The approach of the first real storm every year means the weanlings have to be put into the barn without their mothers for the very first time. In spite of all the schooling for this event throughout the summer, the first time they go through the barn door and into the stall alone is always tense moment. We have had rebellions in the past, so this year we are enlisting a nice quiet yearling to be a "team leader" to encourage any balkers. This sounds like a lot of complicated planning to simply get five young horses into the barn, and I'm sure this will give any cowboys reading this blog a good laugh. But with volitile young Thoroughbreds nothing can be left to chance. They considerably outweigh us now, and they know it.
All five walked right in as we hoped they would, but as soon as the stall doors closed it was bedlam. They tore up their stalls and yelled in protest for over an hour,and there was nothing to do but leave them to their own devices to settle down. Finally they settled in and I had a moment to comtemplate how amazing it is that they are little horses now instead of the babies they were a few short months ago. They grow up so fast!
Now we will begin to groom and handle them individually every time they are put into the stall, which will turn them from willful children into good little citizens. Sweet work for the rainy days ahead, a new season has begun.