An interesting little drama unfolded as I watched through the window, eating my breakfast. Every time George raised his head and then lowered it again, Rose turned her head and neck away before cautiously resuming her munching. From time to time, also, George stretched his nose out toward Rose, his ears flattening a little, whereupon Rose instantly responded by turning her head away (but leaving her feet planted). When George softened again, Rose once more relaxed into her eating. I think the distance between them here is the minimum presently allowed under George Law.
Rose got up to get a drink of water. She chose not to return to George's hay but instead joined Chloe at another pile.
Then the next tag-team member had a try. Bridget crept over toward George as far as she was able.
|Seen through the window screen.|
It seems to me that the mares' behavior is similar to Bridget's dominant behavior toward Rose - a kind of determined pressure. The difference is that they fear George a lot, while Bridget fears Rose only a very little.
Rose's "rudeness" toward Bridget (and occasionally toward me) seems similar to George's reaction when the mares have gone too far - a defensive petulance, characteristic more of weakness than of high-ranking bravado.
Which jibes with my belief that a lot of George's behavior is not dominance related but the result of fear and self-protectiveness.
Which brings me back to a thought I had the other day - namely that I think everyone would be happier if Bridget took over. I think she's got a fair bit of growing to do still, both physically and mentally. Therefore, I have hope for the future. Go for it, Bridget!
Breaking news - reporting from the upstairs bathroom window:
Bridget has insinuated herself into George's hay pile, after one or two mini-retreats (involving head/neck movement but no foot movement), and Chloe is advancing also!