Twice this past week, Lady has been exposed to a big truck in close proximity without bolting! I'm still pondering the meaning of this; I know it isn't a total cure, but her calmness is a place we have reached after many rides and experiences over the past seven years.
I remember coming to the barn one fall morning a year ago, to see Lady standing at the back fence of her paddock watching a combine going back and forth in the adjoining soybean field. I took a photo to record the momentous event! She seemed more curious than frightened, which was so different from her usual excited run to the other end of the paddock.
On Monday this past week, as I unsaddled her at the edge of the road and the big truck was coming down the street, I thought at first it would turn in a few doors away. When it kept coming, I quickly led Lady off the road to a safer distance, and turned her to let her watch it go by. She stood very alert, but didn't move. We were probably fifteen feet from it as it passed.
Then, on Thursday, after I had ridden and put her back in her stall, a load of sawdust arrived for the barn. She probably watched it arrive from her stall, as the big double truck backed into the driveway and dumped its load. It comes in a double truck rig, two loads of sawdust in one trip. Our barn gets the load in the rear truckbed, and the main truckload goes elsewhere. Lady probably saw the dumping of the sawdust and probably heard the airbrakes. The driver parked the rig on the roadway, right in front of the driveway to Lady's stall, and I decided to take advantage of this opportunity. I led Lady out to eat grass between her stall and the truck. She did not seem at all spooked by the truck, still running, though she looked at it now and then as she grazed closer and closer to the road where it was parked. She was almost to the edge of the road when the driver got back in the truck and drove away. Lady and I followed it for a short distance. I'm not sure where this new courage is coming from, but I am overjoyed! Lady just turned 14 a few weeks ago. Some of us do get better with age.