The dynamics in the pasture have changed since Chloe and Bridget have become buddies. Chloe has never had a buddy before - at least not one she was able to keep, because the couple of times she made a friend, it was with someone else's horse, and we had no control over whether or not they stayed together. She was very attached to our old mare, but I wouldn't say they were pals. Misty was kind to her, allowing her to share her feed, and letting her keep close to her side, but there wasn't much reciprocity in the relationship. Misty lead; Chloe followed. Chloe and Bridget, however, seem like they goof around a bit and take a playful interest in one another.
Now that the "Keep-out-of-my-space-you-whippersnapper" phase of the relationship is over and Bridget is allowed into Chloe's zone, I almost think that Bridget is getting the upper hand. When the two of them come up, Bridget is the one who manages to monopolize my attention. However, Chloe stays close by, and yesterday I was brushing Bridget with one hand and scratching Chloe's ears with the other. In our old herd configuration (before all the changes of the last year), Chloe was not allowed (if the other horses had their way) to get any attention while they were around.
Yesterday, I was in the pasture when the third mare's owner, a little girl, came in to get her. I noticed Chloe flatten her ears a little and position herself between the girl and Bridget. I wonder if she was saying, "Keep away from my horse."
I'm happy for Chloe - she seems rather content with her new friend. And I'm thankful that her new friend is our horse so that they won't have to be separated any time.