We first met Zorro last spring. He and his friend Beau, a 30 year old Thoroughbred, came to live with us. Here's a couple photos of the herd meeting each other. Zorro is the miniature horse being checked out by Kola, our lead gelding.
In a matter of weeks, Beau took a turn for the worse. He had only 4 teeth left, was very thin and developed a bad abscess in his hoof so that he could barely move. He was laid to rest in our back fields near Yankee, our beloved first horse.
Beau had been the only horse Zorro had ever known. He was just a foal when he was bought as a companion for Beau, who had been retired from his show jumping career. For the last 12 years they lived happily together on a family farm.
There were signs of Zorro's grieving, such as his calling and looking for Beau for a couple days afterward. About a month later, my 5 year old had been standing with Zorro and turned to me and said, "I miss Beau so much". Since my son had never spent much time with Beau, I think I knew where this was coming from.
As horses do, Zorro quickly joined the rest of the herd as if he had always been there. We adopted him into our family and he seems happy to be here.
In fact, he had been itching to get close to the beautiful white mare, Soleil. He tried everything to become her mate, but Kola and her have a strong bond and it isn't allowed. He seem content to be able to get near her, and on occasion when Kola isn't around, she tolerates him attempting to mount (mate with) her. Without a step ladder, it's no use. Nature can be cruel.
Zorro has already reinforced a cliche that we sometimes gloss over: Don't judge a book by its cover
Although Zorro is truly miniature in size, he has an absolutely huge ego and sense of self. He will not tolerate the assumption that just because he looks cuddly, that he wants to be touched. Anyone who does not take the time to connect with him first, get down and look him in the eye, wait to be invited to touch him - will see his ears pinned to the back of his head and his back turned. He is not unfriendly, he just simply demands your respect through body language.
"He is as big on the inside as he is small on the outside."
Not long after he arrived, Zorro was eager to try a FEEL session. One of the hallmarks of FEEL is that horses always choose who they work with and if they will participate. On this day, the client had met the herd and felt she might work with one of the larger horses. As I went to get the horse, Zorro snuck out through the gate and followed us to the round pen. He proceeded to show her how she was making assumptions about others and needed to listen to her authentic self first.
Zorro loves to teach. He is here waiting to meet you and show you truth in his most blunt, often comical way.