Today, when I opened the gate for George to come out onto the lawn, Rose was at the ready. She'd been watching and waiting for the Open Sesame and had positioned herself to follow George out. A first! She set off happily to see what she could see.
Here is Bridget's opinion of George and Rose going off without her.
George enjoyed a roll on the lawn. He wouldn't stop eating though, and in between gyrations, he continued snatching mouthfuls of grass from a reclining position.
I had big plans for cleaning house and putting away laundry today, but somehow it was so much more enticing to spend time with Rose and George wandering around the yard. When I put my daughter on the bus this morning, it was 40F, but by noontime it was perfect weather for lounging in the shade.
When I caught George and returned him to the field, Rose thought about it and decided, well, maybe she wouldn't go with him. I let her stay out, in the interests of Building Independence.
To my surprise, she attached herself to me and followed me across the yard away from the other horses. She checked in with me a couple of times, touching my arm ever so softly with her nose.
Frequently she looked back to make sure she knew where the others were. When she finally got homesick and headed back, she found George looking over the fence. Poor George - starved for affection. With the fence safely intervening, Rose permitted a little mutual grooming.
Look - you can make out Rose's ribs in this photo. She has such a huge chest that her ribs are visible even when she's quite well covered, which she is at the moment.
When Rose made it clear that she wanted to go back to the field, she was, however, unwilling to let me put her halter on. She doesn't think too much of halters. However, I was determined that if I put the halter on, and then took her to the field where she wanted to go and then took it off again, that would constitute a Good Halter Experience, and so I persevered. I don't believe in pussy-footing around or being sneaky, so I just kept going up to her and saying, "Here's the halter, let's put it on." Took a lot of tries, but she finally agreed.
Rose is what, I believe, Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling calls "The Sceptic." But today, when she was striding around the yard on her own, I thought her face looked rather different - stronger, more authoritative, more outgoing. She's an interesting character, our Rose.