Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lady was better than expected

Our boarding stable is in the process of adding a new barn, attached to one side of the indoor arena. I was scared to ride Lady in there during the construction, and I was even reluctant to take her in there for exercise. Part of the wall had been taken off, and you could look out that big hole to see the new barn being put up. I just knew she would spook! Finally, one day, I decided to take a chance. I led Lady toward the indoor arena, and I could see her head up, looking toward the different view than she had ever seen before. I stopped her before we reached the big gate to the arena, and let her look while I told her all about what was going on. I explained that a new barn was being built, and there was nothing here to hurt her in any way. I told her everything would look different and scary, but it was safe for us to go in and look around. I opened the gate, and let her take her time entering. I walked her around the side of the arena away from the opening, then walked toward it, letting her stop when she wanted to. She looked, standing quietly for a few minutes, while I told her that someday we would go into that barn, but it wasn't ready yet. I walked her around the arena, and let her stop and look again. I let her walk around me on the lunge line, and she stopped several more times to look out the open wall into the area of this new barn, now only an open shell with posts that will be the corners of the new stalls. I was a little surprised that she didn't make any move to turn away or act spooky. She seemed very interested as she stopped to look at this new thing she had never seen before. Perhaps my voice was enough to help her relax, since I wasn't afraid myself. I'm not saying she understood my words, but she was very calm the whole time, and I was pleased with her calmness. She did so much better than I imagined she would! Good girl, Lady! This was a confidence builder for both of us!

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