Currently Ari lives in an open paddock stable with pasture and hay ad lib.
What often happens at renting stables is that horses come and go. The horses which stay always have to find their place again in the herd. This can cause emotional stress for them.
Horses are not so different from us. Imagine that you have lived for a period of time with a group of people in a small or bigger house. You have made friends and lived in a structured community, where everyone has his duties. And from one day to the other you will be ripped out of this community. Without knowing why or what is happening.
This summer our herd seemed very harmonious. 3 geldings, a Quarter, a Berber, a Franches-Montagnes (which is a Swiss breed described as either a “heavy warmblood” or a “light coldblood”) and Ari, my Spanish-mix. Yes, I know it is said that mixed herds with geldings and mares of all ages is ideal. But sometimes this is not possible. I am observing Ari very well and I can for sure tell that she is doing just fine with her boys.
It is a young group, Ari and two of the boys, 5 years old and the Quarter, 10 years old. A clear hierarchy, as we know it from wild horses for example, does somehow not exist. They split in two groups. Ari and Nabucco, the Franches-Montagnes. And the other two, although somehow the two guys seem more reserved and introverted. I have never seen them groom each other or show any affection towards other horses. For me their behavior makes absolutely sense due to other reasons, but this is not the story now.