The past several days have been a no-go for riding - very high winds which I don't enjoy - and now we've got rain with the wind.
We're almost out full day on grass - some of the other owners have already done this, but I've decided to go a bit more slowly. Dawn is at least somewhat insulin resistant, and Pie and Drifter's status is unknown. I prefer to be cautious, so my three had to spend some time in their stalls this morning while the others were out. I did turn Pie and Drifter out together early in the morning - Drifter needed to move after being in the stall last night although he was somewhat more calm this morning than he's been. Then I came back an hour later with the intent to bring them back in for a couple of hours. All the others had been turned out by then - it was an owner turn out day.
Leaving the pasture to come into the barn, which involves leaving the herd, can be hard, particularly for a new horse. But it's an essential skill for the horses - we're on all-day turnout and they need to be able to come in for things like vet visits and also if you want to ride before bring-in time. Both Pie (although he sometimes momentarily balks in protest for a step or two) and Dawn lead in well, although I have to be careful when leading Dawn in because the other mares tend to gallop up behind her. Sometimes, due to the configuration of out pastures, you're talking a walk back to the barn of up to 300 yards or more.
But I've never asked Drifter to come in from the pasture before except at normal bring-in time when all the other horses are also coming in and near the gate. I wasn't sure how it would go - I was pretty sure I'd be able to get him in even if he protested but I was hoping for better than that. All the geldings were far from the barn and he was grazing with them. I went out and haltered him and asked him to come. I got one or two brief balks - I just took a step to one side and kept going and he followed me. After that he came with me very nicely all the way to the barn. He did call (scream would be a better word) once or twice and look over his shoulder, but he never crowded me or tried to turn around and go back to the others. I was very proud of him - even though he was a bit worried he was able to do what I asked, and do it well. When I led him back to the pasture gate when it was time for him to go back out, he led very well and stood for me to take his halter off, then walked away before trotting off to join the other geldings.
Every time he's able to successfully do something like this together with me, it reinforces our working relationship. Good Drifter!