Yesterday when we were out feeding our two old sweeties, we noticed two horses hanging out at the edge of the Herd of Oldsters.

They were new to us – probably new to the pasture. They watched every move we made as we let Bud and Pepper through the gate and then began our ritual of handing out alfalfa snacks.

The Herd of Oldsters is something like Ellis Island was for newcomers to the United States all those years ago when it was the first stop in America.

All new horses to the pasture seem to start with the Oldsters. It makes sense. The Oldsters are safe. There are no shenanigans. No fights for dominance. No chasing games. As long as the newcomer isn’t too pushy, things are good. Eventually most move on as they find their own herd.

Occasionally one stays, as was the case with Atticus. He knew a good thing right from the start!


Something about this gelding and mare called us.

They looked sad. They had no energy.

When Rick went into the pasture for a closer look, he found the gelding to be in pretty bad shape. He was thin – much too thin, and his overall condition wasn’t good. He looked to be another oldster. We named him “Bones.”


His companion, a black mare was in better shape. In fact she was a little on the pudgy side, though we didn’t tell her that.

Here’s a piece of advice that will never fail you:

Never, under any circumstances, tell a female she looks pudgy.

You’re welcome!

We named the mare “Ebony.”

Then we taught them the Hay Cube Toss Game, which they mastered very quickly. In fact they continued to search the ground for more cubes, as if these green cubes of yumminess simply sprouted up on the ground. I guess they hadn’t figured out who was tossing them.

That will come soon enough. Someone will enlighten them about the snack lady.

We’ll see what happens in the next few days. Bones and Ebony may stick around and become part of the Herd of Oldsters.

Or they may move on.

For now, we’ll help them feel welcome. And make sure they’re on the receiving end of snacks.

It’s the least we can do.