Yesterday we had a bit of windy, misting, cloudy weather. I can tell Cookie's system is gearing up for Spring in many ways. She's shedding like mad for one. Though our weather is hot/cold hot/cold, it throws everything off as to what season it really is. Even the trees are budding out already & we're looking at freezing temps by the weekend.
Another "tell" of hers is that she is becoming pre-occupied. Her eyes & ears are on whatever is going on way down the street. I had fed her dinner & called her to come & eat, but she's like eh, I'll get there whenever. When she finally decided to come & see what I had put out, she started tossing her head. That's her signal that she's trying to "boss" me around. So we ended up playing for about 15 minutes to expel some of her extra energy. She has been testing the waters of just how close she can get to me while playing & I won't allow her to get any closer than need be. I can see her feet & tail just fine from the distance I'm originally at. This is one of her quirky times. She acts all ticked off at me, turns her head away... even pins her ears sometimes. I'm always aware & alert of what kind of mood she's in when I go out there otherwise if I let my guard down... she's liable to un-intentionally run me over.
Then there's days like today. She walked up to the fence to say hello & amazingly enough allowed me to pet her face. She's not fond of it, but she seems to like it when I wipe away eye boogers & gently wipe across her eyes. I went in the house to fix her afternoon snack & found her laying down for a snooze. I took the liberty of brushing her while she was laying there to get rid of a lot of the loose hairs. She didn't seem to mind much, & even at some points seemed almost unaware I was even there. It could have just been she was unconcerned. It's the first time I have ever approached her while she was laying down. The times before, she would just get up. So I brushed out her mane & forelock & most all of her body. For a few moments she muzzled the ground & actually fell into a short REM cycle. She must have started dreaming too because she was swishing her tail & nickering with her eyes closed. She has never laid full on her side. Always up on her belly with legs tucked in & muzzle in the dirt. She was so peaceful. So I left her to sleep, put the brushes up & went back into the house to finish her snack.
I'm usually greeted with nickering almost every time I go out. It's been a little less the past few weeks. I'm assuming it's because of the change in weather & her internal season. This time, she was actually in her stall nibbling on left over hay. When I whistled to let her know I was out there.. she nickered all the way up to me. Of course I had food in hand. lol That always works to get some nickers. The neighbor kids wanted to pet her so I took her pan over to the fence & she ate while they petted her. She's such a mooch for kids attention. Then she wanted one of their ice pops. lol She didn't get a piece so she walked off across the paddock.
I have noticed too sometimes she finishes all her alfalfa at one time, others she leaves 1/2 of it to munch on her regular hay, though she always goes back later & finishes it off. Another sign things are changing in her is she seems un-interested in eating one day & the next she's trying to fight me to get to her hay, ears pinned & the whole 9 yards. I have also noticed that even though she gets only roughly 2 lbs of alfalfa cubes, it really gives her a ton of energy. I may consider making a gradual swtich to something with a little less energy for her. I don't think she can handle getting that "hot" without a prolonged period of exercise to work it off. The weather & ground haven't permitted any serious work or play, though I'm sure the play time we have spent has helped to relieve some of that crazy "I need to run" mode. She's learning how to be a horse again which has brought out a lot of her personality.
If her quirkyness now is any indication of how her heats are going to be... I'll have to be extra careful when she comes full on. It appears she's going to be quite the handful. I'm sure when the days become warmer & sunny she'll be in better spirits.
It's been a strange winter here. We've had more rain this year than we've had in quite a long time. I think the weatherman said we broke a record for Feb rain totals. We so need it & I'm not complaining by any means because we could use more once the ground dries up a bit, but I'm ready for a bit of warm sunshine.