Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Close, but no Cigar...

After days of clouds and rain, the sun came out today...

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, according to my husband.

These past few days have drug when it comes to progress. Sunny nickers when she sees me, she follows at a safe distance and knows my whereabouts each time I walk out the door of the house.

I sat patiently all these past couple of weeks, waiting for her to relax enough for me to slip that piece of twine under her halter. I got close a couple of times. You can see the knot I tied in the twine; that was to give it a bit of stiffness while handling it. I discovered that if I had it at the proper angle, I could keep my hand out of sight just enough to not be a distraction to Sunny, yet still get that little knot to slip through the side of the halter. However, the twine was light, and each time I got close to pushing it through, she'd jump backwards and out it would come.

Then, somehow...miraculously, the knot found it's way through the actual ring! This helped steady the twine a bit and I was able to actually slip it further along before Sunny jumped. Unfortunately, there were a few drawbacks. The first time, the end of the twine was beneath the scoop of grain, so a couple of steps backwards and the twine slipped out of the halter. Second time, Tait was sitting on the end of it; third time...well, I don't recall, but it was hung up on something. The most difficult part was that these near successes didn't happen back to back, as once Sunny spooked, she'd decide she didn't want to hang around anymore. So the three attempts were spread out over three days.

Today I walked out once again hopeful that today would be the day. I carried my scoop of grain and Sunny nickered her welcome. As I was opening the gate, the sight of her lead rope laying there caught my eye. And that's when it hit me; if she was standing still enough while I was slipping the twine through her halter, wouldn't she stand still enough for the snap to close over that ring?

Talk about a V-8 moment! I snatched up the lead rope and went to my chair in the barn. Sunny followed along. I held the snap up along side the scoop in the same fashion she'd grown used to me holding the twine. She sniffed it hesitantly, as was her custom, backed away, then stepped forward for her grain. I let her munch for a moment, then tried to snap the lead on. Nope; she jumped back just at that moment.

I looked at the snap, then decided to turn it around, so that it would need to slip between her face and halter, then snap on the outside. She was used to feeling things move around there and they didn't bother her, so perhaps by the time she jumped, the snap would be through and when I let go, it would just close up.

And that's exactly what happened!

So now Sunny has her lead back on. She wasn't happy about it, but settled down quickly enough. She didn't want any more grain, so I left her. We went out to dinner and did a few errands. It was 6:00 when we got home, getting dark, but I could still see. I carried hay out to everyone, but made Sunny take it from my hand. She didn't want to; she was sulking and moving away from me. I pressed her, I wasn't going to let her go into the barn to eat unless she took it from me first. And with the extra weight of the lead, Sunny decided that running was futile. She grabbed a mouthful of hay, and I reached over to scratch her neck.

Tomorrow is another day...maybe the sun will shine again?

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