the barn) and Pie was calling back. Pie would have preferred to turn back but willingly went on when I asked him to and calmed right down. Pie also wanted to stay out longer - when we came to a crossroads he often indicated that he wanted to take the path that led away from the barn - sometimes I said yes and sometimes I didn't and he was happy either way.
We got to see a number of new things - two boys on the roof of a wooden treehouse that's next to the trail - Pie and I stopped to talk to them - the hoop house at the organic farm that's now back in action - think giant plastic tube - this was new and Pie snorted a bit at it but walked right on by. Pie also asked to go investigate some playground equipment - a rubber swing shaped like a horse, complete with mane and tail, and a teeter-tooter where the seat were plastic frogs - this little playground is right next to the trail and Pie walked up and nosed the equipment. We also got to go through a number of very large puddles - one was more than 30 feet long and probably knee deep - and Pie just slogged on through without hesitation. At one point he wanted to stop and paw and I asked him to move forwards - sometimes pawing leads to rolling (my old mare Snow would always lie down in water any time she got the chance) - and he moved right along.
At the end of our ride, we took a stroll down the road and just for fun I rode him next to a mailbox and opened it - he was startled. Then we rode back by and I closed it - he was startled again. Clearly he's never done this before. I dismounted and let him stand there while I opened and closed the mailbox - he wasn't too sure about it but we'll work on that some more. Sometime I'd like to take him in a trail class - I think he'd enjoy it. We haven't got the obstacles to practice with but maybe we could make some . . .
Good Pie! And Dawn's still in heat and the arena's still a swamp and likely to get swampier today . . .