Steele has been here for 6 months. Not only has he grown a lot in this time there has been a slow growing of our relationship.
When I went to look at him I really didn't expect to like him all that much (sorry Karen and Rachael). But when I first saw him there was this 'something' that attracted me right away. The more I saw the more excited I became. I tried to keep it under control but I do suspect that Karen knew better. When I went home I was explaining him to my husband- again trying to keep myself sounding all objective and neutral. Because I pride myself on my rationality I kept it to a listing of the pros and cons. I suspect that he also saw right through that- but then we've been married for 25 years, he may have picked up a thing or two....So the deal was done and Steele became 'mine'.
ha! That turned out to be a myth.
When he first came and I started working with him it was funny. He was fairly willing to try things and to listen but I always had the sense that he was sizing me up. Kinda like 'who are you anyway?'. He was also curious and willing to hang about. As I continued to work with him I could do more and more outside of his comfort zone. It's not that he didn't trust me when he first came it was more like 'okay I trust you this much'.
This trust has grown over time.
When I call him he usually comes right away. Most of the time I just have to walk out to the field. If I'm in the barn working he comes down and hangs out. Sometimes I have to close the bottom door to the stall so that I can, you know, get actual work done. When I do this he hangs his head over and sends me messages like 'hey, what's with the door? I can't get in!'
When the farrier came last week he used the time to stick his head under my arm and snuggle.
The other day when I was working in his stall he came in and gave me a hug- that's when a horse wraps his neck around and holds you to their side. It feels quite nice.
Today when I came home I put Steele in the cross ties to groom him. Irish came down to the stall and then bolted out as though he was being chased by wolves. Needless to say Steele wanted to run with him and being restrained in cross ties was not part of his plan. Funnily enough even with him being agitated and antsy in the ties I was not afraid or nervous. I just kept doing what I was doing and correcting his behavior- so when he shifted away I put him back. Meanwhile Irish was cavorting about like a horse half his age. Steele settled quite quickly so after he stood still for a bit I let him out to have a romp. He went out into the paddock, looked at Irish and turned right back to me, ears up. I gave him a rub on his head and then said 'go on go and play'. I shooed him away and, after a look at me, his tail and ears both went up and yeehaw! off he ran across the field, dancing and bucking. He stopped at looked at me.
"Did you have fun?" I asked. He snorted and shook all over. 'oh yeah'
He then trotted back to the barn.
I think we're doing just fine.