Not sure which level movement this is but at least he's light on his forehand?
I managed to make the 5 hour round trip drive to visit T once or twice a week, and every time I was there I noticed that he seemed kind of despondent. Barn staff assured me that he loved it there - out 12 hours a day in his own private grassy pasture, and he seemed to have become friends with one of his stall neighbors.
Taran and Paddy
But he wasn't eating very well, which is usually a sign that he's stressed. I always fussed with him and stuffed him with cookies when I visited, but still - it's not the same as seeing him multiple times per day, rubbing his face just the way he likes, or doing a late-night curry session to get all the itchy spots. I missed him a lot while he was gone, and I felt guilty for leaving him there for so long.
Reunion grooming with Griffy (sorry, it was dark, but you can see the ear shadows)
I'm not the only one who missed him. Our little herd's dynamics shifted while he was gone. The Haffies are not the best of friends to begin with, and Paddy got more and more snippy with Griffy as time went on. T always instigated grooming sessions, but with him gone, nobody groomed anybody else. Since T wasn't there to play with, Griffy tried to get Reddums to play bitey-face, and that went about as poorly as one might expect. I would tell them that T was coming back, but even so, a missing herd-mate was clearly a problem.
Taran, Reddums (you can see his star in the background), and Paddy
Then Monday night after picking T up and driving him home, I was backing the trailer into the driveway when Taran called out. Immediately there were three answering calls from the barn. The talking continued as I parked and unloaded him. When we walked into the barn, Reddums, Paddy, and Griffy were all lined up at the gate, craning their necks in their excitemen. T pulled the lead rope out of my hands, and the four of them began touching noses and sniffing each other over the gate almost desperately. It reminded me of long-lost relatives meeting each other at the airport, hugging and laughing and crying all at once. At one point Griffy was licking T while Reddums sniffed noses and Paddy was nibbling his neck.
Reddums supervises the showing off
I finally managed to get the gate open and let T out, and the reunion continued. Paddy and T groomed for a few minutes, then T switched to grooming Griffy. Reddums stood by as sentinel, then ushered T over to get a drink and supervised while he rolled. And then they all went off as a group to ... do some kind of horsey thing. It was dark and late, so I left them with their reunion. Since then, everyone seems more relaxed - T is eating great, Paddy and Griffy have reached detente (mostly), and Reddums is benevolently dictating once more. Life is back to normal.
The new normal maybe? Eeek.
Have you ever had horses be reunited after months or years? Were they pasture-mates or did they have a more casual acquaintance, like stall neighbors? Did they remember each other? What did they do when they were reunited?
Running for the sheer joy of it (the rest of the herd is slower and somewhere out of the pic)