Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Glimmer...

Just a glimmer of the calm, sweet, trusting horse inside is what I got today. Sam and I are trying a new approach to help her deal with her fear of losing her food. The day we had our horrible train wreck, I had been in the stall with Sam while she was eating. Her stall door had been closed and it was just too much pressure. As I have mentioned before, she is now hanging out in the hallway of the main barn where I have blocked off a space for her until I can build her a new stall. She has more room than a normal stall and can be about 20 feet from me if she wants to be.

So here is the new approach. Instead of hanging her bucket on the wall, I have started holding the bucket. I did this with another mare that I rescued and retrained several years ago. She wanted what I had and knew that taking it from me was the only way she would get it. So she sucked it up and took a chance on me. Sam is doing the same thing. Learning to trust me with her feed. I can pet on her and talk to her while she is eating and she will soon realize that I want her to eat and I am NOT going to take it away from her.

Tonight was as I said a glimmer. She is becoming more relaxed with this idea and tonight she was relaxed enough to sniff me up and down between bites of grain. I admit the thought crossed my mind that she might use her teeth for something else besides the grain, but I chose to give her the trust that she was giving me and let her sniff.

Tomorrow is another day, and you never know from one day to the next with a horse that has been abused what may trigger a fear reaction but today, I will take it. I delight in her small triumphs and heave a deep sigh with her set backs. I know the triumphs will tip the scales one day. Until then I will take the small victories and live on them until the next with pleasure.

A glimmer, a flash, a small spot. There is light at the end of Sam's tunnel. She just has to go to it.

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