Sunday, June 24, 2007

An Update on the Arabian Twin Foals - Trouble and Surprise Weaned From Each Other

The beginning of the twins saga begins hereReflections on Foaling Season 2006

Yesterday's post was about the twins birthday party but I figured I also needed to do an update on their overall condition. They got such a rocky start in life and no one really expected them to survive but me that it's nice to see that things are finally becoming normal for them.

It's been an eventful spring here as you've been able to tell by my post here. The great thing about that is most of the chaos had nothing to do with the twins. It's a relief to finally be out of the woods with the little monsters. They took up so much of my life there for a while if refreshing to be dealing with issues with other horses. I know that might seem like a strange statement because no one wants issues with any horse but after their extended problems it's nice to see them because I want to and not because I am worried about them.

Many of you don't know that Trouble and Surprise have been separated from each other. I know there are those that had this romantic notion that they would always be together side by side happily ever after. But I can assure you that Surprise did NOT have the same view of life as that rosy picture. When Trouble finally started feeling better he began to terrorize his sister. The colt jumped on her, bit her on the hocks and whithers and pretty much chased her all hours of the day and night.

Being a colt, Trouble had no clue that Surprise's reaction to his aggression was no just the filly wanting to play. He thought she was just playing with him. It didn't matter how hard she kicked or bit or even struck him, the colt thought the game was on. Because they lived in that huge stall together, there was no way for her to get a break from him. Before one of the got really hurt, I split them up.
Poor Trouble cried and cried until he was hoarse (no pun intended). Surprise didn't make a peep! Trouble I put right next to another yearling colt so they could get acquainted. Poor Trouble didn't think that colt was any replacement for his sweet Surprise.

For Surprise we started with a partial wall back up dividing the big stall the twins had lived in. I put another yearling filly (Gypcy) on the other side of the wall so the two fillies could get acquainted. Once they looked like they were getting along (which only took overnight) I put Gypcy in with Surprise due to a housing crunch at Rising Rainbow Arabians. The two fillies share their food including their grain and there is never a squabble. (the picture above is Surprise and Gypcy)

Once that was accomplished, I put the other yearling fillies on the other side of that half wall to meet Surprise as well. I wanted all four yearling fillies to know each other before I turned Surprise out with them in the field.

Once the weather let up, I turned Trouble out into a small paddock with Suede and the fight was on. It wasn't a bad fight. It was the typical play that colts do. Trouble had always tried to get Surprise to participate like a colt put Surprise fought like a girl. Suede played just has fierce as Trouble and both colts loved it. The colts reared, bit, chased each other into exhaustion and then collapsed on the ground side by side.

Trouble decided hanging out with the boys wasn't too bad after all. While he did call out for his sister occasionally now, it was more to say "Hey, Sis! How's it going?" than the plaintive cry he started out with.

The same day Surprise went out with the other three yearling fillies. I really didn't know what to expect. She and Trouble are still smaller than the other yearlings (though not by too much) and there are a couple of really bossy fillies in the group. But I never should have doubted Surprise. It took about 2 minutes and she was running the show. She is definitely the boss mare in that herd! She teamed up with her roomy, the biggest, oldest filly of the bunch. The other fillies tried to move in on Gypcy but Surprise was having none of it. They are great buds! Gypcy may be the lowest in the pecking order in that herd but she is under the protection of Surprise and those other fillies better not mess with her!

Another Update


  1. Just so an amazing experience to go through. I never thought about their behavior together. Your right about it being a romantic idea to watch them grow together side by side, reality is much different. Wonder if it would have been different if they were both geldings?

  2. I really enjoyed reading your story today. I am always interested in animal behaviour and this is special to me.

    Abraham Lincoln
    Brookville Daily Photo

  3. That's so funny. Leave it the 'boy' to be the one to throw the fit.

    I'd heard they'd been seperated but was hoping for an update soon. I'm glad it worked out so well in the end.

  4. I just wanted to say that I came across your blog yesterday (can't even describe how I got there) and ended up spending all of Sunday reading it from the first post. It is so enjoyable - it reads just like a book! You have a new faithful reader in me!!

  5. aww, I love that photo!

    colts are definitely different than fillys.

    Im glad they are adjusting okay :)

  6. Thank you so much for the update! We always love to hear about these two rascals! Glad they are doing well-Please keep updating us-it's always great to turn on the computer and have the update there!