Thursday afternoon I was able to turn the ponies out. They have been prisoners in the little 2 acre paddock I built for them for ages! They didn't look distressed, but I felt like they were getting a little "shut down" and bored. Of course Iona has coyote watch to keep her busy. Man, she is curious about those little guys! The other day we were all in the loafing shed. They were eating hay when Iona rushed out for a look. Coyote! Running through the grass at least 500 yards away. "How did she know?" I wonder. Surely the sound of hay chomping in the shed would drown out all sounds of a silent little hunter running through the grass at that distance. Guess not! Or maybe she senses it some other way. Anyway, she is on her toes, with her giraffe neck on, trotting as far as the paddock fence will allow, wanting to get at old Wily. "I'll see about this! Just let me get after him!"
Anyway, I let them loose. It was great to see them walk, then start to trot and finally break into a canter. I don't think they could quite believe it at first. Of course, I still worried a bit. I know I haven't cleared every hazard, just fenced them out of the worst. However, I figured they would head for some grass that Sara and I took the trouble to point out to them on a recent walk. They settled to grazing. Now all I had to worry about was whether or not they would come back when I wanted to put them up. Can't leave them out loose on the place day and night yet. I think they might get into trouble once they filled their bellies and really went exploring.
Getting them back in was no problem. Now they get let out every afternoon and come back around supper time when they see me drive the truck over with their hay and water and stuff. How cool is that?
Today when I let them out, instead of heading north, they went to check out a different area of grass. It seemed to be Bruce's decision. He headed off in the lead, anyway, and everything he did, Iona copied. Change of gait, buck, toss head, change direction. They are such good friends.