Anyway, it was a good day for me too, I got lots of pictures and got to hang out with my herd. Because even though there is lots to nibble, which one would think would keep them pretty busy, they find all kinds of trouble to get into! So I have to watch them constantly. I also got to hear lots and lots of braying since the three boys were so unhappy.
At first they come out the gates and celebrate freedom by thundering from one end of the property to the other, around and around, circling the house and the hay barn and the tractor shed and taking any other available path, running for the sheer joy of it. I half expected at least one phone call from a neighbor... "hey did you know your horses were out?" But I guess the thundering hooves didn't wake anyone up.
Before long they settle down and basically divide into three herds - the big horses:
the little horses and mules:
and the little donkeys. Had to laugh at Fred - King of the Hill!
Fred however immediately leaves the big herd and hangs out the the other donkeys. The girls don't really want his company, poor guy, and especially Mary Ellen will chase him away with ears flat back and then spin and give him two heels quick if he gets too close. We were surprised that the mules so obviously chose to hang with the horses until we realized that although they are half donkey, it was their horse mothers who raised them, so they identify more with the horses. Sometimes they shift and merge for short periods but soon they are looking for "their" group. I'm not surprised that the big horses are a separate herd since they are rarely let to run with the minis, but the minis are penned in mixed groups so it's quite interesting to see them divide themselves differently than normal.
The only bad thing about letting them out is, I now have piles of horse poop EVERYWHERE and since I don't like that, I have to pick it up...