Working with our horses for the short NickerNews holiday video taught me something about their nature.
In two words:
Like the weather.
I rode Shea and ponied two others to the far end of the field. Herd dynamics being what they are, I figured the two remaining horses would surely follow. I had numbers after all.
They stayed put.
They merely glanced in my general direction.
No matter how good we think we are at predicting horse behavior or weather — sometimes we most certainly fail.
Sure, we get better with more knowledge and experience, but horse behavior can sometimes seem as mysterious as cloud movement.
How and why do they shift?
In the case of the persnickety mares, I went to Plan B:
Filling my pockets with Hay Stretcher, I got back on Shea and fed them all out of my hand. The loose horses then watched me move away. They watched me give treats to the others. They followed.
They stuck with us this time. I just had to kick start the process.