There are currently two other ponies in the pasture, but the barn manager finally got back to me and said I could go ahead and turn Trigger out with them, as long as I stayed to make sure they all got along.
So I walked him toward the pasture--it's a bit of a walk from the rest of the barn area. It wasn't until we were RIGHT next to the pumphouse and a bunch of pipes that he decided they were scary, and he got over it quickly, but he was then on high alert. Oddly, the bright yellow hose he had to step over wasn't scary, but apparently the black wire cage (live trap for critters) was. Whatever. I made him do a few small circles to get his mind off it and paying attention to me, then we walked past. We got up to where the ponies were in the pasture, and I walked him near them, but still outside the fence. They didn't seem all that interested in each other, so I proceeded to the gate. The ponies came over to the gate, but were respectful.
I noticed the ponies had HORRIBLE bug bites on their chests, so I sent Nathan back to the barn to get Trigger's fly spray. I turned Trigger loose and observed.
|I'll check the ponies out later. First, I must inspect this poo.|
|Oh, here come the ponies. Let's see if they'll let me boss them around.|
|Oh hey, they're totally doing what I tell them. Awesome!|
|Ponies, be gone!|
|Okay, well that was fun, but look at all this grass!|
The novelty of grazing soon wore off, when Trigger spied a horse-sized patch of bare dirt amid all the grass.
|Man, there is NOTHING better than a nice scratchy roll!|
Then he suddenly realized just how large an expanse he had access to, and cantered and trotted around. I'm going to include this whole sequence of shots, because I think it's funny that apparently my camera's continuous shutter firing is the same cadence as Trigger's floaty trot. :-) (To the non-horsie people, these shots might look fairly identical at first, but check out his legs--first it's the far set of legs that are close to each other (kind of like a V), and the near set of legs are pointing away from each other, then the opposite, and so on--also, all four feet are in the air during each of these shots.)
However, the ponies must have started realizing that Trigger might be there a while, and they'd better assert some dominance. The palomino one, especially, felt like she (they're both mares) needed to put him in his place. She proceeded to back up to him and double-barrel him. Trigger responded in kind, and they duked it out a bit, but no one was seriously hurt, and they all went back to grazing. I kept an eye on them for a while, and nobody picked any more fights, so I went ahead and left. I'll go get him in a few hours and put him back in his stall. I hope everyone is still in one piece. I'll probably give him a good brushing and take his braids out, too.