Shadow Horse

Rodney wants to know where all the love has gone. Healthy siblings of chronically ill children are sometime known as shadow children*. All the attention and energy is focused on the sick one. While I do not support the child-substitute idiom, Rodney definitely feels marginalized. On Saturday evening, when Mathilda’s leg problems were manifesting and we were zinging about in diagnosis hysteria, he stood outside the barn looking in, clearly wondering why the mare had suddenly been elected Queen of the Universe.

OTOH, he’s all for the frequent carrot checks and group baths. When we head for the water trough to hose M’s leg, Rodney comes along for a splash on the chest. In truth, he could be much more intrusive and crabbier about all of it. His attitude is more of perky-eared, good-natured inquisitiveness. We want to encourage him to be curious and engaged in his environment. Hard to get annoyed when he is.

Patient update: still off but walking better than I had hoped. At this pace, recovery could be days instead of weeks. At least, recovery to status quo ante. Her rumba days have been over for a while.

[*no definitive Google source found. Pulled from the magpie nest that is my brain.]

Does your horse get jealous? If so, how?

Categories: Barn Life, Horse Behavior, Horses

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