A stallion’s life is often a lonely one. Most of the time, aside from instances of unregulated group turnout, a stallion is kept apart from a herd.
When we first met Lance back in May, he was separated from the other horses on the property, tucked away in a back corner with perhaps the most narrow of views to his nearest neighbors. While we were relieved he was not running free amongst the mares, we began dreaming of the day in his not-too-distant future when he would be gelded, and thus allowed to have friends.
As sometimes happens, that dream became reality. After a period of gentling, followed by a gelding and the subsequent healing period, we made introductions between him and some other ex-studs. He quickly proved himself to be a trustworthy and respectful herd member, fitting right in with the likes of Artie, Montana, and Scotty.
He and Artie get up to gelding antics, as they both seem to have the biggest playful streak out of their other herd mates. It is not uncommon to glance over and see them playing chase, or measuring up against one another on their hind legs.
Lance also fits in well with the gelding paddock, as he is a real nap aficionado, certainly in the running for naptime king behind Montana, who is often down more than up when the weather is nice.
The boys get along well together, but just recently we have noticed a shift in the hierarchy of the gelding herd: Montana, once HGIC (head guy in charge) has been lowered in rank some, now third in the pecking order behind Scotty and, at the forefront, Lance. Perhaps it has been this way for some time, but it is not always as easy to notice with the geldings as it is with the mares. The most Lance does to assert his dominance is move his friends off a haybox which they are happy to do without issue. Quite cool to see this once solo bachelor stepping up to be a leader in the herd!
At night, since the weather is poor most days, the boys come inside — Lance waiting at the gate to be brought in alongside his friends. He joins Montana and Artie in sticking his head out of his open window once he finishes his afternoon meal, and in the morning patiently waits for turnout in the same fashion.
For a stallion whose life was once so lonely, as a gelding, it is now filled with the vibrancy of both horse and humans. And hopefully will remain so for the rest of his life!