I've noticed that over the past couple days the mares have not been using the larger pasture, and have been in the front far corner of the little field a lot. Today is very rainy, and they are still in the front little corner. During a slight break in the weather I went out to see what, if anything, was going on. Checked on them, loved on them, spritzed more fly spray on them, asked them why they were out here in the rain instead of under the shelter, to which they had no answer I could hear or see. While I was spraying Litta I noticed one of the stray cats crossing the field. Sierra hunkered down a little, then charged after him, and chased the poor cat all the way to the fence and looked like she was having a blast doing it. Silly girl!smile emoticon
So, everything being OK looking with them, I went on out to the still-in-progress pasture to see where the water was staying, draining, softening the ground, and if the oat seed we put in was growing yet (It is). I'm at the back of what was originally fenced in, heading on out to the rest that we will be fencing in, when it starts raining again, the big fat drops. At the same instant, motion catches my eye, I turn to look- Sierra is trying desperately to get to the shelter, and Litta is blocking her with fierce determination.
As I head back to them the rain lessens a little. By the time I am closing the gate to their little field, it has gone from the big fat drops to more of a normal pattern. Litta is right there, looking like she is saying "Its about time, we want to go be dry but cant, do something". So. I go into the shelter, talking about how dry it is, and safe it is, and notice they didn't finish their hay from this morning. Which is immediately worrying because Sierra will eat everything every time. Im still chattering to them about being dry and safe, and encouraging them to come in. Litta finally does, snatches a mouthful of hay and goes to where she can warily watch the pasture. High alert mode. I'm still trying to get Sierra to come in, teasing her with the hay, coaxing her. She almost came in, but then Litta glanced at her and said "NO" then snapped her head back to high alert stare into the pasture.
I went into the pasture, talking about how safe and nice it was, arms open, all that. I went around a tree, and as I circle towards the front, I saw that Litta was watching me, then looking right back at something just off to my side, back and forth. I frowned, and turned to see what she was looking at. On this post that we had left in the pasture there was this huge chicken hawk, had to be at least 8 inches tall. Just sitting there, watching me, then looking back at Litta, back and forth like Litta was doing. I wish I had my phone on me, would have taken a picture. So then Im telling Litta "oh, look at the little bird, its just a bird Litta, everything is safe" and telling the hawk to stop scaring my horses, and still wandering around like nothing unusual was going on. Litta finally relaxed a bit, no longer high alert stance, instead just standing. I kind of wanted to scare the chicken hawk away, but I also kind of wanted to go grab my phone to get a picture. I headed back out of the pasture to go inside for my phone, and just as I cleared the shelter, Litta bolted again, towards me- so I made her stop/stand, then spun to glare at the bird- which had flown off. Which is why Litta spooked. I really hope that she figures out that the chicken hawk is not interested in her, and I hope she figures this out before we have cold wet weather. Silly mare!!