This is the second day in a row where neither Ruby or Pearl attempted to run away or avoid me when I came into their pen to catch them. They both stood solid and allowed me to put their halters on.
I brought out Ruby first again. I did not round – pen. I jumped on bareback and road out down the driveway. There was no chainsaw. There was no extra scary things but from the beginning it felt I was riding on a coiled spring. She was so worried it was hard for her to respond to my cues. Fear makes you dumb and that goes for horses too. I never felt in danger but I had to pay attention all the time.
I thought perhaps she is “buddy sour” or very emotionally tied to a pasture-mate to the point of obsession, wanting to be within a few feet of it’s friend at all times. With that in mind after I’d spent some time riding her without much success in calming her down, I tied her and gave her some hay, away and mostly out of sight of the other horses. After 20 minutes I went back to check on her and she was no longer sweaty and seemed no more worried than any horse would be to be tied out away from the others. On a positive note she seemed to be glad of my company during those moments.
She will be a beautiful yard ornament, she may make pretty babies or she may make a fun horse for an expert horseman, but she won’t be a good all-around using horse if she can’t overcome her fears. I may try to take her on a longer harder ride tomorrow and see if tiring her out settled her fears.
I saddled Pearl and road down the driveway past the scary stuff. She looked at everything carefully but didn’t show any serious fear. On the way back she didn’t give the scary stuff any thought at all. We walked, we trotted, we backed up. She was very light and easy to work with. She should progress nicely.