Little Moments, Big Steps
Let me begin by saying that I'm so proud of Penny. If her legs straighten out, she'll make an amazing little guide horse, I'm absolutely convinced. She is so smart and so willing to learn, even when she's nervous. Maybe it's the food, or maybe it's the attention. Whatever the case, she's always game when I come out, even if Cali chases her off, which, unfortunately, happens much too frequently.
Today I had to fly spray both girls. Cali made her usual protest, but that was okay because she wasn't too much trouble to spray, and she didn't resist when I used the roll-on fly repellent on her face. Progress, progress.
Penny didn't like the fly spray one little bit, but she tolerated it as each sprits was accompanied by clicks and treats. She pranced around a bit, but I got the job done. Instead of using the roll-on repellent on her face, I sprayed my hands and rubbed her face. She doesn't mind having her face or ears touched. Even her legs are no longer off limits, at least not if I briefly touch them. Picking up her feet is another matter, though. She'll let me do that for a moment, but then she resists.
Penny is learning amazingly quickly. She usually touches my hand pretty gently now, which is a huge improvement. In fact, several times, I've mistaken Penny for Cali because Penny touched my hand so gently that I didn't believe it was Penny. Only when I touched Penny's short mane did I realize that it was Penny and not Cali. Now, the only way I can distinguish one from the other at a touch is if I deliberately press my hand against the horse's nose. Cali's nose is softer than Penny's, not to mention a bit bigger!
It's above 95 degrees out today, so I'm not venturing out much, though I did go out and give the girls fresh water. I even added a little ice to it to keep it cooler for longer. Then I took a spray bottle of water and sprayed each one down. Again, both horses protested. Cali was won over pretty quickly, but Penny did a little more prancing around before she decided that clicking and treating did wonders and that she could tolerate being sprayed. I think she liked being cooled off, too, because she stood perfectly still for a while and just let me spray and spray. The poor sweeties were pretty hot. Even the fan in the shed is basically just blowing around hot air. And when I come out to see them, they insist on calling to me and waiting for me, Cali standing at the gate, and Penny running into the shed to meet me on her side. How easy it is to fall in love with a horse! They're so uncomplicated and they live in the present, not worrying about what's going to happen or what has happened. They take each moment as it comes. I force myself to remember this each time I think about the past, about how this and that horrible thing happened or about the future and how I have to do this thing or the other, about how stressed I am because something isn't going to turn out exactly the way I want it. I remind myself to live in the moment, to take each second as it comes because really, that's all we've got. It's trite, but we've really got no guarantees. Better to enjoy the moments we've got than to dwell on past miseries or future possibilities. These horses tell me this each time I see them. That in and of itself is worth all the time and effort I put into them and so much more.