Today was moving day for Liam. I packed up his stuff and gave him a quick bath so he’d look nice when he arrived at the working student barn. The trailer came, and he wasn’t sure at first if he wanted to walk up the ramp or not, but after he gave it a good sniff and thought it over for a few minutes, he decided it wasn’t a bad idea. Once he decided to walk up the ramp, the rest was easy. We maneuvered him into position in the trailer, tied him up, and off we went! He is a total gentleman in the trailer, and unloaded easily. As he got off the trailer, he surveyed his new home and seemed satisfied by the endless green fields and contented horses dotting the landscape. He gave the grass a taste test to be sure before giving the farm his final approval. Then his new friend Antonio showed Liam to his new stall. Liam appreciated the brick stall fronts, the spacious living quarters, and his own personal window to gaze out. He quickly tested and approved the hay, and then moved on to the grain, which was apparently also to his liking.
The only thing missing was a water bucket. This was a dilemma. In the corner was a small metal dish, more closely resembling a water fountain than the big bucket that Liam was used to. And this metal dish held about 2 inches of water, hardly enough to quenchLiam’s thirst. But Antonio reassured me that he would keep a close eye on Liam and make sure that Liam learned to use the automatic waterer. He said all the horses do within a few days, but that he would give Liam a bucket if he wasn’t drinking. I left Liam to settle in so I could check in on my own barn and give my tack a final polish before moving it to Liam’s new dwelling.
Later in the evening I stopped by to check on Liam, who was quietly munching some hay. I took him out for a little graze and let him look around, and upon returning to his stall noticed that his water dish was dry. I pressed the button on the bottom of the dish and the basin filled with water. Liam watched, then stuck his nose in the dish and sucked it dry. I reached to push the button again, and as the water pressure hissed through the pipes Liam jumped back, eyeing me questioningly. Once it filled, he again went to drink, and then he watched me fill the dish again. We did this a few more times until I was satisfied he drank enough, then I put my arm around his face and guided him back to the dish. He sniffed it, but found no water. I pushed his nose down further until he pressed the button, and as it hissed he threw his head up in the air. He sniffed the little bit of water in the dish and we tried again. This time he let me hold his nose down until the little dish filled, and then he tasted it but seemed uninterested in drinking much more. I figured at least he had the idea, and hopefully he could figure it out from there. As I was leaving, Antonio appeared and assured me again that he was watching closely and filling the dish every time he walked by and found it empty so that Liam would learn where his water was. I am so impressed with his concern for the horses! I can tell that he really cares about them, and I have no doubt that he will take good care of Liam.
I headed home, content that Liam was settling in well. Tomorrow morning I begin as a working student, and hopefully tomorrow Liam and I will begin our new training routine as well, with the guidance of a phenomenal trainer. I am looking forward to everything we will learn and all the mysteries that will be solved!