Monday, April 2, 2007

I touched her!

We woke up yesterday to snowflakes falling! I couldn't believe my eyes. By the time I got outside to do chores it'd turned to an icy rain. I figured my time with Sunny would be put on hold, but thankfully by afternoon it'd cleared up.
Sunny's biggest improvement this past month was allowing me to stand on her right side. Yesterday I went from standing at the end of the lead rope, six feet away, to within touching distance. The two of us would just stand there, me close enough to touch, her wondering when I was going to fall into a hole deep enough to never climb out of and bother her again.
I'm certain to that if there had been anyone stopping and watching, they'd have wondered why I was just standing there with the horse. It certainly didn't look like the usual training session. But my heart was pretty happy when she took a deep sigh and relaxed.
And then, I just couldn't stand it anymore. I had to touch her! Which was something Sunny did not want to have happen. She'd managed to back up quickly enough, then turn her head so I was back on her left side. I'd scratch her, then move back onto the right side, keeping my hand outstretched where she could see it. We danced around the paddock for several minutes. Things that normally don't bother her, she found spooky. The lambs bounced by on the outside of the paddock, and she jumped. Tait ran across the lawn, she snorted. I was turning her world upside down by being on her weak side.
I'd cross back to her left side now and then to reassure her, then back to the right. Eventually, after five minutes or so, I was able to reach out as she jumped, and my fingertips brushed ever so lightly along her neck. Success!
With that, I moved back onto her left side and scratched her, allowing her to relax and take a deep breath. Once she sighed, I stepped away and left her.

3 comments:

Gardener Greg said...

That has to be exciting to gain the trust of a wild animal. Years ago we would take my boat over to Cumberland Island Ga. and there were wild horses on that island. I think they were left by the spanish a long time ago. They are really pretty and enjoyable to watch. They let you get pretty close to them but they always keep an eye on you. I love to go riding. The last time we got to go was in the mountains of Dominica Republic. We rode Paso Fino's and it was quite and experiance. I love your blog, thanks for visiting mine.
Greg

Transylvanian horseman said...

She reminds me of a foal here, daughter of a dominant mare, who just didn't want to be touched. Then one day, after many months, she changed her mind. Somehow she decided that being touched and petted was good. She's still a dominant horse, but civilised to work with and to ride. Maybe that will happen to yours too? I hope so after all the love and kindness you are investing in this mare. It's a good sign too that she isn't aggressive to you, doesn't try to drive you away. I am really impressed by what you are doing and how you describe it.

smilnsigh said...

This is beautiful!

Thank you for sharing, something I'll never know.

Mari-Nanci