By Patty Wilber
We got a new rescue in about two weeks ago. I didn’t rescue her. Walkin ‘N Circles did. She was feral and captured out near Budaghers. She came to the rescue with another mare and both had foals at their sides.
The foals were weaned at the beginning of September, and so it was time for the mares to get some attention of their own. Unfortunately, Onxy would not let anyone within 20 feet of her. I offered to halter break one of the foals (that would be easy, I thought!), but no! “Take the scardy-est one,” they said.
Onxy came here the middle of September.
At Walkin ‘N Circles, we had to set up a chute and “guide” her into the trailer.
When we let her out at my house, she very cooperatively walked right into the “mustang pen” we had set up when we got Slim (the cryptorchid-not-a-gelding mustang–well now he is a gelding!)
True to form, she would not let anyone within 2o feet of her, except other horses, and they mostly were trying to bite her (across the fences).
That pen is the one that we have to walk in to get to the feed room, the tack room, and the poop rake. It is the the high traffic pen. This is often good for horses new to the place. They get used to the commotion.
By the second day I could touch her, but only when we were in one particular corner of the pen, and she was always angled slightly away, trying really hard not to look at me. Apparently, she was thinking that if If she couldn’t see me, I might disappear!
When I rubbed her she did drop her head and relax some.
Each day I could touch her sooner and but it was a week before she was starting to allow me to approach her in other locations in the pen, and she still wanted to angle away so she could try to pretend I wasn’t there.
After about ten days of this (Tuesday of this week), I decided she needed to learn to move her butt away from me instead of being allowed to angle her front end away. But when I stepped to her butt, she would leave. After over an hour of trying different approaches, I got her to move her hip one step away.
The next day she had it figured out!
Thursday was even better and she has started looking at me and interacting more. Now she is shaking her head while keeping her eyes on me. Head shaking like that usually means someone doesn’t really WANT to do what ever, but I will take that over refusal to engage!
She still does not want to approach on her own, but she did step to me when I put some pressure on the rope around her neck, and she didn’t get scared!
She is darn cute, with lovely eyes. I am excited to see what she is like when her real personality comes out!