Back Outside

Though he may be small, he is feisty...
The plan has always been to try Bast back on field board. As I've mentioned multiple times, I think field board is the best way for a horse to live. Wherever possible, I want my horses to live out 24/7. At my current barn, field board is not only the most healthy way for the horses to live, it's also the most affordable. As I'm juggling two horses in the Washington DC area, that's important. So, I have been trying to prepare Bast for field board since day one.
"I've been practicing my pawing!"
He's been doing so well in his transition to the farm, I have high hopes for his transition back to long term turnout with a group. At the other farm, he was out for all but 6 hours a day in a large group. His herdbound tendencies were minimal once his ulcers were treated. Back at the fancy farm, he's shown little to no herd bound tendencies. We've kept him on ulcer meds during all stressful transitions to mitigate a return to last year's issues.

Bast was able to return to his old field, which is amazing. He's familiar with two of the three horses out there already. Plus the new horse is an excellent boss, meaning Bast shouldn't find himself in charge of the herd. That's a position that has made him quite insecure in the past.
"I used to rule these two." -- Bast, probably
The initial introduction was between Bast and the two horses he knows well and was turned out with last year. Things went so smoothly, it was as if the three of them had never been separated. Bast threw a few squeals and front feet, but the three settled into grazing very quickly.
Three happy amigos.
The new horse in the field was being ridden when I initially turned Bast out. When he returned, I was interested to see how he and Bast would interact. I knew this horse was much more dominant, and also very willing to fight for his food. I wasn't sure if Bast's tendency to stand his ground would get him in trouble.
"Sup, dude. You wanna go?"
Bast definitely tried to start things with the new horse. He was throwing his front feet around and squealing up a storm. He definitely thinks he needs to impress this guy in order to impress him. Of course, Bast is literally a pony compared to all the other horses in this field. So, I suppose I understand his big man attitude.
Seriously, though. I own a pony. Apparently.
Overall Bast's transition to field board was very smooth. I'm glad we chose a quiet weather day to toss him out. He won't have to fight for his space in the shed for a few days, by which time the hierarchy should have shaken out.

I'm assuming Bast will end up in his favorite place, second in command. Both my horses have found themselves here, and I kind of love this placing. The second in command horse isn't messed with and has some authority, but he's not in charge of making all the super important decisions. Overall, it's a very low stress position. Both my boys have been very happy occupying this role.
"Get back here! I wanna be your tiny lieutenant!"
Bast's adjustment period will be long. I want to give him the chance to get back into the routine of living with others, while also trusting and listening to humans. It's a difficult balance he's sometimes failed. I also don't want him to lose too much weight. We've increased his feed recently, and will need to decrease it on field board due to lack of available feeding times. However, I think he'll be fine.

The increase in turnout, addition of horse interaction, and excellent pasture should keep him healthy going forward. And? Should he decide this situation isn't to his liking? I'll just put his brother in his place and send him back to the old farm.
You're on notice, son.


  1. Bast as the tiny lieutenant is adorable. I hope that this works out for everyone.

  2. OMG, I died at, '"Get back here! I wanna be your tiny lieutenant!"' - I had no idea he was so small!

  3. "Tiny lieutenant" almost made me spew my coffee!!

  4. He's so darn cute! I love that he gets to live outside -- so few barns around me allow this and I miss being able to have my horse living out all the time!

  5. LMAO at the Tiny Lieutenant! Hope the 24/7 works for him- it's 100% the best way for most horses to live!

  6. He is SO cute!! "Get back here! I wanna be your tiny lieutenant!" made me laugh so much!!! Glad it's all going well.


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