We went to see Chloe on the first day after she left our farm. When we pulled up, she was standing quietly with the other two horses, Queenie and Mickey. That was a good sign. It was a gray and muddy and dreary day and we both thought Chloe was looking great, but somewhat ill at ease. She didn't seem to have the energy and spark we always saw at the farm.
And what did we expect? She hadn't been living with horses for two years and had been in her new surroundings for less than 24 hours. She looked a lot better than I did when I moved into the first Bedlam Farm. I looked so bewildered and lost a passerby pulled over and asked if I needed medical attention.
We also knew that it takes horses at least a week or two to adjust to their new surroundings, figure out the new pecking order, get used to the new routines. At first, Chloe hung back when we approached, Queenie kept cutting her off, trying to dominate.
Still, things are never certain. When we brought Simon onto the farm to live with Rocky, our blind Appaloosa pony, at least a dozen experienced horse people told us there was no doubt they would all work it out in a few days. When they didn't, every one of those same people told me you never know.
So it's looking great, but it's true, you never know. Horses are complex creatures.
Chloe handled this diplomatically, waiting until some time had gone by and then sneaking around to the back of the barn for a secret rendezvous with Maria. It was hard for me to see Chloe in a different environment, her personality somewhat hidden. I imagine she will re-assert herself over time, given what we know of her.
She was grazing, standing comfortably with ears about, at ease around the other horses. It was very good for one day, horses always make a fuss around new horses, they scream, bite, kick and rear. Donkeys are superior. They just wait and watch.
By the time we left, Chloe was coming up to us as normal, then going off to graze I won't lie, we were both upsettled, it was difficult to say goodbye again. We'll wait a few days before coming back.
The bottom line is that she is find and doing well. Maria needed some reassurance.
This all reminds of when my daughter Emma first went off to sleep-over camp far away, my wife at the time and I thought we would melt from worry. We wanted to call 100 times to check on her and she wrote the most piercing homesick letters.
We waited until visiting day two weeks late, and she was, of course, fine, happy, acclimated and surrounded by friends. The counselors said they saw no problems at all.
We learned our lesson. The following year, we didn't call or pay much attention to the letters.
Today, we just needed to see her and get reassured that Chloe is all right. She is.