Red was out with the herd for almost 45 minutes today. I gave him some ace again and led him up to the top of the hill and let him gallop off. I walked back to the barn, and a few minutes later I heard him calling and he galloped back around the corner and down the hill - not too fast, thankfully - and up to the gate. The far back grass pasture where the herd was is very hilly, and I think the horses were way back over the hill - when Red got out there he didn't see any horses and thought he was out there by himself!
I led him back out towards the back pasture - this is probably 500 yards or so from the barn. When we got out there, the other horses were visible on this side of the big hill in the back pasture. I let Red go again, and off he went.
About 15 minutes later, he showed up again in the front pasture, this time up on the hill next to the mare pasture where he could see the barn. I think he might have been wanting to keep Pie in sight. Within a few minutes the entire herd of 10 or 12 horses joined him - leaving the grass pasture to do so.
And the odd thing was, all the horses were clustered around Red like he was some sort of celebrity. As they were all picking at the bits of grass that are all there is in the front pasture, every horse tried to be as close to Red as he could. And Red spent some time grooming with his big friend again.
When I brought him back into the paddock, he seemed very contented. Several of his herd mates galloped up to join us as we went in.
This afternoon, the vet came and cleaned Pie's sheath. He's been uncomfortable when he pees - he was kicking at his belly and looking at his sides. Although he'd only been cleaned 3 months before, he was very dirty and had several large beans. He's usually not very happy about getting cleaned and often tries to kick the vet, even with sedation, but this time he was very cooperative - it must have hurt and I think he knew the vet was helping. I guess I have to keep him on a 3 month cleaning schedule - it would be nice if he let me do the cleaning but no way so far.